Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October's Daring Baker Challenge: Doughnuts

Eeeee! I know I haven't posted anything in what seems like forever, and yes you can blame my work on that one. I simply haven't found the time to get back into the kitchen! When doing shift-work, it seems like your "days on" are so busy you can't get anything done when you get home... and then on your "days off" you're simply too exhausted to even contemplate doing anything (even the things that you love). But, hopefully I'll get into a good routine soon.

In regards to work, all I have to say is that I'm very glad I have the co-workers I do. Although the work is extremely exhausting and frustrating at times (seeing as how none of us get decent breaks and it's always go-go-go) my team at work is just amazingly supportive and they always offer a hand (even when they're swamped too). Without them, I'd seriously have a complete melt-down... and came so close to it, let me tell you. But for now, I'm good... enjoying my restful days off and finally stepping into the kitchen to do some Daring Baker's work.

Blog-checking lines: The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Boy do I love doughnuts... and I could hardly wait to get cracking on this challenge, so without further adieu. Here's the recipe:

Yeast Doughnuts


- 1 1/2 milk
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 eggs, large [I substituted one egg for 1/3 cup pumpkin puree]
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg, grated [I also added 1 tsp ground cinnamon]
- 4 2/3 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting surface
- Enough canola oil to create THREE (3) inches of oil within your frying vessel


  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
  2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
  9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
  11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
[NOTE: I halved my portion of dough so that I could fry one half, and save the other half of dough to shape and bake. For my baked donuts, I placed them on a well greased baking tray, brushed the uncooked donuts with melted butter and baked at 350degrees for 8-10minutes. Once baked, I then brushed them with a little more butter and dipped them into a mixture of granulated sugar + cinnamon. For my filled donuts, I simply poked a hole in the middle and filled with raspberry preserve]

Yay, for DB challenges! These doughnuts were simply divine! Both the baked and the fried versions were super tasty and they actually weren't that difficult to make. There are times when I look at the DB challenges and think "OMG! I don't have any time to complete this challenge", but then when I look back on it again, it's actually a good thing that these challenges are monthly because then I'm almost guaranteed to enter at least a blog-post a month! So thanks DB's for keeping me on track!


Mary said...

Nice looking doughnuts--I especially like the one with the jam in the middle. It is hard to find time to blog with work, and I work in the daytime. I find letting the housework go leaves me more time to bake!

Audax said...

Shift work is very exhaustive and it is great to hear you found the time and energy. Lovely looking doughnuts and great work. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Austalia.

Renata said...

Your doughnuts look amazing and even with all your time issues with work you managed to try both versions baked and fried. Well done on the challenge!
Thanks for your lovely comment on my post.

Anonymous said...

They look delicious and I'm impressed that you tried them both baked and fried even with your heavy schedule.

Well done and thanks for passing by my blog also. :) ~Nicola

Kris Ngoei said...

You are lucky to be surrounded by supportive colleagues, I am sure they deserve these delicious doughnut... :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Dr.Sameena Prathap


The doughnuts look smashing...:)

yumm yumm..:)