The Daring Bakers Make Doughnuts

In Daring Bakers, Yeast Breads on November 5, 2010 at 9:30 am
From Adriana Baking

Most days, I bake in solitude, free from thoughts of school and homework. Our tiny kitchen is bathed in golden sunshine when I come home from school, tired and in need of a break. It beckons me, inviting, and I’m happy to oblige and tie the stained, checkered apron around my waist. As I scoop flour out of the bin and set out cubes of butter to soften to just the right temperature, I’m kept company by the kitchen’s soul.

It has personality; it’s a friend whom I can communicate with without the disruption of words. I am familiar with all of its quirks – the way the oven preheats in minutes I can count on one hand, though it runs a little hot. The gentle creak of the oven door opening before a rush of warm heat washes over my face.  And the comforting hue of the oatmeal colored counter top, complete with dark rings of coffee stains and and the occasional stray crumb. No room is more familiar to me than this one, the kitchen which I’ve learned to love over the past year. No longer is it a place I wander into for a quick drink of ice cold water, or to pull out from the first drawer four sets of forks and knives on my way to set the dinner table. I’ve spent some of my happiest times in there, elated and grinning widely when a recipe turns out just right, and the most frustrating, tear-inducing moments I’ve lived through. But all of these moments are spent alone, until I share them with my family, and then here, on my blog.

From Adriana Baking

It was on a Sunday at the beginning of October that I set out to make doughnuts, that month’s challenge. I had been penciling in various flavor combinations in the margins of lose leaf paper since loading the Daring Bakers page on the first of the month, and shared my excitement with my younger sister. Seldom does she stay in the kitchen with me while I bake, only occasionally walking through to sample a bit of cookie dough or a swipe of cake batter. But that day, she wanted to help me, and I wanted her with me, listening to her creative list of flavor combinations.

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge the DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

From Adriana Baking

That afternoon, whisking eggs and frying doughnuts, I was making memories. Though these doughnuts lasted no more than a few days, they will always be a part of me. The way my sister’s eyes lit up as she suggested dipping the buttermilk doughnuts in a cinnamon glaze. How the yeast doughnuts puffed up seconds after hitting the hot oil, leaving a ring of pale brown dough around their circumference.  And how, impulsively reaching for my father’s stash of hot pepper, we mixed some into a glaze to top the dark chocolate pastry cream doughnuts.  They were delicious, better than any doughnut I’ve ever bought, made better by the love both of us put into making them.

We decided to make three doughnuts recipes, playing with the flavor combinations as we fried them. The pumpkin ones were kept unadorned – some were dipped into a plain glaze, and others received a light dusting of powdered sugar like Halloween squashes under fine, powdery snow.  The buttermilk ones tasted best – homey and old-fashioned, perfumed with the lightest hint of cinnamon.  I had made some pastry cream to fill the yeast doughnuts, both chocolate and rosewater.  The thick, flavorful rosewater syrup used to color the glaze was stronger than regular rosewater, and lent a beautiful shade of light pink to the doughnuts.  It was a wonderful challenge; I hope my sister will be willing to spent a couple days each month baking up a Daring Baker’s recipe.

From Adriana Baking

Yeast Doughnuts

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time – 25 minutes
Rising time – 1.5 hours total
Cooking time – 12 minutes

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 g / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 g / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 g / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 g / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 g / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 g / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil – depends on size of vessel you are frying in – you want  3 inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)


Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.) Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter). Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Fry 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).

Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

Pumpkin Doughnuts:

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time – 15 minutes
Chilling time – 3 hours
Cooking time – 10 minutes

Yield: About 24 doughnuts & 24 doughnut holes

All Purpose Flour 3.5 cup / 840 ml / 490 g / 17 ¼ oz
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon / 20 ml / 24 g / .85 oz
Table Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 g/ .2 oz
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 g / .1 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 g / .1 oz
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml / 1.5 g / .05 oz
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon / .6 ml / ¾ g / .025 oz
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup / 240 ml / 225 g / 8 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 g / 1.5 oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon / 5 ml
Buttermilk ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon / 135 ml /
Pumpkin 1 cup / 240 ml / 285 g / 10 oz (Canned pure pumpkin or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin – DON’T use pumpkin pie mix!)
Canola Oil – depends on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

Powdered (Icing) Sugar 2 cup / 480 ml / 250 g / 9 oz
Whipping Cream (About 32% butter fat) 4 Tablespoon + more if needed / 60 ml


Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch (12 mm to 15 mm) thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) -diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used. Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches (40 mm). Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F (185°C to 188°C). Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

Glaze Directions:

(Can be made up to 3 hours ahead). Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.

  1. Wow, they look so good! I love that you did this challenge with your sister. It’s awesome to see how close you and your sister are! Great job on both the challenge and being a big sister.

  2. Wow they look great! It’s great you baked with your sister! I would do the same but my sister tends to be over helpful and has a bad tendency to break things… I love your flavor combinations, they sound so yummy!
    ~Dee D.

  3. Yum, your doughnuts look delicious! It’s great your sister helps you out in the kitchen. I have a younger brother, so he’s not very enthusiastic about baking…unless I say I’ll make it for him! I can’t believe you made all the doughnut recipes! They look amazing. Great job!!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Lai , Adriana Smith. Adriana Smith said: New post @ Bittersweet Baker! [Doughnuts] […]

  5. I totally missed the whole donut thing last month, was sicker than a dog…so don’t you agree I need some???
    you did such a nice job, they all look amazing

  6. Mmmmm….these look so good!! My little sister’s always willing to help in the kitchen with the fun parts, like whisking =) I think I do hog the kitchen too much though because my sister doesn’t usually get a chance to make something in the kitchen…..haha

  7. I’m not brave enough to make donuts. Ah well, one day. Those look delicious.

  8. hi Adriana those donuts look amazing
    and now i am really craving them
    oh i miss baking with sooo much
    it was soo much fun

    love Joy

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