Saturday, November 13, 2010

Doughnut Day!

Most of the people I know celebrate Doughnut Day in February, on the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent. For my laminated doughs and pastries class, though, Doughnut Day came on a Tuesday in November.

Obviously, doughnuts are not a laminated product, but they are a popular breakfast and bakery item so Chef believes it is necessary (and fun) to expose us to some proper doughnut preparation. We used a process similar to bread dough preparation to make the doughnut dough. First we made a sponge - bread flour, milk, and yeast - and allowed that to proof. We then added that to more bread flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, butter and either nutmeg or mace for seasoning. After the dough had time to proof, we manipulated it into four types of doughnuts.

Traditionally, doughnuts were made without holes, but it was discovered that the small hole in the middle allows the doughnut to fry more evenly for an overall even bake. We made doughnuts with holes and doughnuts without holes. We used the scraps to form twisted doughnuts. And finally, we made an apple filling and pate a choux (the dough used to make eclairs and cream puffs) to make apple fritters.

After the proper amount of proofing, we fried our first two batches of doughnuts in oil at 365 degrees F. After cooling, the regular doughnuts were glazed, and the doughnuts without holes were filled with marmalade and covered in sugar.

We next fried the twists and immediately covered them in cinnamon and sugar. And finally, the apple fritters were fried and later glazed as well.

This was great practice for working with yeast dough for doughnuts. Other types of doughnuts are made with a cake like batter. I'll be interested in experimenting with doughnuts in the future. And I know my friend Laraine will be really pleased because she and I always get together over holidays to eat doughnuts, drink coffee, and catch up. Sorry, Dunkin Donuts, but you know have some competition for Laraine's doughnut affection! :)

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