Who doesn’t like a classic, fluffy doughnut, simply dipped in chocolate? Oh well I actually like those with a classic glaze ala Krispy Kreme. But seeing that they can be quite sweet for some, chocolate would be a kinder choice, dark chocolate mind you.
I may seem to be on a doughnut craze but I can assure u, it’s not. I was testing out some recipes and also since I haven’t worked with yeast for a while, doughnuts seemed to be the fastest (and most forgiving) yeasted product to make for me.
Sometimes we all want a classic sugar coated doughnut, some of us just want to satisfy our sweet tooth with a classic glaze, and probably most of us, want some finger licking chocolate doughnuts. The all work with the same yeasted dough, deep fried. Just have a little fun with the topping 🙂
Yeast are essentials in breadmaking and in this case of doughnuts, it gives a nice light and airy texture. You can make doughnuts with baking powder but that, really, is more like a cakey doughnut. We all know yeast is a living ‘thing’ but it actually doesn’t work unless it is activated with the right environment or partners. Yeast cells thrive on simple sugars. As the sugars are metabolized, carbon dioxide and alcohol are released into the bread dough, making it rise.
So, for some TIPS on your next yeast-baking adventure,
TIP 1: To test or “proof” yeast to verify whether it’s still active, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water . Sprinkle with 1 packet or 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes. It should be bubbly or foamy on the surface after about 10 minutes. If it doesn’t, the yeast is most probably dead or has loose its effectiveness.
TIP 2: When adding yeast to mixing bow, make sure it doesn’t come in direct contact with salt as it would counter the effect of yeast.
TIP 3: Unopened packages of dry yeast should be stored in a cool dark dry place and used by the “best if used by” date on the package. Opened packages or bulk dry yeast should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months.
These classic doughnuts’ recipe was adapted from Epicurious. Recipe for Basic Sugar Glaze here.
- 1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup whole milk, heated to 43 C
- 2.5 cups (300 to 400g) bread flour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) superfine sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 60g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cut into cubes
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a medium bowl, combine yeast with ¾ cup of the warm milk and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add ¾ cup (about 100g) of the flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the flour mixture rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Once 30 minutes have passed, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining ¼ cup milk (the milk will be room temperature at this point). Add the rested flour mixture along with the vanilla and egg yolks and mix on low until the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Turn off the mixer and add 1 cup of flour, along with the sugar and salt. Mix on medium until the dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix on medium until it's incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the paddle attachment from the mixer, and switch to the dough hook. Start adding the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time (turning the mixer off for each addition) and knead the dough on medium until it completely pulls away from the side of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky, about 1 minute.
- The dough will be very soft and moist but not so sticky that you can't roll it out. (For this step, you may only need to use as little as ¼ cup flour, so there may be flour leftover.)
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Once 30 minutes have passed, gently press down on the dough to remove any gas bubbles then chill, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
- When ready to roll out the dough, line a baking sheet with a lightly floured non-terry towel. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to a ½-inch thickness.
- Using doughnut or cookie cutters, cut out 3-inch-diameter rounds with 1-inch-diameter holes. (For filled doughnuts, don't cut out the holes.)
- Arrange the doughnuts on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between doughnuts. Cover the doughnuts loosely with plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. Check to see if the doughnuts are ready every 5 to 10 minutes.
- To test, use a fingertip to lightly touch one of the doughnuts. If the dough springs back immediately, it needs more time; if it springs back slowly, it's ready; and if the dough doesn't spring back at all, it's over-proofed. You can punch down and reroll over-proofed dough once.
- While the doughnuts are proofing, line a baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels and place a wire rack on top of the towels. In a heavy-bottomed large pot or deep fryer, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 175 C.
- Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer as done to the wire rack and return the oil to 175 C between batches. Let the doughnuts cool slightly before glazing with a basic sugar glaze or chocolate glaze .
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