Is it just me, or are donuts the new cupcake, macaron, (insert trendy confection here)? I couldn't wait to try baking my own donuts. If you're a traditional fried donut lover, I'm sure you've already stopped reading this post. Sure they're delicious, but I just can't seem to bring myself to buy the fat laden fried variety. Just looking at them gives me a stomach ache.
I found the perfect baked donut recipe from 101 Cookbooks. Heidi had coated them in cinnamon sugar. I really wanted to stick with a fresh summery vibe, so I omitted the nutmeg from her recipe and replaced it with the seeds from one vanilla bean. I also created a fresh raspberry glaze and sprinkled toasted coconut over the top.
My glaze was beautiful and tasty; made of pureed raspberries, powdered sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. However, it never set the way I was hoping, and I would do it differently next time. I'll share another raspberry glaze recipe that should work better.
Donuts about to go into the oven
Because the donuts are not deep fried, they do not remain tender as long and need to be eaten shortly after leaving the oven. I recommend using a chocolate glaze or a cinnamon sugar coating for this recipe. We did love the toasted coconut.
1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.
recipe from 101 Cookbooks
Glaze and Topping Ideas
Cinnamon Sugar (101 Cookbooks)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
Cook cream and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water until chocolate is melted. Dip donuts into chocolate.
Whisk 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel in small bowl. Whisk 1 tablespoon raspberry jam into glaze. Dip donuts into glaze. *May need to double this recipe.