Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Do Have Homemade Doughnuts...For Breakfast!

Whew! It's definitely been a busy set of days following Jill & Sam's visit last Thursday in Granville. On Friday, I went with my supervisor and twelve students to Allegheny College for the 2011 GLCA Students of Color Leadership Conference. Without question, it was (as it always has been) a great experience; not only did we get to learn about diversity efforts from peer institutions, but this year's theme of "New Decade, New Challenges: Access, Justice, Leadership and Sustainability" was both fitting and eye-opening for all of us. To read more about the conference's impact on some of our students, check out this week's diversity newsletter which I published on Monday. But before all of this took place, and before bidding farewell to Jill & Sam as they traveled onward to Kentucky, I made a fresh batch of dough for breakfast and in celebration of National Doughnut Day on Saturday. [Edited 7 June 2013, given this important spelling distinction and this confirmation]

After making the dough (linked above), I allowed it to rest and rise under a cloth in a warm location. I then rolled the dough to about 1/2" thick before using my moulding ring to cut out circles of dough.To cut out the holes, I used the cap of one of my spice tubes.

Give the cut-out dough some time to rest and allow it to rise, if only for about 10-15 min. You could skip the waiting time, but I promise they turn out doughier and that much better tasting. As for the leftover bits from the spice cap, save them! You'll see why below. Before frying everything up (i.e., this is the perfect step to get through as you wait for the dough to rise again), put together your glaze(s), coatings, etc. I decided I wanted two glazes: a basic sugar glaze and a Nutella one. For the basic glaze, I adapted Alton Brown's recipe to a one-pan glaze. On low heat, warm up 1/4 c milk and a few drops of vanilla extract. Slowly sift in and incorporate about two cups of powdered sugar. Make sure this glaze doesn't get too hot (or else you'll burn it and/or crystallise the sugar) or too cold (or else it'll harden). For the Nutella glaze, I heated 1/4 c heavy cream and melted in a heaping tablespoon of Nutella (a similar process to making ganache); just as for the basic glaze, keep this on low heat. If the glaze looks like it's starting to seize up, add a touch more heavy cream to keep it fluid. Both of these glazes will be used for the doughnuts. For the doughnut holes, I went for a cinnamon-sugar exterior and combined in a bowl ground cinnamon and granulated sugar at a ratio of about 1:5.

With the glazes and cinnamon-sugar mix ready to go, it's time to start frying the doughnuts and doughnut holes in about 1/4"-1/2" canola oil and on med-lo heat. As soon as the doughnuts are done frying, allow them to cool on a cooling rack and let any excess oil drip off. Once cool, use a chopstick, small spatula, etc., to dip the doughnut into the warm sugar glaze on both sides and then transfer back to the cooling rack to harden. After the sugar glaze coat has firmed up a bit, drizzle some of the Nutella glaze over it. As for the doughnut holes, as soon as they are finished frying, transfer them directly to the cinnamon-sugar mix and coat them.

With the moulding ring I used, I probably made about 1.5 dozen doughnuts and a few dozen doughnut holes, and there was still doughnut dough leftover and transferred to the fridge. And though these do take some time to make, careful preparation and timing skills certainly make the process go by smoothly. For the complete album, click here.

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