Donuts! One simple word, two feelings.
- I love them! I really love donuts! Every single donut: cake donuts, yeast donuts, filled donuts (we call them bomboloni in Italy, or Krapfen, the German name). I just love them all. But I don’t exaggerate with them. I never go crazy eating 3 donuts (well, I did a couple of times in my life - such as when I went to Woodoo Doughnuts in Portland - but honestly who didn’t?!). I usually behave like a good girl…I have them seldomly and, thus, when I have them, I do so without guilt.
- I am (was) afraid of frying. Yeah, you heard me. I was terrified at the idea of a pot with hot oil in front of me and anything splashing in it. I’ve tried to make French fries a couple of times and my experience has always ended with burnt-outside-uncooked-inside French fries or with super duper greasy ones that tasted nothing but the oil. This fear of frying always meant I could not make neither all those yummy Carnival sweets we have in Italy nor donuts.
Until a few days ago...when I tackled this month Daring Bakers’ Challenge. You see? I always thought that signing up to the Daring Bakers Challenges was a great way to force me (hmmm to stimulate me J ) to make things I would have never dared to make otherwise. And I have to say it worked particularly well this month. I meant to overcome my fear of frying for a long time and finally…I did! Done! Gone! Part of my past! I succeeded this challenge by making the Cake Donuts but hold tight…donuts and other delicious fried goodies will come back haunting this blog very soon!
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.
Here is the recipe for the cake donuts as given to us by Lori. Cake donuts are not my favorite type of donuts but I thought I started with them as I did not have the time for yeast donuts to rise. They are, though, Wally’s favorite, which meant that they were over in a matter of a day and half! Don’t forget to check out the other Daring Bakers results! I’m sure it will be a great drooling exercise!
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cake Donuts
Yields about 15 donuts and donut holes
60 gr (2 oz or ¼ cup) sour cream
455 gr (16 oz or 3 ¼ cup) all purpose flour + extra for dusting surface
170 gr (6 oz or ¾ cup) sugar
3 gr (1/2 tsp) baking soda
5 gr (1 tsp) baking powder
5 gr (1 tsp) Kosher salt (If using table salt, only use ½ teaspoon)
8 gr (1.5 tsp) nutmeg, grated
3.5 gr (1 1/8 tsp) active dry yeast
210 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
15 ml (1 tbsp) pure vanilla extract
65 gr (2.3 oz or ¼ cup) confectioners’ sugar (to decorate)
In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the sour cream until just warm.
Heat the oil to 375°F/190°C.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, the sugar, the baking soda, the baking powder, the salt, and the nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well and pour the sour cream over it. Allow it to soften (if using packed fresh yeast), for about 1 minute.
Pour the buttermilk, the whole egg, the egg yolks, and the vanilla extract into the well.
Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix until it is completely incorporated. The dough will be very sticky. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.
Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour. You don’t want the doughnuts sticking to your counter. (I have to say, I did not have to add too much flour) Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the surface; sift another layer of flour over the dough.
Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness. Dip the cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the donuts and the holes. Place them on a floured surface. Working quickly, gather scraps of dough together, pat into 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness, and cut out the remaining donuts and holes.
Drop three to four donuts at a time into the hot oil. Once they turn golden brown, turn them and cook the other side. Cooking times may vary but it should take about 20 to 30 seconds per side.
Once cooked, place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain.
Sift powdered sugar over donuts and serve.
Have a super sweet day!