24 giugno 2013

Baked Doughnuts - We Knead to Bake # 6 & BBD # 60

 la ricetta in italiano qui

We Knead To Bake, the baking group Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen created last January with the very nice idea to bake a different bread every month, has already done half of its journey in the magical baking world.
For this month the recipe has something to do with a typical US baking celebration, as Aparna tells us in her post:
In 1917, Salvation Army female volunteers made thousands of fresh donuts for homesick American soldiers serving in France during World War I. Apparently the soldiers loved them so much, that it earned them a nickname of “doughboys”. Then in 1938, first National Doughnut Day was held to raise funds for the Salvation Army. Today though, it’s not surprising that the US continues to dedicate one day a year to celebrate doughnuts considering that the US Doughnut industry is supposedly worth something like $3.6 million annually!
Have you wondered what would be the proper way to spell this confection with a “hole” in the middle? It seems that “Doughnut” is the proper way to do it, though the shortened form of “Donut” is now accepted and can be found in dictionaries along with the longer spelling. 
There are some rather interesting, almost improbable stories which are told about how the Doughnut got its start. One theory has to do with a 19th Century sea captain, named Hanson Gregory. It seems his mother used to make a deep-fried dough with her son's spice cargo of nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind. 
She would pack them for her son and his crew to take on their long voyages. Mrs Gregory used to put hazel nuts or walnuts in the centre of the doughnut where the dough would otherwise not cook well and this is supposed to have given Doughnuts their name.

However, the hole in the Doughnut is credited to Hansen. Some versions say he was eating a Doughnut (without the hole) while sailing in a storm. Suddenly, the ship rocked violently and a spoke on the ship's wheel impaled his cake, creating the now well-known “hole” in the Doughnut. 
Other versions say that Hansen was a bit of a cheapskate and was just trying to save on food costs by making the hole in the middle. Another highly improbable version says he was visited by an angel who told him the doughy centres of the Doughnut had to go!!!
All we do know is that Gregory Hansen put the “hole” in the modern Doughnut and that he came to an unfortunate end when he was eventually burnt at the stake for being a witch in the mid-19th century.
Today, it is mostly agreed that it was the Dutch who brought Doughnuts to the U.S. in the 1800s as “Olykoeks”, or oily cakes which were deep-fried balls of dough. They’re supposed to have accidentally discovered the “Olykoek” when a cow kicked a pot full of boiling oil over onto some pastry mix, turning it golden brown! 

It was very interesting for me to read all the story about doughnuts as I didn't know that much, just only eaten them!
Usually they are deep fried (and I often do something similar, very popular in most Italian regions too), but for this challenge Aparna choose a baked recipe, and it was/is very good indeed.
They are nice, but in a different way, she says, and it's true, don't expect to have the same texture, but they worth to give a try, and they can be a valid substitute in case you can't fry or do not want to eat fried food.

I just went for simple glaze, some with traditional cinnamon/sugar and some with dark chocolate (I'm on holidays in Elba island in a little house with a very tiny kitchen, had also to ask a friend for round cutters and electric oven, and had to get a genial idea for the small round cutter for the holes ... you will discover how I did reading the recipe), and my boys really loved the cinnamon combo!

But you are free to use any glaze at your choice, and any filling for the round ones if you make some without hole.

And as I'm not having any more chance to bake again till the end of the month when coming back home, these glazed doughnuts are ideal for Zorra's celebration of Bread Baking Day 6th Anniversary, the monthly baking event she's still carrying on so successfully!

A few tips from Aparna to have perfect doughnuts:
You need to be a bit careful about a couple of things when making these doughnuts. The first thing is make sure your dough is 1/2” thick before cutting out your doughnuts. Also make sure that the doughnuts do not lose their shape when you transfer them from your work surface to the baking sheets or you will end up with “wonky” looking doughnuts when they bake! Also make sure that whatever you use to cut the doughnuts is sharp so that it makes it easy to lift them off. Also that you do not too much of a twisting motion while cutting them out, as these can cause your doughnuts to not rise properly.

Baked Yeasted Doughnuts



1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup warm milk (45C/115F)
3/4 tbsp instant yeast (or 1 tbsp active dry yeast) *
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour 
(or 1tbsp cornstarch + enough all-purpose flour to make up to 1 cup)
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
100gm cold butter, cut into 1 inch cubes

* for me 10 g fresh yeast

For the topping:

about 1/2 cup melted butter for brushing
1 cup superfine sugar + 2 tbsp cinnamon 
(more or less, depending on your taste), mixed together
or glaze of your choice 
and/or jam for filling the doughnuts


Using a processor to knead helps but you can do this by hand.
Put the sugar, milk, yeast, salt and vanilla in the processor bowl and pulse to mix well. Add the cake flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour and process, adding a little more of the flour as necessary till the dough is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Now add the butter pieces one at a time and process till there no large chunks of butter are left in the bottom of the bowl. Now add a little more flour until your have a soft, pliable and elastic dough that is most but not overly sticky.

I did the dough by hand and used soft butter, little by little.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large mixing bowl., turning it to coat well. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise till double in volume. This should take about an hour.
Punch down the dough and roll out to a thickness of 1/2" thickness. Cut out doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or whatever you have on hand to cut out 3” diameter with 1” diameter holes. 

making donuts

I borrowed a couple of big round cutters from a friend of mine but did not have the small one for the holes. And it should have been something tall and sharp enough to do a proper work ... at last I got the perfect tool: the tin cap of the extravirgin olive oil! :-)

If you’re making doughnuts to fill with jam, then do not cut out the holes. Place the doughnuts and the holes on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheets, leaving at least 1” space between them.
Re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts. I used the last left over scraps of dough by pinching of bits, rolling them into balls and baking them too.

Let them rise for about 20 minutes or till almost double in size and then bake them at 200C (400F) for about 5 to 10 minutes till they’re done and golden brown. Do not over bake them.
This recipe makes about 12 to 14 doughnuts and holes. 
Take them out of the oven and immediately brush them with the melted butter and then dip them into the cinnamon sugar mixture. If filling the doughnuts with jam, let them cool. Put the jam into a piping bag with a writing nozzle tip and press into the doughnut from the side and gently press out the jam into the doughnut till it starts oozing out. Jam doughnuts do not need too much jam to fill them. If glazing your doughnuts, let them cool completely and then dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze of your choice and let it set.


This recipe also goes to Susan's weekly YeastSpotting

7 commenti:

Roshni ha detto...

looks perfect.. am yet to make it.. will do it soon

Gaia ha detto...

Che gola che mi fanno!!

Cindystar ha detto...

Roshni, thanks, the best I could do while on holidays :-)
But they were divored in a flash!

Gaia, sapessi a noi, sono volati in un baleno! Fra pochissimo anche la ricetta in italiano! ;-)

Hanaâ ha detto...

They look wonderful. I like that they're baked, not fried :o)

zorra ha detto...

Yum, they look awesome and as a Chocoholic I love especially the chocolate glaze. Thank you for participating in BBD #60!

Ana M. Adserías ha detto...

They look gorgeous and yummy!

Cindystar ha detto...

Hanaa, thanks, same reason for me too :-)

Zo, thanks to you for crating my favorite blog event! :-)

Aisha, very, very yummy! :-P

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