February 11, 2008

Time to Make the (Oddly Shaped) Donuts


Peabody and Helen are hosting an event called Time to Make the Doughnuts. I’ve never made donuts before, (coincidentally, Mom has made donuts on numerous occasions, but of course, like owning goats, that was before my time) but I knew I had to participate as these girls are not only fellow Daring Bakers, but two of my favourite bloggers in general.


I chose to make baked donuts, but please hear me out on this one. If I had a deep fryer, I would have made traditional fried donuts, but unfortunately I don’t. Therefore, if I were to make fried donuts there is always the possibility of my burning down the kitchen. Actually, the thought of burning down my godawful cave of a kitchen was almost enough to tempt me into frying, but then I considered how long it took my landlord to fix my shower and I knew that if I burned down the kitchen I might never have one again. It wasn’t the fear of calories or fat that scared me away from fried donuts, but the fear of losing what meager kitchen I have.


Furthermore, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that diets are for suckers and if you’re on one, I don’t want to hear about it. I hate when people refuse my baked goods because they’re on a diet and I especially hate it if you tell me you’re fat. It’s never attractive to hear anyone say they’re fat. So long as you exercise and aren’t morbidly obese, a few extra pounds are not worth worrying about. So don’t tell me about your carrot stick and grapefruit diet or all the delicious foods you’re not eating because you’re worried it will go to your stomach or hips or behind. Don’t tell me how after eating one cookie you have to go to the gym because you feel disgusting. I don’t want to hear it.


Back to the donuts. Do you ever do something even though you know it’s not a good idea? That’s what happened to me while making these donuts. When I rolled them out, I rolled them too thin and I realized this immediately, with plenty of time to correct the situation, but did I? No. Instead, I knowingly made it worse. I took two thin donuts and stuck them together. Even as I did it, I knew that it was a bad idea. I knew they would separate while rising and baking, but I ploughed ahead. I decided to further mess things up by cutting out enormous centres. The recipe warns to make sure the donut holes are large enough that they don’t bake shut. This does not mean they should almost be the size of the donuts themselves. Ugh. These donuts had such potential. I’ve seen other bloggers experience success with them and I was looking forward to showing off some beautiful donuts. Sadly this is not the case. Because of preventable errors on my part, I got some seriously weird looking donuts. The donuts holes turned out to be the best part. I dipped them in butter and then rolled them in cinnamon and sugar. Since my larger donuts didn’t lend themselves very well to rolling due to their bizarre shapes, I tried to coat them a few different ways. One of them was dipped in butter and coated in cinnamon sugar, but that was a pain, so I switched to a cinnamon glaze which was messy and then simple powdered sugar which was the easiest, but least tasty.


Baked Doughnuts (from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks)


Don't over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit - they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender - not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts - too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.


1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon


Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.



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37 comments:

Veron said...

love them doughnuts! Perfect for coffee!

Madam Chow said...

I'm laughing so hard, I snorted tea up my nose. I started my donuts, pleased as punch, and discovered that I was out of FLOUR. I had to use bread flour. Maybe I can sell mine to Canadian hockey teams! They did taste very good, though.

Katie B. said...

Who cares if they don't look like everyone else's! A little character goes a long way - especially tasty character! :)

Elisabeth said...

Hmmm...the thought had never even occurred to me to BAKE doughnuts before I read this...I'm deep fryer-less myself, so I love this idea!

Deborah said...

Your donuts would be beauty queens compared to how most of mine looked!! I only took pictures of the pretty ones! And I got a deep fryer for Christmas, and I love it! You should invest in one, because I can only imagine the good things that would be coming out of your kitchen...

Maria said...

I love the look of your donuts!

ashley said...

i think they look quite tasty! :-) i'd intended on using the same recipe but never got around to making the donuts this weekend!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm with you, hon. Can we form a club with t-shirts: "Just say no to diets"? Life's too short to not eat dessert.

sher said...

I want all of them! Right now! They look marvelous to me.

Peter G said...

They look fine. And I'm sure they were delicious as well.

Quellia said...

Now I was thinking those double layered ones looked really cool and were going to be like honey cruelers!

Peabody said...

Amen sister on the diet thing. Drives me crazy when my friends pop a mini muffin in their mouth and follow up with, well, that will be an extra 10 minutes at the gym. It was a mini muffin people.

theflouredapron said...

