Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sugared Raised Rings and Holes

Homemade Sugared Raised Doughnuts
For years, I have woken up almost every night around 4am with a really active mind. Sometimes I just lie there and replay all of the times I put my foot in my mouth, other times I cringe over stupid decisions I've made in my life but mostly, I just worry. So rather than laying there, worrying about buying a house, additives in my daughter's food, or my huge energy bill, I decided to get up and make DONUTS!

I had one successful trial run of the Top Pot raised donut recipe under my belt, so this time the process was faster and went off without a hitch.

Homemade Sugared Raised DoughnutsThat was, until my daughter stumbled out of bed and wandered naked in to the kitchen wanting water, food, to be snuggled and read to right when my hot water was at the optimal temperature for proofing the yeast. So instead of putting her right back to bed so she could have a good night's rest and wake up in time for preschool, I had no choice but to set her up with a cup of water and a slice of cheese and let her play in the kitchen with me while I took care of this temperature-sensitive step of the recipe. I let her add the dry ingredients, and together, she and I watched the dough creep out of the mixer as it came together. Then I wrapped it in plastic, slapped it in the fridge, took Gwen to the potty and headed back to bed. She still woke up late for preschool, which made Blair late for work, but I suppose it will all be worth it if someday she has the memory of dinking around in the kitchen with her mom in the middle of the night.

The next morning, I was pretty excited about trying out my new donut cutter set that I bought at Ikea for $5.99 over the weekend. The set includes four round cutters of various sizes, perfect for all sizes of donuts, as well as some cute hearts and squares.

But what in God's name are these for? Vomit-splatter cookies?

But after making this batch of donuts, I gave the set to Gwen for her play-doh and splurged for the metal donut cutters. These plastic ones just weren't sharp enough to cut through the dough. Oh well, the set is cute and she likes it so it wasn't a complete waste of money.

INGREDIENTS to make 12 large rings and holes

1 cup of very warm water (around 105° F)
1 tbsp granulated sugar (proofing) + 1/2 cup (dough) + 1 cup (tossing donuts in at the end)
3 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground mace
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups bread flour, sifted
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
3 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
lots of canola oil - enough to fill your pot 2" deep


  1. Boil water, make yourself a cup of tea, then pour 1 cup of the hot water into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Dissolve the 1 Tbsp sugar in the hot water, pop in your thermometer and do some "mise-en-placing" (getting your wet and dry ingredients together (see next two steps)) while you wait for the water to cool to about 105° F.
  2.  In a large bowl, combine the ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp ground mace, 1 ½ tsp of kosher salt and 4 cups of bread flour, sifted. If you don't have a sifter, just whisk it all together to aerate and combine. Since my mom read my post on Maple Bars, she felt sorry for me and bought me a sifter. Thanks, Mom!
  3.  In a small bowl, combine ½ tsp vanilla extract and the cubed butter to 3 large egg yolks and set that on deck to wait for its shining moment.
  4. Now at this point, the temperature of your hot water and sugar mixture should be close to 105° F, so spoon in the 3 tbsp of yeast into the mixer bowl and give it a few slow whirls with the paddle attachment to combine. Then take a swig of tea and check your facebook and google+ while you wait 5 minutes for the yeast to proof.
  5. After spending 5 minutes looking at swimsuit pictures that your facebook friend posted and comparing your arms to their fit-looking arms (sighhh), the yeast should be nice and bubbly. Flip on the mixer at low speed and add the eggy wet ingredients. It will take about a minute or so to break up the butter and combine everything into a nice, but nasty-looking yeasty sludge.
  6. Next, add the dry ingredients, a cup at a time. After about 2 cups of dry ingredients, switch to the dough hook and add the rest of the dry ingredients, again at a cup at a time. Continue working the dough with the dough hook for about 2 minutes until the dough looks like a brain and picks up all of the little crumbs at the bottom.
  7. If you're ready for a break, wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge for up to 15 hours. Otherwise, if you are ready to charge it, proceed to the next step!
  8. To construct the proofing chamber in your oven place a 9”x13” roasting pan on the bottom rack and then pour boiling water into it to fill it to about half way. Then roll out the dough on a floured cookie sheet to about 1” thick and stick it on the top rack of the oven. Then let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until roughly doubled in size.
  9. Next, roll out your the dough to ½” thickness and cut rings and holes with a metal 4" round cutter and a 1" or 1 1/2" cutter for the middle hole. If you are not a perfectionist, but somewhat sloppy like me, you can use the wacky triangular scraps for donuts too instead of re-rolling. Then you can eat those ones and give the pretty rings and holes away.

  10. Lay out the rings and holes on two floured cookie sheets about 2” apart and put them back in the proofing oven to rise again, this time with some fresh boiling water. It should take about 30 minutes for the donuts to double in size.
  11. About 15 minutes into this second rise, take out a big stock pot and fill it 2” deep with canola oil, turn the heat on to medium, stick in a thermometer and wait for the oil to heat up to 350° F. You'll feel like the world’s most talented multi-tasker when the temperature hits 350° F right around the time that the donuts are done rising.
  12. Fry time! Using the metal spatula, carefully transfer the rings and holes from the cookie sheet into the oil. Be sure to do each transfer carefully, because every finger depression and blurp of your spatula will be permanently etched into the surface of your donut, like that scar from the navel ring you had for two weeks when you were 20, but that blew up and stretched when you were pregnant with your first child (sighhh again). Also, don't be Eager Beaver and put too many donuts in the oil at once, because they'll crowd each other and not puff up as nicely. They only need to be in the oil for about 30-40 seconds on one side and then 20 seconds on the other, so the frying process will be really fast. I was expecting to be slaving over hot oil for at least an hour and subsequently breaking out with zits the next day, but that didn’t happen.
  13. When the donuts are done frying, toss them in the remaining 1 cup of sugar and let them cool on a wire rack. And that's it! Now it's time to eat a few of those little scrap donuts and feel like the world is a wonderful place. And it is. :)


  1. I have never made donuts before Misha!!! I will have to give it a try. They've always sounded so hard, but you made them look easy! :)

  2. These looks so good and so easy! Will have to try this weekend!

  3. This post is worthy of appreciation, looking forward to more exciting! pendants