Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Buttermilk Donuts

I don't think I can use the old "woops a month has passed" again because it's actually been about 2 months of neglect here on CC. Believe me I have been baking, but it's been quite the busy start to 2011. I marked my 6 month anniversary in San Francisco, graduated from pastry school, drank wine in Napa with visiting family, drove to Los Angeles + back up the coast, took a quick vacation to Mexico with my Aunt + cousin, went oyster shucking, made a micro-blog for my resume + started a job as a pastry assistant at a new restaurant. whewwww, tough life, I know...

So back to the goods. These buttermilk donuts were made around 12 am on a Friday night. A recipe that requires no yeast, no resting time + lots of oil for frying - what could be a more perfect snack for that midnight hunger pain?

This is a great project to take on with helpers. I made these with 2 roommates. After making the dough + cutting the shapes one roommate was in charge of frying the donuts, once they came out of the hot oil I glazed them + set them on the cooling rack. My other roommate was responsible for taking the freshly glazed donuts off the rack + moving them onto a plate to give us more room to work. However, about halfway through our production line we found that no donuts were making it on the final plate as our roommate was instead eating each completed donut. Needless to say, we had an intervention.

Buttermilk Donuts
adapted from the Baked Explorations

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly browned and cooled
Vegetable oil for frying

For the Chocolate Dip
4 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60-70%), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sprinkles to decorate (optional)

For the Vanilla Glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sprinkles to decorate (optional)

For the Cinnamon Sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Make the doughnuts
Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and another baking sheet with two layers of paper towels.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,sugar,baking soda,baking powder, salt,nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream until combined. Add the melted,cooled butter and whisk again.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold the flour into the liquid center until the mixture forms a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and pat it out until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use two round cutters ( 3 1/4" and 1 1/2" for large doughnuts; 2 1/2" and 1 " for smaller doughnuts). Dip the large cutter in flour and press out the rounds. Dip the smaller cutter in the flour and cut out the center of each dough round. Arrange both doughnuts and doughnut holes on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the dough scraps back together, and use them to make as many more doughnuts and doughnut holes as possible. Chill the dough while you heat the oil.

Pour enough oil into a deep skillet to make a layer approximately 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches deep. Slowly heat the oil over medium -high heat until it is 365 to 370 degrees F.

While you are waiting for the oil to reach temperature, make the assorted toppings.

Make the Chocolate Glaze
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium wide-mouthed bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it is just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Keep the mixture warm.

Make the Vanilla Glaze
In a medium wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the sugar, the milk, and the vanilla paste.

Make the Cinnamon Sugar
In a medium wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.

To Fry the Doughnuts
Once the oil reaches temperature, gently lift the large doughnuts off the baking sheet and place them in the hot oil. Do not crowd the skillet-make no more than 3 doughnuts at a time. Once they have browned on one side (this takes 2-3 minutes), turn them over with tongs or a slotted spoon and continue to cook for another minute or just until browned (they can overcook or burn rather quickly). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towel lined baking sheet and continue to fry the rest of the dough until finished. The doughnut holes will cook faster and can be made in two or three batches after the doughnuts are done.

Assemble the Doughnuts
Once you have finished frying, work quickly to dip the doughnuts in the chocolate or vanilla glaze, or the cinnamon sugar. If you like, decorate the chocolate or vanilla doughnuts with sprinkles. Serve immediately.

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