What fascinated me most about doughnuts was the story behind their invention. It is believed that in the mid-18th Century,a Maine baker’s apprentice was so frustrated by the fact that his fried pastries always turned out with underdone centers, that he once poke holes in the pastries before frying them to help them cook more evenly. The “hole” of doughnuts can also be fried these days and now seen as a confectionary on it’s own with hundreds of recipes available.
Doughnuts can be made by either adding Baking Powder (Chemical leavening) or with yeast (biological leavening). By choosing to bake with baking powder, the process will be quick, almost instant from the preparation phase to the cooking phase.But the end-product will be denser and heavy, bit more chewier and not light-weight like you would expect.
By making it with yeast, a light bread dough texture is found and the crumb (inside) of the product is airy with fairly larger air pockets inside them. There is of course yeast-fermentation time needed, and the product needs to be set aside to rest.
I’ve created a chocolate doughnut recipe with the yeast-based recipe, sprinkling it with cinnamon and castor sugar. Should you want to view this recipe, click here.
Glazed Doughnut Recipe – by Nicolette van Niekerk
Preparation time: 20 minutesDough resting time: 2 HoursFrying time: 5-7 minutesServings: 12 DougnutsIngredients
400g Plain Flour
7g Sachet fast action dried yeast
150 ml milk
50g butter (cubed)
50g Caster sugar
1 Large egg (beaten)
250ml Icing (powdered) sugar
1 Tbsp Milk
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1. Mix the flour, salt, and yeast together in a bowl
2. Heat the milk (but do not boil) and dissolve the butter until completely melted.
3.Add the egg and sugar to the milk mixture and mix well, be sure that the sugar are dissolved completely
4.Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the milk and sugar mixture while whisking then mix for a further 5 minutes until well combined and the mixture pulls away from the sides.
6.Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with cling film and let it prove for at least 2 hours till double in size.
7.Knock back the dough by kneading it and roll out onto a floured surface to a thickness of 1 cm. Use a doughnut cutter or a round circle 10cm and a smaller cutter for the hole. I used my smallest bun pan to create the “hole” inside each circle.
Preparation of doughnuts
8.Place on a lined tray, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for about 30 minutes.
9.Deep fry at 160-170°C until golden brown all over turning them once.
Frying of doughnuts
10.Drain on paper towel and allow cooling.
11. Make a glaze by combining the icing sugar, milk, vanilla and lemon juice together.Mix well and drizzle over the doughnut.Add toppings such as shaved coconut pieces, almond flakes, crushed pecans or sprinkles.
12. Doughnut holes can also be fried.Place them simply in a bowl with Cinnamon and Castor sugar.Roll until completely covered and serve.