Some people keep lists and calendars to remind themselves of food holidays: National Raisin Bran Cereal Day, International Nacho Day, Lobster Thermidor Day, and so on. I prefer to keep track of these things the way nature intended: by taking a morning peek at Facebook and noticing doughnuts everywhere. Doh! It’s national Doughnut Day! I was caught off-guard, but it was early in the day so I had time to recover.
I made baked yeasted doughnuts that you can really sink your teeth into. If you like those soft, lighter-than-air Krispy Kreme things, don’t make these. These are to those what Guinness Stout is to cotton candy (it’s also National Mixed Metaphor Day, by the way).
I didn’t have access to a stand mixer today so I started these mixing in the food processor and finished up by hand. I also couldn’t find anything to cut out holes with, so instead of the more traditional roll-and-cut-out method of shaping, I simply formed balls, poked holes in them and stretched them out. They looked a little sloppy at first, but evened out during the bake.
Yeasted Baked Doughnuts
Yield: 8 large doughnuts
- Mix: 10 minutes
- First fermentation : 3 hours, with a fold at 1.5 hours
- Divide, rest, and shape: 30 minutes
- Proof: 1.5 hours
- Bake: about 20 minutes
- 350 grams flour
- 182 grams milk, lukewarm
- 53 grams (1 large) egg
- 30 grams butter at room temperature
- 3 grams (1 teaspoon) instant yeast
- 4 grams salt (2/3 teaspoon)
- 75 grams sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- sugar mixed with spices of your choice, to taste (I used a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander)
- Combine flour, milk, egg, butter, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process until the ingredients are incorporated. The dough will still seem fairly stiff at this point.
- Add the sugar in three or four increments, processing for several seconds after each.
- Continue processing, or mix by hand on the counter, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (My processor’s motor warmed up and stopped periodically during this process, so I finished by hand.)
- Ferment the dough in a lightly-buttered container at room temperature for 3 hours, folding the dough after 1.5 hours.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces of 75 – 80 grams each.
- Form each piece into a ball by lightly cupping it under your hand and rolling it in a circular motion on the unfloured counter.
- Cover the balls lightly with a cloth and let them rest for 20 minutes.
- With lightly-buttered fingers, poke a hole in the center of each ball and stretch it to a doughnut shape. Place the doughnuts on a parchemtn-lined or buttered baking sheet.
- Slip the baking sheet into a large plastic bag. Proof for 1.5 hours, until the indentation left by a light finger press springs back slowly.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake just until barley starting to brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- While the doughnuts are baking, melt the stick of butter and prepare your sugar/spice mixture to taste.
- While still hot, brush the doughnuts with butter and roll them in spiced sugar.