Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Donuts

Yeah, yeah, I know... donuts are NOT Paleo approved (don't shoot me, Anders)... however, I am a Daring Baker!  This means that each month, I, along with many other bloggers are given a challenge each month.  Then, we create the challenge recipe and then we post our successes or failures!  This month, we were asked to make donuts!  Now, normally, I don't even eat donuts, even before I started this whole Paleo thing.  However, the Jobies were having a bake sale, so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to complete the challenge, then get the donuts as far away from me as humanly possible!  I invited my friend Caroline from Cee in the Kitchen, who is also a Daring Baker, to make donuts with me!  So, we made the dough and heated up a big old pot of oil, and then made a TON of donuts... I must say, that for dinner, we did have a very healthy and Paleo friendly dinner of steamed and spiced shrimp!

Pumpkin Donuts

* 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
*1 large egg
* 2 large egg yolks
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
* 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
* Canola oil (for deep-frying)

Apple Cider Glaze

* 2 cups powdered sugar
*Apple Cider

First, I threw the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, ginger, and cloves in my stand mixer.  I sifted everything together to make sure that there weren't any lumps.  Now, I didn't read the recipe very well at all, because the original recipe called for me to do this in a totally different order.  I was supposed to mix the butter, sugar, eggs, etc, then add in the dry ingredients last, but hey, they all ended up being mixed together anyway, right?

 So anyway, once the dry ingredients were mixed, I added in the butter and sugar and started blending.  It didn't seem like a good consistency, but it was too late to turn back!  I added in the egg and the egg yolks as well as the vanilla, pumpkin, and buttermilk.  Then, I let the stand mixer do it's thing!  Unfortunately, the batter seemed REALLY runny, not at all like how I would imagine donut dough looking.

Alas, I had to move on.  The next step required the dough to be covered and chilled for 2 hours.  I stuck some saran wrap on the top of the dough, threw it in the fridge, and prayed that some miracle would happen and my donuts would magically turn into delicious donut dough.

When Caroline came over with her yeast raised donut dough, I started to get nervous.  Granted, mine didn't have yeast in it, but it looked TOTALLY different from her beautifully raised donut batter.  When she rolled out her donuts and placed them, ever so gently in the oil, they floated and turned a pretty shade of tan.  They looked exactly like you would picture a delicate little donut to look, see:

Now, Caroline claims that she was worried that her donut dough didn't look right, however, these crispy, yet airy little donuts turned out perfectly.  With that in mind, I had some hope that mine would make a comeback and be delicious!  I said a little prayer and pulled my dough out of the fridge so I could start rolling it out.

My dough still looked super sticky.  I didn't want it to stick to the counter, so I added a TON more flour.  I added a handful and kneaded, then another handful and kneaded, then another handful...  finally, the dough got to a point where it didn't stick to the counter anymore.  I rolled the dough out to a thickness of about a half inch and started in on the cutting.

I tried to take a picture that would convey how thick the dough was ha!

  Luckily, Caroline had brought over a round cookie cutter, thus saving me from using a drinking glass!

So, I cut and cut and cut, then I rolled the dough back together and kept on cutting until I had used up pretty much all of the dough.  I didn't want any to go to waste, so when I didn't have enough left to make too many round donuts, I just cut them into litte strips that would have been perfect for dunking in coffee.

Then, when the oil in my giant pasta pot had reached the temperature of 365. I started frying!  I was expecting my cute little donuts to delicately float in the oil like Caroline's did...

however, mine sunk... yep, they hit the oil and sunk straight to the bottom.  Did all of this happen because I messed up the order of my ingredients?  Would my donuts burn at the bottom of the pan?  Would all those hours of making donuts be a waste of time?  Would my first Daring Baker's Challenge be a flop? I held my breath and waited...

There's the one donut on the right that started to float, but there's one on the left that had sunk to the bottom!
After about a minute, my donuts started floating!  I guess they had cooked enough and they were ready to come to the surface! Phew!

Once the donuts started floating, I flipped them and let them cook until they reached a nice brownish color.  Then I repeated the process a TON of times...

Once they donuts were cooked, I set them on a cooling rack to drain the excess oil and cool.  It was tough not to just rip them off the cooling racks and tear into them... they smelled amazing with all of the spices.

I guess I rolled the dough thicker than normal, because some of the donuts were HUGE.  That's not something I'm really going to complain about though, who would do that? Complain about big donuts? Nah!  As they were beginning to cool, I started in on the icing.  I don't really like that thick cake like frosting on my donuts like some people do.  I prefer a light glaze with a little bit of flavor to just accent and enhance the taste.  Therefore, I made an apple cider glaze!   What better way to mix the flavors of fall, right?

I mixed the powdered sugar and a tiny little bit of apple cider in a dish and stirred away until it went from a lumpy mess to a smooth, pretty glaze.  Then, I tried dipping the donuts in the glaze, but found it was MUCH easier to just spoon the glaze over the top, then put it back on the cooling rack and let the extra glaze drip off.  The important thing to remember when making the glaze is to make it thick enough that it sticks to the donut and doesn't just run off the sides, then you waste it, and that would be a shame :(

So, here, we have the results of my first Daring Baker's Challenge! Beautiful Pumpkin Donuts!  Now, although I wanted to eat all of them, I didn't.  It's not really good for me at all to do that, and I wanted to sell as many as possible at the Jobie bake sale.  I did have one or two though. 
I mean, look how perfect that looks!

Here's what they looked like on the inside!

So, bright and early on Saturday morning, (Caroline and I were up until a bit after 11 frying and glazing these suckers!) I got up, threw the donuts on a cute little plate then drove to the Bethel to get started on the bake sale.  Here's my beatiful plate of donuts:

1 comment:

  1. Hello and welcome to the Daring Kitchen and congrats on your first very successful challenge and I hope you enjoy all the other challenges as much as this one.

    What an entertaining post and yes different doughnut dough deep fry differently yeast recipes usually float on top and then brown while the baking powder recipes usually sink then float and then brown. Love all the pictures also. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.