suguared doughnuts

The baking crew is back! And we’re on a mission … of sorts. We’ve decided to bake our way through Thomas Keller & Sebastien Rouxel’s Bouchon Bakery cookbook.

One recipe at a time.

We started with Keller’s sugared doughnuts recipe.
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Mother of pearl!

Delicious. They are delicious. A brioche dough … shaped into doughnuts … fried in some oil … and then covered in sugar. And filled with lemon curd. Or filled with whipped chocolate. Or topped with freshly flaked coconut.

For realz. Awesome eh?

Ok so this recipe excites me because … well if you remember the last time I tried making brioche (with the baking crew) … it was not as successful as I had hoped it would be.

But this time … this time I rocked it! I totally got it. Even with a slight typo in the recipe.

I got it.

And the result was … PERRRRR-FECT.

Are you excited? Are you feeling an urge to make homemade doughnuts? (believe me … these doughnuts will make you a lover of fried dough)

Meredith, Cory and I were so excited to make them that we fried them up … OUTSIDE. in -20 temperatures. In the snow. With a windchill.

And … it was fun. Especially when we all popped our first doughnuts into our mouths … freshly rolled in sugar and filled with cream.

The best baking challenge yet (the entire baking crew agree).

A couple of things to take into consideration when working with this recipe:

You have to allow for the dough to rise in your refrigerator overnight. So start this before going to bed.

Secondly …you should probably get yourself a scale. I’ll post the recipe in weights and measures (since that’s how they write it in the book); however I used my scale when following the recipe.

Other than those two points … this is a pretty standard recipe. And if you’re new to bread making / are apprehensive about making dough … give this one a try. I promise it’ll work. Believe me. I know how you feel. Been there. Done that.

So pull out your instant yeast and flour and get busy. You won’t regret trying this recipe out.

Thomas Keller’s sugared doughnut recipe
ingredients:
518g / 3 1/2 c. + 3 tbsp flour
10g / 1 tbsp instant yeast
74g / 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp sugar
9g / 1 tbsp salt
212g / 3/4 c. + 1 1/2 tbsp milk, warmed to 75 F
111g / 2 eggs
9g / 1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
57g / 2 ounces butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes

canola oil for frying
sugar to coat the doughnuts
lemon curd to fill doughnuts

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To make the dough. Place the flour and yeast in the bowl of your stand-mixer fitted with your dough hook. Mix for about 15 seconds just so that the yeast gets evenly distributed.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the butter, and mix on low speed for 4 minutes.

Now, continue to knead the dough for a further 30 minutes (your stand-mixer will likely feel warm, it should be fine). Add the small cubes of butter, one piece at a time, allowing it to be incorporated into the dough before adding more butter.

After 30 minutes (all the butter should have been added at this point), turn off the stand-mixer, scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, push the dough off the hook: resume kneading on a low speed for another 5 minutes.

Run a spatula over the sides and bottom of the bowl and release the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. You only need enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

With your hands, gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape.

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As you can see from the picture above, you’ll want to stretch the left side of the dough out and then fold it over two-thirds of the dough (as though you are folding a letter into an envelope). Once the left side is folded in, repeat the process with the right side. Once that is done, do the exact same thing, working from the bottom and then the top.

That’s it.

20130124-194853.jpgFlip the dough over, seam side down and place it in your bowl (that you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.

1 hour later … use a spatula to release the sides and bottom of the dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

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You’ll do the same thing as you did the first time you stretched and folded the dough; only this time, you’ll cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To roll out the dough & shape the doughnuts.

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On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, flipping and fluffing it (basically you just want to roll the dough, take your hand and gently lift the dough from the work surface, then turn the dough clockwise, repeat) into an 11-inch round.

Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes); long enough to allow the dough to be more manageable.

Line another sheet with parchment paper, spray the parchment with non-stick spray (this is an important step), set aside.

Remove the dough from the fridge, and using your 3-inch round cookie cutters, cut out your doughnuts. The recipe says that you should get 8 rounds … I got 16 rounds.

If you just want to fill your doughnuts with pastry cream, whipped chocolate, lemon curd, etc. leave them as is. However, if you want to make doughnuts with holes; grab a small round cookie cutter and cut the centre out of your 3-inch rounds.