I couldn't agree with you more about the diets. I've basically stopped bringing treats into work because I'm sick of hearing "oh, I'm on a diet". I had to bring my own bag of sugar into the break room because all they had was splenda!
Even if your donuts look a little silly, I bet they tasted delicious. Particularly the ones with the cinnamon glaze, which looks especially tasty.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I am laughing my a** off here! I made my doughnuts today and trust me, yours look stellar compared to mine. I don't know if I have the nerve to even post the pictures!

Emiline said...

Yay for doughnuts!
Everyone is posting about doughnuts today, aren't they?

Ha- we really did use the same recipe! I wonder if anyone else did.
I think they look cute. They have character.

LyB said...

Oh, Brilynn, you are so funny! I love the "Donut Monstrosity" and the "Ugly Donut Trio"! They are the cutest, seriously! And what is this thing you call a diet? ;)

Kevin said...

Those cinnamon and sugar doughnuts holes look really good!

Bellini Valli said...

I don't own a deep fryer either Brilynn, that is my excuse for not entering the world of doughnut making for the event...of course I could bake them..but then I'd have to eat them and I just made brownies too....can I have any more excuses :D

Manggy said...

Hey, come on-- the distinctive shape gives them such character! Unfortunately, I can't have one as I'm too fat! My distinctive shape gives me the character of an apple! I mean, just the other day I had a pack of M&Ms so I felt disgusting and I went to the gym...

Haha, just kidding ;)

Elle said...

Hilarious! I really like the little ones covered in cinnamon sugar, but the odd shaped ones are fun and funny, too.

Cakelaw said...

Hey, betcha they tasted great regardless! I'm with you on the fat and baking - I figure if people are worried about getting fat from eating my stuff, they shouldn't eat it (but I haven't had many refusals on this basis yet!!).

Patricia Scarpin said...

Ha, Bri, you crack me up!!
Please don't hate me, but I try to control the calories I eat during the week so on the weekend I can indulge a little. With cookies and... caipirinha!!! :)

I LOVE your doughnuts - I would never let you call them ugly. And send them over here, now. :)

Dana said...

Hahaha, this post made me laugh! Well, the donut holes look lovely :).

Tartelette said...

Well, "Ugly child blues" being my favorite song, I especially love the ugly donut trio! Thanks for taking part, I am thrilled that you did!

bittersweetblog said...

Oh please, those are not ugly, they have character! Not just your run-of-the-mill, nothing special donuts: These are unique! :)

Kristen said...

I think they are quite lovely!

jasmine said...

You know...like people, sometimes it's the aesthetically non-standard ones that provide the most pleasure.

j

Christy said...

They look delish! Donuts are one of those things on my list to try and make...one day when I find the time.

Oh, and I completely agree about the diet stuff :)

eliza said...

awww..those doughnuts look very cute :) as long as they taste great sometimes looks doesn't matter :)

Anita said...

Your "Ugly Doughnut Trio" photo made me laugh so loud the dogs came to see what the hell my problem was. :)

Seriously, good on ya for posting about less-than-gorgeous results. They still look scrumptious to me.

Ann said...

Okay, I started laughing so hard I had a coughing fit. But I actually think they look kinda cool! And the doughnut holes look PERFECT!

Mary said...

I love the caption on your photo that says "ugly donut trio". It really made me giggle. I think the donut holes look great and I'm wishing I had one for my midmorning snack!

Cheryl said...

I used the same donut dough recipe. It is fantastic. I think your donuts are awesome. I love the double decker ones.

I exercise so I can eat all this stuff. But there ain't no skinny pair of jeans on the earth that would make me give up my sugar.

Susan said...

Mine were also based on Heidi's recipe and I like the holes best, too, although I agree with everyone else who has said that your big ones look great too.

Erin said...

The "ugly donut" trio cracked me up! They'll probably start selling this dessert at overpriced restaurants very soon ;)

Amy said...

I giggled all the way through your post. I had never thought of baking donuts, but now I'm really intrigued -- I must give this a try! The donut holes look so yummy. Oh, and by the way, I couldn't agree more on the whole diet thing...life is too short to not enjoy food with reckless abandon. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing by the way you talk about dieting you are a fat cow