Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Baker’s October Challenge/ 7. Doughnuts

This entry has a semi-dual purpose, one a qualified success and the other one a total fail. Let’s start with the positive.
(I did not have a doughnut cutter; so, I used a cookie cutter and pastry tip.)

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious. After much recommendation and fanfair, I choose the Alton Brown Yeast Doughnut recipe. I was excited to try this recipe. I was trepadatious about two things however, 1) working with yeast [it never likes me] and 2) frying.

So, the Daring Baker’s part of the doughnuts were a quailified success in that I completed the challenge, but the results were not what was expected. Due to other commitments this month, I waited until the 26th to make the doughnuts. Therefore, when things went wrong, I did not have the opportunity to run to the store to buy or replace ingredients.

My doughnuts came out like fried dinner rolls. That is because I did not have any all purpose flour. I had to make due with bread flour. But, even more pressing on the texture of my doughnuts was that all of my yeast was dead. I tried all three envelopes and I got no foaming action when added to the hot water. So, instead of scraping the recipe and wasting the ingredients already mixed, I added two teaspons of baking powder to the last half of flour and then followed the rest of the recipe, minus the resting time to rise.

(I could not wait to fry all the doughnuts to take a bite. 
1st doughnut out of 1st batch--still warm and super yummy!)

I included the recipe below as I planned to follow it (adapted from Alton Brown’s recipt). Please be sure to check the other’s Dbers sucessful and gorgeous doughnuts.

(Doughnut holes)

So, now let’s talk abou the failure. Making doughnuts was on My Top 100 list. I was thinking “Great!” when the doughnut challenge was announced for daring bakers; “I can kill two birds with one stone.”

However, since I did not have the right flour or yeast and I was not happy with the texture, I deem this a fail, an incomplete. It will not count towards completetion of an item on my list. So, “7” in the title needs to be scrathed out… techincally.

Lastly, look to a post at the end of this month (or beginning of next) updating My Top 100 list to reflect completed items and additions to the list.

(Fresh out the fryer and pre sugar coating)

Yeast Doughnuts (modified from Alton Brown’s Recipe)

3/4 cup Milk
35 gm Butter
1 pk/ 1/4 oz Active Dry Yeast
40 ml Warm Water
1 Large Egg beaten
1 oz White Granulated Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
Vegtable Oil


1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter.

2. Place the butter in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. 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 butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, vanilla and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.

5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

6. 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. If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick.

9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.

11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown.

12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Immediatey shake in a mixture of sugar and spices (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice) blend for coating.


  1. Sorry to hear about the flour and yeast problems, but your photos look super. But I admire your determination in persisting with all your problems. Lovely work. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. I definitely wouldn't classify this as a fail... just an experiment! :) Great job working with what you had and persevering with the challenge.

  3. Hi,

    They have come out beautifully well...real yumm..:)