IOU one emergency donut.
BASTARD! He’s always one step ahead.
My kids like doughnuts. Me, not so much. I’ve really lost my taste for sweets.
These doughnuts are baked, not fried; I hate frying things (I should say I hate when Jeff fries things, I don’t know I’ve ever actually done it myself) because we’re no good about holding onto the oil and it just seems so wasteful and messy.
I skipped the “dip in butter” step at the end; just sprinkled some straight up supahfine sugar on and it was perfect for me.
Baked Sugar Doughnuts
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup whole milk, warm to touch
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (note: if you buy envelopes of yeast, one packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons. So you will need to open two packets & measure this out)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus whatever accidentally on purpose runs over the spoon
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted in shallow bowl
1 cup superfine sugar, mixed with cinnamon to taste ( I preferred to leave the cinnamon off entirely, next time I’m going to try a vanilla sugar experiment)
–Get out your trusty stand mixer and fit with the paddle. Beat egg and sugar together on medium speed until combined. Add milk, yeast, salt and vanilla, beat until blended. Change speed to low, gradually add 2 cups of flour, and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of bowl.
–Swap out the paddle for the dough hook. With mixer on medium speed (if you have a choice between 4 & 6, go with 6) add chunks of butter one piece at a time. Keep the mixer going until there’s no noticeable chunks of butter left (about 5 minutes). Reduce speed to low and add in additional flour until the dough comes together and “cleans” the sides of the bowl.
–Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead. If you’re familiar with bread dough, this dough is much softer and doesn’t “firm up” in the same way; keep going until the dough isn’t sticking.
–Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and flip once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour. (Top of fridge or dryer are always good candidates. Or, you could boil some water and then place the pot or kettle in the oven under the bowl. This is particularly good if you’re going the “damp tea towel” route since it keeps the dough from drying out.)
–Punch down and roll out to 1/2 inch thick or so. Mine were thicker because I am not handy with a rolling pin. Don’t worry about being delicate with the dough; I found that the doughnuts I cut last (after being re-incorporated and re-rolled several times) were the best ones.
–Cut into doughnut shapes with whatever you have handy: cookie cutter, mason jar, small bowl. (We used a big cup and a shotglass.) Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
–Bake 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.
–Let cool for a minute, then dip into butter (if you like) and then either plunge directly into the sugar mixture, or sprinkle the sugar on top, depending on your sweet tooth. Really try to resist the temptation to dip too early, it turns everything into a gooey mess (still delicious, but the texture is off).
I can’t tell you if this reheats well. We had no survivors.
I’m starting a new series where I make homemade versions of mass-produced treats.
Ideas and success stories welcome.