Well hello there friends! I bet you were starting to think that I’d fallen off the face of the earth. Fortunately, I’m still kicking. In truth, I’ve been working my arse off. The intense training schedule continues. After a day of work and a hard run, I’m lucky if I get some decent food past my lips, let alone photograph it and come up with an accompanying witty post.
But I must admit, I’m kind of using this whole running thing as a license to eat whatever the hell I want. Thankfully I’m a reasonable person (most of the time), and I’m trying to find a good balance between eating healthy and indulging from time to time. A few weeks ago, I had this sudden urge to try making doughnuts from scratch. And it wouldn’t. go. away. So I enlisted the help of a trusty friend of mine and we went to work on a few different recipes.
First, there were sour cream glazed doughnuts. They turned out alright, but not fantastic. Too dense, not cakey enough, and not the right flavor. So we moved onto pumpkin spice cake doughnuts. They were almost fantastic, especially when eaten still warm with a hefty coating of cinnamon sugar. And so we decided to try out a simple yeast doughnut with a rich chocolate glaze. Money.
These were delicious. The doughnut itself is not overly sweet, but the chocolate glaze adds a nice kick of sweet and chocolate.
Ladies and gents, it’s time to conquer our fears.
Yes, fear. I know what you’re thinking. Yeast? Hot oil?! Frying things??!
Don’t be afraid! It’s a lot easier, and more fun, than it looks. Especially in the company of a lovely friend, with some good tunes and a couple glasses of the red stuff. If only all fears were this easy to conquer! And hello?! There are doughnuts at the end of this lil’ journey. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.
Let’s do this!
We start by making a simple yeast dough. Then we let it rise for a little bit until it doubles in size. Look at this beautiful ball of dough! Ain’t she perrty?
Then we roll out the dough and make doughnuts! Supposedly there are fancy doughnut cutters out there, but why not save that cash for another bottle of vino and use a wine glass and a shot glass instead! Doughnut + hole = done! Lay out your cut doughnuts on a lined cookie sheet, cover with a clean tea towel, and allow to rise for another half hour. Get your oil heating while the doughnuts rise.
The one special gadget you will require for this adventure is an oil/candy thermometer. I bought one for $10. When your thermometer reaches 325°F, it’s go time!
Fry, cool, glaze. Easy as pie. And then, EAT!
You can do it, I have faith in you!
Special shout-out to the lovelies that helped me eat my way through these doughnut trials. My heart (and thighs) thank you.
Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts (adapted from La Mia Vita Dolce)
These doughnuts are best enjoyed immediately after they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days. I recommend warming leftovers briefly in the microwave before enjoying.
4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole milk
4 TBSP. sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Measure the water and milk into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm (do not let it boil!). Pour the warm water/milk mixture into a large bowl, and add 1 TBSP. of the sugar, as well as the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, meaning the yeast is working! Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface to bring it together. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until it feels smooth and elastic when pressed. I punched my dough a few times, and it felt good! I may or may not have pretended that the dough was someone’s face. Unfortunately, karma bit me in the booty and I hit the counter instead. You win some and you lose some. Anyways…
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1 cm (1 1/2 inches) thick. Cut 8 cm (3 1/4 inch) rounds with a cutter. Cut a 3.5 cm (1 1/4 inch) hole in the middle of the rounds. Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
In the meantime, heat the oil (2 inches deep) in a large pot over medium-low heat. Gently drop the doughnuts one by one into the hot oil. Cook the doughnuts a few at a time for 1 minute each side or until just golden. Drain on a cooling rack set over paper towels.
2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
1 TBSP. honey
2 tsp. vanilla
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Sift icing sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Combine the butter, milk, honey, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off the heat, add the icing sugar, and whisk until smooth. Dip slightly cooled doughnuts into the glaze and allow to set. Eat immediately!