American Classic Doughnuts
Everybody loves a "holed" classic doughnut. Especially the thinly glazed ones.
For some reason, people tend to gravitate toward the traditional made doughnut when put next to the thick glazed and colorful variants.
We seem to have an appetite for things in "balance", when fat and sugar are in equal or near equal ratios.
That's probably the reason why cake is the big contestor of this delicious treat.
- 350 g strong flour
- 24 cl whole milk
- 2 ½ tsp dry yeast
- 30 g powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 3 yolks
- 110 g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 5 to 6 tbsp water
- 10 to 15 drops lemon juice
You will need extra flour to bring the dough to the right consistency when kneading.
- Take half of the flour and blend with yeast.
- The milk should be lukewarm, between 35°C to 40°C. Body temperature is perfect. When you put your finger in the milk, you shouldn't feel warmth nor cold.
- Add some of the milk to the flour-yeast mix, gradually add more until you have a paste. Let it react for 15 to 20 minutes in a warm place.
- Blend the flour-yeast mix with yolks, salt, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Mix sugar and softened butter (do not melt) until smooth and creamy.
- Blend this mixture with the previous one. Add the rest of the flour and knead. Best to use a stand- or hand mixer with kneading attachments.
- At this point, the trick is to add just enough flower until the dough has a non-sticking, tender consistency. Do this by adding flour one table spoon at a time.
- Stop adding flour when the dough starts to pull away from the bowl wall. Keep kneading 5 minutes more, if hands are used knead 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft and elastic. If it sticks to your fingers, add another table spoon of flour.
- Cover dough with a clean kitchen towel (cling film works too) and let it proof for 45 minutes at room temperature. After, punch the air out of the dough with your fists.
- Roll out the dough to a thickness of 13 mm (approx. the thickness of a AA battery).
- Using a 7,5 - 8 cm (3 inch) doughnut cutter, cut out the shapes and lay them on a with flour dusted surface (a large serving- or baking tray) .
- Let the doughnuts proof in a warm place (approx. 35°C) to double in size. This can go from 10 to 30 minutes. The proofing is done when you gently dent the dough with the fingertip and the hole hardly jumps back. If it jumps back quickly more proofing is needed.
- Heat a pan with at least 5 cm of frying oil. Best oils are arachis (peanut) and culinary olive oil (not virgin or extra virgin as they have a bitter after taste). Measure with a cooking thermometer to read a temperature of 185°C.
- Use a wide spatula to carefully introduce the doughnuts into the hot oil. Try not to press on the dough too much. Fry approximately 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.
- Remove from oil and place doughnuts on paper towel on a clean surface.
The glazing should happen while the doughnuts are warm, after the frying oil drains on the paper towel. Always use warm glaze on warm doughnuts for best results.
- Add water to icing sugar and stir well until smooth and silky.
- Add 10 to 15 drops of lemon juice or until satisfied with the taste.
- Warm up glaze in a deep dish (or small bowl) a little larger than the doughnut. the temperature should be between 45°C and 50°C. It gives the best glazing results.
- Dip half of the warm doughnut in the sugar solution and let drain on a rack, over the previously used paper towels.
- Dip the other half of the doughnut in the glaze if you so wish. Use the microwave to keep glaze temperature to the above values.
- A more economic way of applying the glaze is by using a pastry brush. The sugar layer shouldn't be to thick otherwise it will overpower the dough taste. A light layer will do.
- Let the glaze on the doughnuts solidify. If possible in the refrigerator.
Tools used: Hand mixer (or stand mixer), 8 cm (3 inch) doughnut cutter, measuring spoons, silicone spatula, strainer, sieve.