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Monday, August 20, 2012

Classic Glazed Doughnuts {Crispy & Creamy}

Can I just say "WOAH!"? Homemade doughnuts  Seriously! Until this weekend we've never attempted to make traditional fried doughnuts! We'd tried baked doughnuts and were thoroughly disappointed with the results of that recipe. And then my husband and I decided that  if we were going to be eating doughnuts we weren't really going for a health factor, since doughnuts aren't listed on the list of top 10 superfoods or anything.  So why waste calories on baked doughnuts when you can have melt in your mouth, creamy, and crispy doughnuts for just as much effort?  I don't see any reason to!  

I found this recipe via pinterest. The picture linked me to where I saw this recipe had 4.5 stars (out of 5) and had 790 reviews. I read some reviews and decided if 790 people gave this that high of a rating then I really had nothing to loose!  We had wanted to invite some friends over for doughnuts but we afraid they wouldn't turn out good enough to serve to guests. We were ever so wrong to be afraid! They turned out perfect! So we took them to some friends and family and then my husband took the rest to work to share with his buddies.  

The dough is similar to bread dough in that it's yeast based and you knead it by hand or with a mixer and it rises a few times.  The difference is that it has more sugar, eggs, milk,  and butter mixed into the dough. After you prepare the dough (I have very specific instructions below how to do everything in this recipe) you let it rise, then you roll the dough out and cut with cookie cutters, a doughnut cutter, or into bars or squares with a pizza cutter. They rise one more time, and then are fried in hot oil.  Then glazed and devoured!  It's a little time consuming. But the results are worth it! 

Making homemade doughnuts will be a yearly summer and/or fall tradition at our house.  We kind of hate the smell of frying in the house so we did it outside on our camp-stove in the dutch oven (see my notes below for more on that)! I deem these doughnuts Krispy Kreme quality! Maybe even better than Krispy Kreme because they are homemade, and that makes everything better, right?

Now what are you waiting for? Go make some doughnuts!  

Classic Glazed Doughnuts {Crispy & Creamy}
2 tablespoons instant yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 ½ cups lukewarm milk
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
⅓ cup butter
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

⅓ cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water (or as needed)

1. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast (unless you are using dry active yeast, then proof yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy), water, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes with stand mixer on low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon if you don’t have a mixer. Mix until smooth. Beat in remaining flour ½ cup at a time, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (you don't have to stick to the 5-6 cups, I judge the dough by the way it cleans the sides of the bowl, once it does that you know you have enough flour). Knead for about 5 minutes on high speed, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it and an indentation remains.

2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter, cookie cutter, or simply into squares or rectangles with a pizza cutter. Let doughnuts sit on the floured surface to rise again until double (30-40 minutes). Cover loosely with a clean towel.

3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

4. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula or metal tongs (don’t squish them with the tongs). Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface (they may not sink, and that’s okay - yeast produces lots of air and makes them rise to the top). Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.


-You can make the doughnuts first and let them cool and dip them into the warm glaze too. Depends on if you want a fresh, hot doughnut. 

-Also I didn’t have a candy thermometer. My meat thermometer only goes to 300 degrees and I didn’t want to ruin it by dipping it into hot oil. So what we did was cook these outside on our gas camp stove (I hate the smell of fried oils in my house) in our Dutch oven. We heated the oil on medium and it was too hot, I tested it by throwing a small blob of dough in and it turned dark brown fast. I ripped it open and the middle of the doughnut was still doughy but the outside was really too brown.  So we added more oil and turned the heat off for a while, since oil takes a long time to cool off. After I added almost twice the oil it was the right temperature, as it cooled we turned the gas stove back on to low and that was perfect. It takes about 20-30 seconds per side to cook the doughnut through and still be golden brown on the outside.

Recipe Source: lightly adapted from Allrecipes found via Pinterest.

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