Saturday, April 10, 2010

D is for Donuts

It's Saturday morning, the weather is...aah, sunny and I have lots to do before the realtor comes on Monday.  My Dad's birthday is on Monday (he would have been 90 years old) and I was thinking today about how he made breakfast on Saturdays for our family before going to the commissary.  Of course, it consisted of bacon and eggs, but there was usually a donut left from my Grandfather's visit earlier in the week, that I would take before anyone else got up. (I've been blessed with my father's gene of rising at the crack of dawn!)  Let's say, I've always had a thing for something sweet in the morning and that's why Toaster tarts, donuts, and scones fit the bill!

I came across a new cookbook-Donuts by Elinor Klivans, at Williams-Sonoma the other day, .  I already own her Big Fat Cookies and Chocolate Cakes cookbooks, so I knew the recipes would be good.  I love cake donuts, but there are yeast donuts,  beignets, zeppoles, churros, etc.; something for everyone.  I chose the old-fashioned buttermilk donuts and it was everything I wanted in a donut.

I have a Delonghi Cool Touch/Roto Fryer that I bought several years ago and I recommend this model for a couple of reasons. First, the temperature is controlled and I don't have to hang a thermometer over the side of a large dutch oven and, most importantly, it "fries" in just 2 inches of oil because closing the lid adds a steaming feature to cook your food quicker, so less oil is absorbed. Of course, you can use a saute pan and Elinor goes over that under "tools for making donuts."  These are wonderful treats to make with your family.  Let the kids cut out the shapes and if you glaze them, they can dip them and add sprinkles.  Like cupcakes, these would be fun to do for birthdays!

old-fashioned buttermilk donuts by Elinor Klivans
1 1/4 all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
In a large bowl, sift together these dry ingredients and set aside.

l large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
oil for frying (Canola or Peanut)
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and sugar.  Add the melted butter, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Add the flour mixture and beat, on low speed, just until mixture comes together.  The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  (Go check your email, do a load of laundry...) 
While the dough is chilling, start your oil, as directed by Elinor Klivens or by the Delonghi fryer.
Turn dough out on a generously floured board.  Roll into a 10" circle by 1/2" thick.  Use a 3-inch round donut cutter, cutting our as many donuts as possible.  Gather up scraps and repeat rolling and cutting.

Once your oil is up to the 360F-degree temperature, lower 2-5 donuts in the hot oil.  Deep fry until  dark golden, 1 1/2 minutes.  Turn donuts over and cook on the second side, about 1 minute longer.  Fry "like" shapes together.  In other words, do the donuts first, then do the holes together.
You can dust generously with confectioners' sugar (I used glazing sugar, which is confectioners' sugar with cornstarch!) or shake in a bag with cinnamon/sugar, or as I like them, glazed:
1 cup of glazing sugar
1-2 T of hot water
Dip the tops in the glaze and add sprinkles, if desired

Nothing tastes better than a warm donut, freshly made.  No preservatives added and they're lots of fun to make.  I plan on trying all of them...except the "maple-bacon donuts", but I know a few people who would love them. Enjoy!


  1. Wow. I can't believe you make your own donuts. That is impressive. I am a sucker for a donut, especially on a weekend morning.

  2. Good to know about the deep fryer...I've
    always pictured a big vat of oil like the French fries at fast food places
    and was scared to fry anything but 2 inches of oil
    and the steam feature sounds easy.
    I am sitting on thebus going to work in NYC
    and your doughnuts look do much better than
    the cereal bar I just ate!

  3. Erin, that is exactly how I felt about a deep fryer---totally scared to death of all that oil and the high fat calories in deep fried foods. I went to the Chefs website and researched the Delonghi Cool Touch/Roto Fryer and it was everything Susan said----subsequently one is on its way!!

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