As Daring Bakers, our monthly challenges mostly involve quite a bit of baking. Occasionally though, we take a break do challenges that do not involve baking and this month was one such challenge.
This October, our hostess for the month challenged us to make ourselves some doughnuts. While many of us chose to fry our doughnuts, some others chose to bake them. We had the choice to fry them, bake them, glaze them, fill them, or make them any which way we wanted to, but we had to make some doughnuts.
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.
Lori wanted us to make doughnuts using one of the four given recipes, but beyond that we were free to experiment with shapes, flavours, glazes or anything else we could think of. Having madedoughnuts before, this wasn’t a challenge for me but it was an opportunity to try a new recipe, and I’m always happy to make doughnuts.
I have rather nostalgic memories about doughnuts because they are a part of my student days at the university. Back then, there were many days of the week when my classes used to be back to back, and I had about 15 minutes of lunchtime out which I spent 10 minutes running from one department to the next for my classes. The remaining 5 minutes would be spent at this small store on the way, which sold jam filled doughnuts.
Now that I think back, I must say they weren’t the best doughnuts I have eaten but back then, they were just the thing. They were inexpensive (student’s budget, you know), made a great “lunch on the run”, and gave us the sugar boost-carbs-calories combination that we desperately needed to face the next class!
I initially made a half recipe of the Alton Brown doughnuts and though they were not bad, I found them too soft with a very strong flavour of yeast. It did seem to me that 4 1/2 tsp yeast for 4 2/3 cups of flour a bit on the higher side. A lot of my fellow DBs who made the same doughnuts don’t seem to have felt this, so maybe its really a matter of taste.
While I do like soft doughnuts, I also consider them comforting kind of food. I do not like them so light and spongy that they’re almost not there when you bite into them. So I made some changes to the recipe by reducing the amount of yeast and increasing the rising time for the dough.
I also reduced the egg by one. I think you could leave the eggs out completely and still have pretty good doughnuts, if you’re looking for an eggless doughnut recipe. I used 5 cups of flour and still had a some what sticky dough. Please resist the urge to add more flour, otherwise you will end up with tough chewy doughnuts.
I could have (and really should have) baked my doughnuts but I decided to fry them because let’s face it, deep-fried doughnuts are the best. The whole world thinks so too, if you stop to take a look at how many countries/ cuisines across the world make their own version of deep fried dough, whatever they call them! So I shall bake doughnuts another day. For now, here are my adapted recipes for this month’s challenge. You can find the detailed challenge here.