Ever noticed how some of your favourite childhood memories are associated with food? Making doughnuts with my mom when I was younger is one such memory in my life. My sister and I would help my mom cut the doughnuts and shake them up in cinnamon sugar or icing sugar. Of course the best part of making doughnuts is eating them while they’re fresh and hot.
Just flipping through the pages of Raincoast Books’ Hand-Forged Doughnuts brought back all those wonderful, sugar induced doughnut memories. I wanted my kids to have similar doughnut making memories so we set-out to make one of the tasty holed concoctions from the Hand-Forged Doughnuts cookbook:
RAISED GLAZED RING DOUGHNUTS
MAKES ONE DOZEN plus a few holes
At TOP POT, the Raised Glazed Doughnuts are cut with a regular doughnut cutter, then stretched and left to rise in our giant proofing oven for an eye-popping final size. At home, it’s easier to make them slightly smaller, so you can fry more than one or two at a time.
Look for mace, which is the spice made from the outer shell of a nutmeg, in your grocery store’s spice aisle.
Since the glaze works best while the doughnuts are still very warm, make the glaze while the doughnuts are rising the second time
3 tbsp (four 1/4 oz/7 g packets) active dry yeast
1 cup/240 ml very warm water (about 105°F/40°C)
1⁄2 cup/100 g plus 1 tbsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp ground mace
2 tsp iodized salt
4 to 4 1⁄2 cups/550 to 620 g bread/strong flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
1⁄4 cup/55 g shortening/vegetable lard, trans-fat-free preferred
3 large egg yolks
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying
Small batch Simplest Vanilla Glaze or Top Pot’s Vanilla Doughnut Glaze
1 hour active time, plus glazing or icing
Doughnut cutter (or 2 1/4 in./7 cm and 1 1/4 in./3 cm round cutters)
- Whisk the yeast, water, and 1 tbsp of the sugar together in the work bowl of a stand mixer and set aside for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1⁄2 cup/100 g sugar, baking powder, mace, salt, and 4 cups/550 g of the bread/strong flour. Set aside.
- Add the shortening/vegetable lard, egg yolks, and vanilla to the foaming yeast mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for 1 minute, to break up the shortening. Add about a third of the dry ingredients and mix until blended on low speed, then repeat with the second third of the dry ingredients.
- Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until no white spots remain each time, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough is dry enough to clean the bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 2 more minutes. (It should be smooth like bread dough, but still a bit tacky.)
- Transfer the dough to a baking sheet/tray sprinkled with 1 tbsp flour, shape into a flat disk 6 in/15 cm in diameter, dust lightly with flour, cover with a dish/tea towel, and set aside.
- Create a proofing box in your oven: Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour 8 cups/2 L of the boiling water into a 9-by-13-in/25-by-35-cm (or similar) baking dish, and set it on the floor of your oven. Place the sheet with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door, and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a roughly 12 in/30 cm circle, about 1⁄2 in/12 mm thick, with a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut into 12 doughnuts, flouring the cutter before each cut, using the big cutter for the outside ring and the small cutter for the inside ring if you don’t have a doughnut cutter. (Reroll the dough for additional doughnuts.) Gently transfer the doughnuts (and holes) to two baking sheets/trays sprinkled with 2 tbsp flour each, arranging them at least 2 in/5 cm apart, and let rise in the oven (with new boiling water), uncovered, for another 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
- Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 in/5 cm deep) in a deep fryer, large pot, or high-sided frying pan over medium heat to 350°F/180°C. When the doughnuts have doubled, carefully place a few in the oil, taking care not to overcrowd them, and fry for about 30 seconds. (Note that the doughnuts will look more brown when they’re done than they do in the oil.) Carefully turn the doughnuts and fry for another 20 to 30 seconds, until golden on the second side, then transfer to a cooling rack set over a layer of paper towels/absorbent paper to cool, rounded side up.
- While the doughnuts are still very warm, dip the rounded side of each into the warm glaze. Let dry on cooling racks, glazed side up, for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.
SIMPLEST VANILLA GLAZE
3 1⁄2 cups/350 g confectioners’/icing sugar, sifted
1 1⁄2 tsp light corn syrup/golden syrup
1⁄4 tsp iodized salt
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄3 cup/75 ml plus 1 tbsp hot water, plus more if needed
5 minutes active time, plus glazing
MAKES: SMALL BATCH: ENOUGH FOR 1 DOZEN CAKE OR RING-SHAPED DOUGHNUTS
Place the confectioners’/icing sugar, corn syrup/golden syrup, salt, vanilla, and hot water (for a small batch, 1⁄3 cup/75 ml plus 1 tbsp) in a large mixing bowl or in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Using a whisk, or with the machine on low speed, blend until the mixture is smooth and all of the sugar has been incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. If the glaze seems too thick, add more hot water, a teaspoon at a time. To glaze, dip one side of each hot doughnut into the warm glaze, and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
I loved that the book gives you guidance to make doughnuts at home, offering tool and cooking suggestions that would work in a home kitchen versus a large industrial kitchen. They also give you directions on making their doughnuts in a pan versus a fryer which is great it you don’t want to invest in a deep fryer for the occasional doughnut making afternoon. I tried both in a pot and using the Hamilton Beach deep fryer and the fryer was actually much easier for me.
Just like when I was young, my kids loved coating our doughnuts in cinnamon sugar and couldn’t wait to sample them. We even made a batch to give to the teachers as a gift.
Hand-Forged Doughnuts offers a great collection of doughnut recipes from Apple Fritters to French Toast Old Fashioned, Doughnut Bread Pudding to Classic Twists. You’ll find classics and varieties new never thought of. There’s even a few gluten-free doughnut recipes included. Finish your doughnuts with the right icing or glaze, with a variety of recipes found at the back of the book.
Nothing beats the taste of homemade doughnuts.
Excerpted from Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker, Copyright © 2011 by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson. Photography by Scott Pitts. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.