To me, little else is better than the almighty donut (or doughnut). From the slightly crunchy exterior provided by its thin layer of glaze, to its soft, chewy interior, to the fact that it only requires just one hand to eat (hell yeah!), I absolutely find them to be the perfect little dessert.
Lately, it seems as though everywhere I turn I see some new take on this classic confection. As I browse through Instagram, I am inundated with photo after photo of these tiny tempting treats, and the number of specialty shops that offer exotic flavors like Hibiscus, Mole, and Passion Fruit, like Dough Brooklyn in BedStuy, a neighborhood I often visited while growing up, but never imagined would one day be home to an artisanal donut shop, and Doughnut Plant, now opening its first Brooklyn location within the former Yummy Taco on Atlantic Avenue, are increasingly on the rise. But I digress! While I’m sure these shops know what they’re doing when it comes to preparing donuts (and I’ve been known to snack on a Dough donut or two), I often find it difficult to justify spending about $4 each time I have a craving for something I’ll devour in absolutely no time flat.
So, with all of this in mind and with National Donut Day taking place just two days ago, my interest in preparing these delectable little desserts has once again peaked, and for today’s Fiesta Friday I bring you Maple, Lemon, & White Chocolate Glazed Donuts!
Yesterday was the perfect day to do a little baking and as the sun set and the rain fell, preparing the dough for these donuts was quite the enjoyable experience. When I’m trying a recipe for the first time, like the one for these yeasty donuts, it’s easy to sometimes feel just a little intimidated because I may not have all of the fancy gadgets that it requires. Nevertheless, one thing I love about blogging is that it helps to push me past my boundaries and half the fun is finding creative ways to make it all happen. For instance, as of yet, I do not own an oil thermometer, but I read online that one can tell if the oil is ready for frying one of two ways:
- Sticking the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and if it begins to bubble then your oil is ready to go.
- Throwing a single popcorn kernel into the oil and if it pops that means the oil is at the desired temperature between 350° and 360° F and you can begin the frying process.
So while, yes, these options may not be foolproof, they temporarily do the trick until my budget allows me to go on a crazy culinary shopping spree at Williams-Sonoma ::sigh:: In the meantime, I’ve definitely got wooden spoons and popcorn kernels, so let’s get cooking, shall we?
I prepared the dough a day in advance because it requires a number of hours to leaven, and saved the frying part for today. They really did not take more than a minute per side to cook and came out soft and fluffy, just like I hoped. I used the glaze sparingly due to personal preference because if you know anything about me, you know that I have a great dislike of frostings, icings, or fillings (as a child I used to squeeze all of the jelly out of jelly donuts. Kind of defeats the purpose, right?), but go crazy if you dare! Also, if white chocolate, maple, or lemon glaze just isn’t your thing, Saveur offers recipes for 13 different Glorious Glazes, so have fun, I definitely intend to!
Maple, Lemon & White Chocolate Glazed Donuts
Recipe credit: Food & Wine
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 extra-large yolk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- About 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more sifted flour for dusting
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk with the shortening over low heat until the shortening is almost melted. In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the warm water, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and let stand until foamy, about 3 minutes. Stir the warm milk mixture into the yeast along with the 1/2 cup of sugar and the sour cream, the whole eggs, egg yolk, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir in 4 3/4 cups of the flour until a soft, sticky dough forms. Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and use a pastry scraper to knead the dough until smooth, adding as much of the remaining flour as necessary. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky, but smooth and elastic.
- Gather the dough into a ball, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours. Punch down the dough and turn it over in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or overnight.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the chilled dough 1/3 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch doughnut cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many doughnuts as possible and transfer them to a sheet of floured wax paper. The scraps can be rerolled once to cut out more doughnuts. Loosely cover the doughnuts with wax paper and let rise until soft and billowy, about 20 minutes.
- In a large, heavy skillet, heat 4 inches of vegetable oil to 365°. Line a rack with several paper towels. Working in batches, fry the doughnuts until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Check the temperature of the frying oil to make sure it doesn’t get too hot or cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towel-lined rack to drain. Serve warm or let cool before glazing.