Posted on Friday, 3rd September 2010 by Grace Massa Langlois
I’ve always wanted to learn how to make doughnuts at home but found the task a little daunting, until now. I started experimenting with Donna Hay’s recipes in the last couple of months and every recipe I’ve made has turned out perfect. Donna’s instructions are easy to follow and she always adds tips and explains techniques along the way. Armed with Donna’s doughnut recipe and Alton Brown’s famous chocolate doughnut glaze recipe I knew I was in business and ready to make the most amazing chocolate glazed doughnuts!
For those of you who are not familiar with Donna Hay she hails from Australia and is one of the best-known names in cookbook and magazine publishing in the world. She was only 19 when she began her career as a freelance food writer and stylist. At the age of 25 she became editor not only to Marie Claire but also to Marie Claire Lifestyle. She is a cook, food stylist, author and magazine editor. She has a long list of best-selling and award-winning books, including but not limited to, Modern Classics Book 1 and 2, Off the Shelf, The Instant Cook and The New Cook. She also writes a weekly food column in the Sunday editions of News Limited newspapers and The New Zealand Herald. Her columns reach 7 million people each week (Can you imagine?)!
Most recently Donna became a judge on the very popular series MasterChef Australia (one of my favourite TV food series). In September of 2001 Donna launched her bi-monthly magazine (can’t wait to get my hands on the new edition), Donna Hay Magazine (in a very short time has become one of my favourite avenues for inspiration), and it instantly became a hit, not only in Australia but also across the world. Donna’s description of the magazine, “Donna Hay Magazine is all about home cooking at its best. It excites the seasoned entertainer, entices the confident cook and inspires the novice to get into the kitchen, put on an apron and start cracking eggs”.
I love Donna Hay! I think she exudes such warmth and it clearly comes through in her food and styling. Not only does she create easy-to-follow recipes but her signature food styling (I could instantly pick out a dish that she’s styled) is amazing and so inspirational. I agree with Mario Batali when he said, “Donna Hay is the new Zen mistress of simplicity in both technique and presentation”.
Let’s get back to doughnuts shall we, that’s why we’re here, right? As usual Donna’s doughnut recipe was easy to follow and it made making doughnuts for the first time a walk in the park. The dough was very easy to work with and it rose beautifully. My only mistake, I broke the cardinal rule and didn’t read the entire recipe before I started and I rolled the dough out a little too thin. I didn’t try to correct it because I’ve been told if you work yeast dough too much you could ruin the end result. So please, please, please only roll out the dough to a 1 1/2 inch thickness.
The recipe is quite versatile, you could turn these into filled doughnuts by not cutting the middle holes and piercing the side of the doughnut with the tip of a knife and piping in a little jam or crème pâtissière or you could roll in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon or confectioners’ sugar (exactly what I did with my doughnut holes) or you can glaze and sprinkle.
The doughnuts were light and fluffy and the chocolate glaze was absolutely scrumptious. The doughnut holes I coated in confectioners’ sugar were even better the next day, due to the heat it turned into a bit of a glaze, so delicious!
If you’ve never made doughnuts please give these a try. I am absolutely confident that a delicious batch of doughnuts, no matter how you dress them up, is sure to please everyone.
How To Make Doughnuts
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) lukewarm water
- 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) lukewarm milk
- 3 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
- 100 g (3 1/2 ounces) butter, melted
- 4 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- 3 eggs
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Place the yeast, water, milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
- Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix with a butter knife until a sticky dough forms.
- Bring the dough together by kneading on a lightly floured surface.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until it feels smooth and elastic when pressed.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1 cm (1 1/2 inches) thick. Cut 8 cm (3 1/4 inch) rounds with a cutter. Cut a 3.5 cm (1 1/4 inch) hole in the middle of the rounds.*
- Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the doughnuts a few at a time for 1 minute each side or until golden.
- Drain briefly on paper towels.
Chocolate Doughnut Glaze
(from The Food Network, Good Eats – Alton Brown)
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift icing sugar into a small bowl; set aside.
- Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted.
- Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted.
- Turn off heat, add the confectioners’ sugar, and whisk until smooth.
Assembling Chocolate-Glazed Doughnuts
- Place the chocolate glaze over a bowl of warm water.
- Dip the doughnuts immediately.
- Place on wire racks to cool completely and to allow the glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, breakfast, breakfast pastries, brunch, chocolate, chocolate dessert, chocolate desserts, chocolate glaze, chocolate recipes, donut glaze, donut recipes, donuts, doughnut recipes, doughnuts, food, food photography, food photos, weekend entertaining, yeast donuts, yeast doughnuts
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Dolci Fritti, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fried Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Yeast Breads & Yeast Dough