Growing up in a bakery, I (The Wife) am a little doughnut happy. The Chef, thankfully, shares this sweet love as well. (So much so, that he has an app that alerts us whenever the red “hotlight” turns on at the Krispy Kreme factory that resides 4.2 miles away from our house.)*If you don’t know what the hotlight means at Krispy Kreme, it means they’re making more glazed doughnuts and are willing to share a free one with you as they come rolling off the line… Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.* On this occurence, it is not uncommon to see us tearing out the door in the similar fashion as young children when they hear the ice cream truck come tinking down the street.
Those hot free sinful things aren’t going to eat themselves, folks.
Talking about food, as we often do, The Chef and I started talking about how difficult it is to make doughnuts. (I’ve only ever seen machine assemble lines make them). The Chef, having had to make them throughout his culinary career, assured me they were quite possible.
Tangzhong is a water roux, that gives breads/pastries a soft, fluffy texture. Something that I personally find important when eating a doughnut. Soft, light and fluffy. To make the tangzhong you combine 1/3 cup of All purpose flour and 1 cup of water (you will have leftovers, you can use it for another batch, save it for a couple days, or toss it). Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until thick and you can see whisking lines. Set aside and let it cool.
This recipe is straight forward and super yummy! The recipe for the doughnuts is adapted from the 350 Degree Oven- Adventures in Mika’s Kitchen, link found here. She does a great job and explains exactly what to do. I was kind of nervous even with The Chef walking me through it as well, but no need to fret! *Thanks for letting me borrow your recipe!*
2 1/2 Cups AP Flour
4 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Butter- room temperature and cut up in pieces
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Milk
2 tsp Yeast
1/2 cup Tangzhong
In a bread machine or kitchen aid mixer, add milk, beaten egg, sugar, salt, and butter. Add 1/2 cup of the tangzhong. On top, pour in flour and make a well for the yeast (just like all breads and pastries, don’t let the yeast come into contact right away with the salt. The salt might prevent it from activating).
If you’re using a kitchen aid, use the dough hook. If you’re using a bread machine, turn it to the dough setting. If you’re doing it by hand, kudos.
Knead the dough for about 15 minutes. The dough should be stretchy. Allow to rise for roughly an hour. (Ours took longer because we did it in the winter and out kitchen was cooler. You want it to about double in size at least. Punch it down and let it rise again (every time you let the dough rise, it builds structure-not to be confused with toughness) for again roughly an hour. All time will be different depending on the warmth and humidity of your kitchen.
When the dough is done roll it on a well floured surface. Have the thickness be about 1/4-1/2 inches thick. Using a doughnut cutter, or something resembling something of a doughnut- aka ya’ll can be creative. Re-roll the scraps and cut away again. (The blogger lady said to not re-roll more than once because the dough might get to tough. We did and didn’t see a huge difference, but you can always just have weird looking “scrappy doughnuts”. Sometimes the funny looking ones turn out to be the best. At least that’s what my mother said when I was dating… I got both in the end 😉 )
To cut the donuts, press down relatively hard and then twist your cutter. This helps break the doughnut away from the rest of the dough and also so that it doesn’t stick as much to the cutter. It still might a little but just gently press it out into your hand or a spatula to move it to the cookie sheet.
On a well floured or lightly oiled cookie sheet, carefully place the doughnuts a few inches apart because– you guessed it– they’r going to rise again. Once they’re all on there and looking cute, spray with cooking spray and cover lightly with saran wrap. Place in a warm area and let them riiise!!!
In a deep dryer, or a pan with 1-2″ of oil, heat the oil to 375˚F. When you’re waiting for the donuts and the oil, whip up some icing. (2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 tbsp milk, a dash of vanilla and a sprinkle of salt) When the donuts are twice in size, aka puffy and awesome, gently place them into the oil. Cook for 30 seconds or until a BEAUUUtiful golden brown. Flip over with a chopstick or anything stick-like, and cook again for another 30 seconds.
They’re even better at 11pm at night.
-The Everyday Chef and Wife