Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Daring Bakers: Doughnuts
This is my first ever Daring Bakers Challenge. And, let me tell you, it turned out worlds better for me than my first Daring Cooks Challenge. 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.
I can already see that this challenge is going to be a total "gateway drug" for me. See, I've always had this fear of deep frying. But, we pulled out the Fry Daddy for the occasion and found that, really, frying isn't so bad. And the results were soooo good. Too good.
Let's start from the beginning. I chose the pumpkin doughnut recipe from the ones Lori had posted. Since it was a crisp fall day when I decided to tackle the challenge, it seemed appropriate. Mixing the dough was easy--no different than any other dough. Waiting while the dough chilled was not easy. It never is. Waiting is not my strong suit.
I didn't have biscuit cutters, so I ended up using a juice glass for the "big" cut, and a shooter for the hole. They turned out just fine using these instruments, and it made me feel better that I didn't have to buy new equipment for the challenge.
As always, patting out the dough, cutting it, gathering the scraps, and re-patting them out got tedious. This is why I hate cut-out cookies. I know, at some point, I'm going to have to get used to the idea. Kids, in my experience, love using cookie cutters, and I really want to be the kind of mom that will let my child choose the recipes we bake together, regardless of the procedure. So, I'm thinking I need to warm up to the roll-and-cut process in the next few years.
The end result was amazing doughnuts. They had a crunch on the outside, and a soft, chewy cake texture on the inside. I ate way too many on the first day. By the second day, they had lost the crunchy exterior. Still, they were better than any store-bought doughnut I could buy--even in the little bakery down the road that specializes in doughnuts.
I should mention that I left my doughnuts completely unadorned. No glaze. No powdered sugar. Nothing. I just felt like that would be gilding the lily.
And, so I've made my gateway recipe. Now I find myself daydreaming about cider doughnuts, chocolate doughnuts, gingerbread doughnuts, yeasted doughnuts, jelly doughnuts...Oh my, Daring Bakers, what have you done to me?
Cost: $0.21 for 1 doughnut and 2 doughnut holes
Yup, you read that right. You get 1 doughnut AND two doughnut holes for just 21 cents. Next time you go to that big chain, think about how high their mark-up must be!