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    Thursday
    Jul122012

    There was darkness, and then there were doughnuts.

    Every couple of years or so my doughnut craving becomes so intense that the only way to alleviate it is to dedicate an entire day to frying (and eating) large amounts of dough.  It's not as if I don't crave doughnuts nearly all the time, however I've learned to resist the urge to gorge myself on donuts all day every day. 

    I find the best way to spend these sorts of gluttonous days is to recruit a group of close friends to aid in the rolling out and kneading of dough, candied rose petal chopping, doughnut glazing and of course, consumption of said doughnuts.  It's a lot more efficient and sanity preserving than doing it all on your own, eating 20 plus donuts and then spending the rest of the evening crying alone in the corner of self deprication.  Not that I'd know.  No, seriously I totally made that up.  

     The dangerous thing about donuts is that when made as they are intended to be, they are more similar to a fluffy fried yeasty cloud than to the heavy frosting-laden things you might find at certain numerous chains around the country. This makes them ridiculously easy to eat and makes it even easier to lose count of how many you've consumed.  And I am adamant in the opinion that doughnuts must be eaten fresh, while still hot, within an hour of being drained of their hot bubbling oil bath.  It's a fantastically life changing experience, eating hot wads of dough that were glazed just moments ago.

    Ugh, I love donuts so much.  

    The day's selection included plain glazed doughnuts, doughnut holes, cinnamon sugar dusted doughnuts and raspberry jam filled doughnuts dipped in a rose water scented glaze and sprinkled with candied rose petals.  May it be noted that the raspberry jam was made by yours truly with raspberries picked from my grandmother's raspberry patch and the rose petals were picked from a friend's garden and candied the morning of the fated doughnut day. These doughnuts were inspired by the ispahan croissant I had a few weeks ago from Pierre Hermé in Paris.  I can proudly say they emulated the croissant quite closely, minus croissant and plus doughnut.  

    And now that I've put this incessant craving to rest I might just be able to survive a couple more years until I go on a doughnut making rampage agian.  Then again, who am I kidding.  A life without a consistent supply of doughnuts is dark and depressing.  Doughnuts are my shining light.  Doughnuts are the reason for life.  

     

    Jelly Doughnuts adapted from Epicurious (and recipe for rose water scented glaze and candied rose petals) - also, slight disclaimer; this is one of those grand exceptions to the whole default vegan deal.  I never said I was good at being vegan.

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
  • About 10 cups vegetable oil - I used peanut oil which is ideal for frying things at high temperatures
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup raspberry, strawberry, or apricot jam
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting
  •  

    Preparation

    1. Bring milk to a simmer in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in granulated sugar and salt. Cool milk to lukewarm (about 90°F).
    2. While milk is cooling, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl, stirring until creamy, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn't foam, discard and start over with fresh yeast.)
    3. Pour milk mixture into a large bowl and stir in 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons oil, eggs, and yeast mixture with a wooden spoon to make a very soft dough. Spread 1 cup flour on work surface and put dough on top, scraping it from bowl with a rubber spatula. Knead dough, incorporating all of flour from work surface and adding just enough additional flour (if necessary) to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer dough to another large bowl and sprinkle lightly with additional flour, then cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
    4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin until 1/2 inch thick. Cutout rounds with 2-inch cutter. Stretch 1 round to 2 1/2 inches and put 1 teaspoon jam in center, then stretch another round to 2 1/2 inches and use it to cover jam, pinching edges of rounds firmly together. (Pinching will stretch doughnuts to about 3 inches in diameter.) Make more jelly doughnuts in same manner.
    5. Cut through filled doughnuts with floured 21/2-inch cutter, rotating cutter several times to help seal edges. Transfer rounds to a floured kitchen towel, then reroll scraps (only once) and make more jelly doughnuts in same manner. (If dough shrinks after rerolling, let stand 10 minutes.) Cover doughnuts with another kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes.
    6. While doughnuts rise, heat 3 inches oil (about 10 cups) in a deep 4-quart pot until it registers 375°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts 2 at a time, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. (Doughnuts will bob in oil; hold them half submerged with a slotted spoon to brown evenly.) Transfer as cooked to paper towels to drain. Serve warm, dusted with confectioners sugar.
    7. OR for a feminine approach, dip the slightly cooled doughnuts in the rose water scented glaze and sprinkle a few chopped candied rose petals on top.  Marvelous.

     

    Rose Water Scented Glaze 

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons of whole milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon rose water

    Preparation

    1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. 
    2. Sift confectioners' sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined. 
    3. Remove the glaze from the heat, stir in the rose water, and set over a bowl of warm water. 
    4. Dip doughnuts into the glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed in a half sheet pan for 5 minutes before serving.

     

    Candied Rose Petals

     Ingredients

    • 3 dozen unsprayed large, fragrant rose petals
    • 1 large egg white
    • 1 cup superfine sugar

     Preparation

    1. Choose the rose petals for color and beauty, and make sure they are completely dry. 
    2. Beat the egg white in a small bowl just to blend. Brush each petal with egg white on both sides and dip it lightly in the sugar. 
    3. Put the petals on wire racks and let dry in a cool, dry place for 2-3 hours or overnight.

     

     Yeast Doughnuts courtesy of Alton Brown (I cut this recipe in half to make about 12 doughnuts and a bunch of donut holes but the recipe I'm posting here is for about 20-25 doughnuts)

     Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 2 1/2 ounces vegetable shortening, approximately 1/3 cup
    • 2 packages instant yeast
    • 1/3 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    • 23 ounces all purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
    • Peanut oil, for frying (1 to 1/2 gallons, depending on fryer)

    Preparation

     

    1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
    2. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. 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. 
    3. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. 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. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    4.  On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
    5.  Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven to 365 degrees F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

     

    Plain Doughnut Glaze (for 12ish doughnuts)

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Preparation 

    1. Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. 
    2. Sift confectioners' sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined. 
    3. Remove the glaze from the heat and set over a bowl of warm water. 
    4. Dip doughnuts into the glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed in a half sheet pan for 5 minutes before serving.

     


    Reader Comments (1)

    LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST. NOMNOMNOM TRULY THIS DONUT DAY WAS SPECACULAR <3

    July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersher

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