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Monday, November 19, 2012

Top Pot's Glazed Doughnuts


Finding a decent doughnut recipe can be one of the most challenging adventures any home baker can undertake. You might be surprised at the number of doughnut recipes that have been tried in my kitchen that never made the cut for the blog. You'd probably be shocked at the number that never made it into the fryer at all but were dumped because of texture or rising problems. But, a little book has helped me find not only a great recipe for a basic glazed doughnut but dozens of inspiring ideas for other types from cake doughnuts to devil's food to old fashioned doughnuts.


Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker provides excellent recipes and wonderful tips for creating incredible doughnuts at home. From how to create a moist proofing box in your oven to the best techniques for transferring doughnuts into the oil, the book will help you achieve success with doughnuts in your own kitchen.

For my test I chose the simple glazed doughnut. My intention with this recipe was to see if it actually was easy to follow and turned out an edible product. It scored high on both accounts. I also wanted to get a baseline for a good basic doughnut recipe to compare against one sent to me by my friend Sue Summer back in Newberry, SC. Sue managed to unearth the original recipe for a long closed local doughnut shop in my hometown. With the help of some baking enthusiasts and a food scientist the recipe was pared down for home use. That recipe will be coming up in the next few weeks.

With our basic, successful doughnut recipe in hand, it will be possible to compare and contrast a "modern" artisan shop recipe with one some 50 years old. But right now, let's take a look at Top Pot Doughnuts' excellent glazed doughnut recipe.



Top Pot's Glazed Doughnuts

Recipe by Top Pot Doughnuts
A wonderful recipe for yeast raised doughnuts.

Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105° to 110°)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground mace
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour (plus extra for rolling and flouring)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 to 6 cups canola oil, for frying
Vanilla Glaze 
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. hot water
Cooking Directions
  1. Whisk the yeast, water, and 1 Tbsp. of the sugar together in the work bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, mace, salt, and 4 cups of the bread flour. Set aside.
  3. Add the shortening, egg yolks, and vanilla to the foaming yeast mixture. Mix with paddle attachment on low speed for 1 minute to break up the shortening. Add about a third of the dry ingredients and mix until blended on low speed. Repeat with the second third of the dry ingredients.
  4. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until no white spots remain. Add more flour as necessary until the dough is dry enough to clear the bottom of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and knead for 2 more minutes. The dough should be smooth like bread dough but still slightly tacky to the touch.
  5. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet sprinkled with 1 to 2 Tbsp. of flour. Shape into a flat disk about 6 inches in diameter. Dust lightly with flour, cover with a tea towel and set aside.
  6. To create a proofing box in the oven: Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Pour 8 cups of the boiling water into a 9x13 pan set on the floor of the oven. Place the baking sheet with the covered dough on the middle rack of the oven, close the door and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  7. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured surface and roll into a roughly 12 inch circle. Cut into 12 doughnuts, flouring the doughnut cutter before each cut. (Reroll the dough for additional doughnuts if desired.) Gently transfer the doughnuts and holes to two baking sheets sprinkled with 2 Tbsp. of flour each, arranging them at least 2 inches apart. Let rise in the oven (with new boiling water) uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  8. While the doughnuts are rising prepare the glaze: Place the confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, and hot water in a large mixing bowl or the work bowl of a standing mixer. Using a whisk or with the machine's whisk on low speed, blend until the mixture is smooth and sugar has been fully incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. If the glaze seems too thick add more hot water a teaspoon at a time.
  9. Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 inches deep) in a deep fryer or large pot over medium heat to 350°. When the doughnuts have doubled in size, carefully place a few in the oil taking care not to overcrowd them. Fry for about 30 seconds. Carefully turn the doughnuts using chopsticks or skewers and fry for another 20 seconds on the second side. Transfer to a cooling rack set over paper towels to cool rounded side up.
  10. While the doughnuts are still very warm, dip the rounded side in the glaze. Let dry on cooling rack, glazed side up, for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 70 minutes
Yield: 12 doughnuts
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