Save the mini rounds. They make pretty fabulous mini doughnuts.

To proof the doughnuts. Cover the baking sheet with a plastic tub or a cardboard box and proof for 60 to 90 minutes. The doughnuts will double in size; or when the dough is gently pressed, a small imprint will remain.

To fry the doughnuts. If you’re like me … you go over to a friend’s place and he sets up an awesome fryer outside so that his apartment doesn’t stink up (thank you Cory!). Or if you’re like Tom and Aimee you can use an indoor deep-fryer … both of these things make frying the doughnuts pretty simple.

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If you don’t have one of these options … you can pour 3 inches of oil into a Dutch oven or a heavy stockpot; the oil shouldn’t come up more than 1/3rd of the way up the sides of the pot, but it needs to be deep enough to allow the doughnuts to fry freely.

Heat the oil to 350 F.

Set a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet, pour the sugar into a shallow bowl.

If you have a set of chopsticks you should pull them out for this part. They work perfectly for flipping the doughnuts in the oil and pulling them out of the oil. They are long enough that you keep your hands and fingers away from the oil while still controlling flipping the doughnuts.

Gently drop as many doughnuts as can fit into the pot. Fry on the second side for 45 seconds. Flip them over again and fry for a further 45 seconds, or until they are a rich golden brown.

Transfer the batch to the wire rack, and continue frying more of your doughnuts.

You want to roll them in the sugar while they are still warm (don’t worry, they cool enough to handle pretty quickly). If filling – allow the doughnuts to cool completely before using a piping bag and filling the doughnuts with your favourite flavours.

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That’s it.

All done. As you can see … it’s not an overly difficult or tricky recipe. You might be nervous to try it for any number of reasons: making dough, frying in oil, etc. But really, you should give it a try. It will make you a believer in doughnuts.

As you can see … the entire baking crew had a great time (and were pretty darn successful) in making a batch of these …

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mini pumpkin donuts

pumpkin donuts
Are you a little baked out after all that Holiday baking?

I hate to admit it … but I am baked out.

December was spent in the kitchen whipping up eggnog eclairs (numerous batches … a very popular treat), monkey bread, coconut-pecan sticky buns, coconut-date sticky buns, double chocolate gingerbread cookies, sweet & salty brownies, cranberry bliss bars, toffee coconut oreo squares, lemon tarts, chocolate-cranberry tarts, apple chocolate chip spice cake, chocolate ganache cheesecakes, double chocolate pecan tarts, cupcakes (so many cupcakes) … and these.

pumpkinspicedonut

Pumpkin donuts.

Ridiculously delicious.  These donuts quickly found a place in my stomach.  And my heart.

I found the original inspiration (and recipe) for this on pinterest.  It was the kind of picture that made me go … “yeah … I need to try this”; and then when I clicked on the blog, blueeyedbakers, I was hooked.

It’s a winner of a recipe.

Plus … they are dead easy to make.  The only caveat is that you need a mini donut baking pan.

I know … yet another thing to add to your kitchen.  But believe me … once you make these donuts and try them … you’ll be hooked.  And just like me … you’ll end up making a batch of these every week.  For a month.

And again  … even when you’re all baked out.

Because they’re that good.

spices 6

mini pumpkin spiced donuts

ingredients:
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. buttermilk

Heat your oven to 350 F.  Spray your mini donut pan with non-stick spay.  Set aside.

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In the bowl of your stand-mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, canned pumpkin and buttermilk together.  This shouldn’t take too long – you want everything to be nicely mixed together.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves together.

Turn off the stand-mixer, pour in the dry ingredients, and then beat together on the lowest speed.  You want the flour to be incorporated, but you don’t want to over-mix the batter (it’s considered a cake batter, so treat it the same when mixing).
piping the dough 2

Grab a piping bag (no tip required) and fill it with the batter; then pipe each donut round with the batter.

I only have one donut pan, so I filled the twelve holes and placed the pan in the oven.  Bake for 8 minutes.  The donuts are ready when you press against them and they spring back.

baked donuts cooling 2

Remove from the oven, and turn them out immediately onto a wire rack.  That’s when I toss my donut pan into the freezer.  I want to cool it down quickly so that I can bake off the rest of the donuts.  I tend to get 18 donuts out of the batter.  18 perfect little bites of joy.

