Dec 30, 2010

Lara Ferroni's Basic Raised Doughnuts

Now for the recipe I promised you in the previous post, Lara Ferroni's Basic Raised Doughnuts from her new book, Doughnuts, Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home. These would make a decadent and delicious New Year's Day breakfast treat.

First, a few tips that Lara shared with me about making doughnuts:
• your eggs and milk should be room temperature
• don’t worry too much about measuring the flour, how much you use will depend on the day and the humidity
• Lara uses King Arthur bread flour and Jungle Shortening (at room temp)
• use a heating pad to rest the rising dough on for consistent heat
• if you need to, you can get away with punching down the dough and rerolling it once
• if the dough proofs in the oven, it gets too hard to handle and greasy
• doughnut oil should be 360-370 degrees F; Lara said, “I like 360, but a lot of people told me they need to go to 370 to brown the doughnuts.”
• if the proof mark line around the outside of the doughnuts is dark, that means your dough hasn't proofed enough or has overproofed
• when making the glaze: add your liquid a few drops at a time to make a paste, then work out the clumps with a whisk
• her recipes using day old doughnuts were cut from the book, so watch for her to post those on her site.

Lara Ferroni's Basic Raised Doughnuts
3 tablespoons (22 grams) active dry yeast, divided
1 cup whole milk, heat to 110 degrees F, divided
2 to 2 1/2 cups (320-400 grams) bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons (30 grams) superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter or vegetable shortening
vegetable oil for frying

In a medium bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons of the yeast into 3/4 cup of the milk. Add 3/4 cup of the four and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes. (Lara's tip: a heating pad is handy for even heat.)

Combine the remaining milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the rested flour mixture along with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour. Mix on low for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds. Switch to a dough hook and add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time with the mixer turned off, kneading the dough at medium speed between additions, until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky. It will be very soft and moist, but not so sticky that you can't roll it out. You may have flour left over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 12 hours).

Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured non-terry dish towel. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch-diameter rounds with 1-inch-diameter holes.

Place the doughnuts on a baking sheet at least 1 inch apart and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, 5 to 20 minutes, testing at 5-minute intervals. To test whether the dough is ready, touch lightly with a fingertip. if it springs back immediately, it needs more time. If it springs back slowly, it is ready. If it doesn't spring back at all, it has overproofed; you can punch it down and reroll it once.

While the doughnuts are proofing, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360 degrees F. With a metal spatula, carefully place the doughnuts in the oil. (Depending on the size of your pan, Lara recommended frying about 3 at a time.) Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool slightly before glazing.

Makes 8 to 14 doughnuts

Lara Ferroni styling doughnut holes for a photo.

Basic Sugar Glaze

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove any lumps
3 to 4 tablespoons milk or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the sugar in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk (or water) and vanilla, a little at a time, to make a smooth, pourable glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons (27 grams) cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk or water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the milk (or water) and vanilla, a little at a time, to make a smooth, pourable glaze.

Recipes by Lara Ferroni. Reprinted with permission of the author.
From the book Doughnuts, Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home.

Check out more of Lara Ferroni's gorgeous photos and tasty recipes on her web site. Thanks again, Lara, for sharing your expertise and the best doughnuts I've ever tasted!

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