October 27, 2010

I believe I can fry….thanks to the October Daring Bakers Challenge!

Donuts! One simple word, two feelings.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!


  1. I am also a bit "fry-phobic". I think that I will follow your lead and hope that doughnuts can cure me.

  2. So glad you were able to overcome your fear of frying! Frying is definitely not my thing either, but sometimes it's worth it. Your doughnuts look great, and I sure hope they tasted great too.

  3. I'm not the biggest fan of frying either. Even donuts! I bought a donut pan and have used that to make donuts. So glad to see that you got past your fear of frying. Maybe I will someday also! :]

  4. Hello dear Sara.... I was a frying virgin until this year. Now... I fry all sorts of things when I have the chance. However, I have never ever tried making donuts.. they look delicious and I am glad you went for this challenge! My next up is French Fries.. I will let you know if they turn out or not!

  5. Good for you overcoming your frying fears and the results look great here. As beautiful as the actual doughnuts are, I'm also eyeing the doughnut holes. When I was in high school, I loved going to the local bakery to pick up doughnut holes as a snack. Congrats!

  6. I'm afraid to frying for a totally different reason: fried foods terrify me with all of their greasy calories. This feeling is the remnant of an eating disorder. Donuts might just be the way to get over that fear!

  7. I'm so glad you went for it even though you're afraid of frying! I agree, frying can be scary at first but then it's not a big deal anymore. Your donuts look sooo delicious. I would glady eat them all for you. I had a lot of fun with this challenge, it was my first one!

  8. Congratulations on overcoming the fear. We do a lot of frying here, so I was never scared. But I still haven't made doughnuts yet. They look aamzing :)

  9. I have my own deep frying phobia... never done it, but with these pictures and donut recipes I'm seeing I'm almost tempted!

  10. What a beautiful job you did there! I love donuts as well but grew up with the German Krapfen (mmmhhhh, I'm craving those now) I also have a fear of deep frying. Your post convinces me to give this donut business another chance though :o)

  11. I've never tried frying donuts. You did an awesome job at overcoming fears!

  12. You use a thermometer, right? If you have one of those for frying, you never need to be afraid of the wrong temp.

    You did an excellent job with those donuts! Bring them when you visit, ok? :)

  13. Love this! It totally takes trying once to get over the fear of frying. Looks great!

  14. They look delicious! I conclude these are a dangerous thing to know how to make - it just opens the door to make many more... Great job!

  15. Your doughnuts look delicious! I was going to try to make both yeast and cake doughnuts but I didn't have enough time. It's good to know the cake recipe was good too!

  16. Gorgeous donuts! Cake donuts are definitely my favorite--all the better for dunking in coffee! Great job on this challenge! :)

  17. I'm really happy I overcome my frying phobia. And actually, Christiane, I did not have a thermometer when I fried these! I bought my first one a couple of days after. I used a tip from my mom, who always fried without a thermometer. All went well but now I'm happy I got one!
    Next stop: filled donuts! Koci, I need to try them with the dulce de leche like you did!

  18. Yum is right! I want to see you do some filled ones too! Shouldn't be drooling over those before bed!

  19. congratulations on you frying successs! these donuts look amazing!

  20. I HATE to fry! But you might have convinced me to give it another try!

  21. It does indeed look like you can fry! These look like they turned out wonderfully. I had a lot of fun with this challenge, and made the cake donuts too. Mine turned into spooky halloween treats for my 3 year old though:)

  22. I really do love doughnuts and I wanted to pass on a lovely blog award to you, if you'd like it, pay me a visit! Have a great day!

  23. Io non ho paura di friggere ma semplicemente non mi piace però ogni tanto faccio uno strappo alla regola perché i dolci fritti, donuts comprese, sono troppo buoni!

  24. OMG Thank you Cristina! I did not even know I made it to the top 9! yay!

  25. I have that frying phobia also. Congrats on the Top 9.

  26. this looks very good. mmmm ..wish i had one right now. thank you for sharing this.

  27. I'm afraid of frying too. You definitely conquered your fear here...yum :)

  28. i really really like the name of this post. too hilarious.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.