Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Doughnuts

It's Daring Baker time again and lo and behold the challenge was something I have been wanting to make for quite a long time- donuts! With donuts costing about 75 cents each, I most certainly do not buy them.. My kids love them so I wanted to treat them.

If you are thinking fried- don't. Baking in my opinion produces and equally exceptionally tasting donut. Matter of fact I preferred my baked one over my fried one. Mostly because temperature control in a pot on the stove is a little more challenging. If you have a deep fryer with temperature control I think you will fare much better.

I made two of the four recipes provided for the challenge but you will find more of the recipes here.  Or by checking all the AMAZING Daring Baker creations.

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

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts:
Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Cooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: About 15 doughnuts & 15 doughnut holes, depending on size
Sour Cream ¼ cup / 60 ml / 60 gm / 2 oz
All Purpose Flour 3 ¼ cup / 780 ml / 455 gm / 16 oz + extra for dusting surface
White Granulated Sugar ¾ cup / 180 ml / 170 gm / 6 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Powder 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Kosher (Flaked) Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz (If using table salt, only use ½ teaspoon)
Nutmeg, grated 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / .3 oz
Active Dry Yeast 1 1/8 teaspoon / 5.6 ml / 3.5 gm / .125 oz
Buttermilk ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoon / 210 ml / 225 gm / 7 ¾ oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon / 15 ml
Powdered (Icing) Sugar ¼ cup / 120 ml / 65 gm / 2.3 oz (Used for decorating and is optional)


  1. In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the sour cream until just warm.
  2. Heat the oil to 375°F/190°C.
  3. Over a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well; pour the sour cream over it. Allow it to soften (if using packed fresh yeast), about 1 minute.
  4. Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well. Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix until it is completely incorporated. The dough will be very sticky. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.
  5. Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour. You don’t want the doughnuts sticking to your counter. Scrape dough out of bowl onto the surface; sift another layer of flour over dough. Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness. Dip cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the doughnuts and holes. Place holes and doughnuts on a floured surface. Working quickly, gather scraps of dough together, pat into 1/2-inch (12.5 mm) thickness, and cut out remaining doughnuts and holes.
  6. Drop three to four doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Once they turn golden brown, turn them and cook the other side. Cooking times may vary, but with my oil at 375 °F/190°C, I found they only took about 20 to 30 seconds per side.
  7. Once cooked, place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain.
Sift powdered sugar over doughnuts and serve.

Finger Licking Good, 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 gm / 17 ¼ oz
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon / 20 ml / 24 gm / .85 oz
Table Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml / 1.5 gm / .05 oz
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon / .6 ml / ¾ gm / .025 oz
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup / 240 ml / 225 gm / 8 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 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 gm / 10 oz (Canned pure pumpkin or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin – DON’T use pumpkin pie mix!)
4 ounces of unsalted butter, melted, for dipping

Combine first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

Spoon mixture into greased doughnut forms or mini muffin tins or whatever form you would like to use. Bake at 350F for ten to twenty minutes depending on the size of your form.   When your fingers can stand the heat, dip the top of the doughnut in melted butter and then dip in sugar coating (recipe below).

Spiced sugar coating:
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg


Anonymous said...

Great doughnuts and I think I will have to be brave and try the pumpkin doughnuts. Pumpkin in sweet foods is something I have not tried!

Paige said...

I love the idea of baking donuts.. but I was afraid to try them! So glad to see they turned out well. Definitely something I'll have to attempt next time :)

Cristine said...

Great job! I'll have to try baking mine next time!

kat said...

Yum, I love a good cakey donut

chef_d said...

Yummy looking donuts, now I'm thinking I should have made the pumpkin-flavored ones too! Great job!

The Betz Family said...

Baked definitely sounds better than fried so I'm glad they also tasted better that way. Way to go making two varieties. Nice job on the challenge!

Tracy said...

These look delicious! Great job on the challenge!

vanillasugar said...

dangerous lil gems lori, dangerous i tell you! but fabulous too.

Mary said...

Not sure I could choose between buttermilk and pumpkin doughnuts! i would choose fried, though! Yours look great.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I'm sure your kids will find these a real treat. They look fantastic - and worth all that work.

Jamie said...

Finger-licking good is right! Delicious! Love the doughnut bites! And a great change from pumpkin pie!

Audax said...

That colour is stunning so astounding and it looks so tasty and you did two version well done and the photo is so professional. Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Bunny said...

I'd really like to try baked donuts Lori, I made donuts fried in oil once and your right, it's so hard to keep the temp of the oil spot on. Yours look great!

Megan said...

I'm glad to know you enjoyed the baked ones as much as the fried ones. I might just have to tackle this challenge after all. Your donuts are talking me into it!

Ingrid said...

Will work for donuts! :)

Lisa said...

Lori - I've never tried baking a donut but it's great to know they taste eveb better. Most think the flavor of fried is always superior to baking (well.fat is always flavor lol) That said, wow, both your holes and the pumpkin donuts are gorgeous! Great color on the pumpkin, Beautiful job!

Barbara Bakes said...

Now I'm wishing that I made baked ones too. Great job on this challenge.

Tina said...

you are such an inspriration. You make me want to cook and bake more.
Thanks for the great recipes.

Mimi said...

I would love to bake donuts instead of frying them, thanks for the tip.