But the work doesn’t end here.

Nope.

Now we make them extra-delicious.

Melted butter + cinnamon sugar = delectable donuts.

cinnamon-sugar coating:

ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan.

Once the butter has melted, take your mini donuts and lightly dunk them in the melted butter, pull them out, shake them a little (get rid of the excess butter), and then put them in your cinnamon-sugar bowl.

In order to not get clumpy sugar, take a large spoon, and spoon the sugar over your donut.  Make sure you spoon over the entire thing.  Take the donut out and place it to cool completely on your wire-rack.
side view sugared donuts

Or eat one immediately.  That’s what I do.

If I still haven’t been able to convince you to give this recipe a chance … here are another couple of reasons:

1.  Since you bake them, rather than fry them, you kitchen smells delightfully like pumpkin and spices, rather than hot oil!

2.  They taste just as good the following day.  Kept in an airtight container at room temperature, you’ll not only have an afternoon treat today … but tomorrow … and the day after.

3.  Baked’s pumpkin chocolate-chip loaf is the most popular recipe on my blog.  So if you’re already using a can of pumpkin purée for the loaf … you might as well make a batch of these donuts as well.  Think about it … you’ll get a double bang for your buck when you buy pumpkin purée.

Are you sold yet?

I thought so!

red and white event

It’s that time of year …

We’ve all celebrated the holidays with our families and loved ones.

We’ve all indulged a little more than we would otherwise deem “acceptable” … plentiful plates of food, second servings, dessert with every meal … perhaps an extra cookie before bed.

Isn’t that what December is all about? Allowing ourselves to embrace our indulgences … knowing that it’s only for a limited time.

Then comes January.

We are full of resolutions. No baked treats. No extra special meals that stuff our tummies and create food memories. Nope. January is all about resolving ourselves to become our very best self.

BOO.

Well … not to the “being the best that I can be” part. That’s a good thing to strive for. But restricting our diets? Limiting the pleasure we get out of our food? WHY do we do this to ourselves?

We shouldn’t.

And I have just the solution.

Come and join me at Harmony House’s Red and White Event. It was my favourite food event of 2012 … and I’m simply beyond excited at what this year will offer.

Not only do you get to eat great food; you can also sample some delicious local wines and beer, AND (here’s the really important part) you get to help support a super important cause.

Harmony House.

It’s a second-stage shelter for women and children fleeing violence and need a place to go. It provides them the support that they need while they get themselves back on their feet. It offers people hope in a safe environment. It’s there to help members of our community.

Doesn’t helping your community sound like a good resolution to make for 2013?

By buying a ticket and attending … you help a great cause. Plus you will eat delicious food, enjoy a drink or two … and get entertained by some pretty incredible Chefs while you’re at it.

Last year it was Chefs Michael Blackie and Lora Kirk. They knocked it out of the park. Not only was their food delicious (the best potato salad of my entire life) …but their engaging and enthusiastic food demonstrations had us all in the palms of their hands.

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This year we’ll get to sample dishes from Caroline Ishii of Zen Kitchen (her dish at Clam Jam still makes my mouth water in delight). Katie Brown of Beckta (I haven’t eaten much of her food … but what I have sampled has made me very happy … pizza soup anyone???). Last, but not least, is Sarah Allen of UnionLocal613. Not only a talented chef, Sarah also coordinated nine female chefs (Chefs Ishii & Brown among them) for Clam Jam: End Violence Against Women Charity Dinner In Support of Harmony House.. Nine memorable dishes inspired by childhood memories. It’s only fitting that she participates in the Red & White Event.

Doesn’t that sound like the kind of resolution you want to keep?

Wednesday, January 16th @ 7 pm at Ashbury College (362 Mariposa Ave.).

Tickets are available here. Put your money where your intentions and resolutions are …. it’ll make you feel sooooo good you won’t have to even *think* about restricting your diet this year!

*authors note: chef charlotte langley was supposed to participate as well (as per the poster included in this blog) … but due to unforeseeable circumstances she isn’t able to attend.*