Sunday, June 19, 2011

buttermilk donuts

We were going to a BBQ at my in-laws for father's day, so baking a cake just for my husband, when we were going to have some at the BBQ seemed a bit outrageous, but donuts for breakfast? Sounds like an awesome father's day treat. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I made the mistake of telling my four-year-old. Didn't stay secret for long, but my husband was really happy about this treat.

Baked Explorations has a recipe for Farm Stand Buttermilk Donuts, and the Baked Sunday Morning group had already made them when I joined. I thought this was the perfect occasion to try these donuts. They weren't as hard to make as I thought they would, and didn't dirty that many dishes. The dough comes together like a quickbread, where you mix the wet ingredients with the dry, and mix until a dough forms. You pat it down until it's about 1/2 inch thick, then you then cut out the donuts, and chill them while you heat up the oil. When the oil is at the right temperature, you fry them until golden brown. Drain them on paper towel and dip them in whatever topping you'd like. I made the vanilla glaze with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, and I had a leftover mixture of cinnamon sugar, so I used that too. For the donut holes, I coated them with powdered sugar.

Farm Stand Buttermilk Doughnuts Three Ways
recipe source: 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 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)

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

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.

Although it's a really hands-on recipe, it's easy enough to do, even for breakfast, even with two little ones underfoot while daddy's still sleeping. He really enjoyed them and said we should have them more often. When I suggested making this a Father's day tradition, he gave me a look that said I didn't understand the meaning of more often...  

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