Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trying to Make Donuts..FAIL

So, I got the new Saveur  magazine, the donut issue. I wanted to try making some after looking at all the gorgeous pictures of perfect donuts.  I love French Crullers and the dough is just a pretty basic Choux Paste like you make for cream puffs and eclairs.  This one had the addition of vodka and instant mashed potato flakes.  It's important that all the ingredients be at room temperature.
Following are the steps.. recipe to follow.
the melted butter, sugar,salt and vodka

bring the butter mixture to a boil

add the flour, potato flakes and cornstarch, mix until it pulls away from the sides of the pan

beat the batter adding one egg at a time

with a large piping bag and a 3/4" star tip pipe out 3" circles on greased parchment paper

cut into individual rings leaving a border around each donut

2" of oil heated to 325 degrees

drop donut batter into fryer

first attempt

better after I figured out how to do this

pretty good looking fried dough

with chocolate glaze and cherry glaze
Ok, so batter is made, circles of donuts piped onto the parchment paper and cut into individual squares.
Directions say to put the dough circles over the oil and drop in using tongs.  Well, the dough is stuck to the paper, using tongs I tried to loosen the dough, which worked but like the picture of my first attempt they were all weird shaped once the came off the paper.  I tried several different techniques to get the dough off the paper until by accident I dropped the whole thing paper and all into the oil and guess what!  The dough just slid right off in a perfect circle..geeze after all that time of trying to figure that out, you had to take the directions literally when it said to drop into the oil it meant drop the whole thing into the oil.  Now this recipe makes a dozen and a half donuts and since I could only fry 3 at a time it was a long process.  I first used a Fry Daddy but it could only hold 2 donuts at a time so I transferred the oil into a deep cast iron skillet which would hold the 3 donuts.  It was a little harder trying to keep the temperature at 325 but it worked turning the flame up or down on the stove.
I was really happy with the results of the fried dough, they came out perfectly, though not always round.  I made the Cherry Amaretto glaze and the Chocolate glaze.  They looked good..but the cherry one didn't taste very good, no cherry flavor or Amaretto flavor just kind of like powdered sugar.  When I dipped the donuts into the glaze it looked nice and for added flavor I drizzled a little of the chocolate glaze on.  The chocolate tasted great and it also looked great once on the donut BUT neither glaze would "dry" and remained sticky.  They tasted pretty good but then we had a dozen and a half donuts and I wasn't happy enough with them to give extras away to anyone.  I kept checking on the "tackiness" of the glaze and loosely covered them that night hoping that in the morning the glaze would have dried but not the donut.  Well, in the morning the glaze was even more sticky and had made the donuts soggy..so they all went into the trash.  All that work.  Donuts were fine, need to find a better glaze, maybe I should have gone with the one that went with the recipe which I will give to you.
Here it is:
French Crullers
Be sure all ingredients are room temperature

3/4C unsalted butter plus a little for greasing the parchment paper
4tsp. sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4C vodka
13/4C water
2C all purpose flour
1/2C instant mashed potato flakes
3Tbsp corn starch
6 eggs plus 4 egg whites
Canola oil for frying
4 C. confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1/2C hot water

Melt the utter in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Using a large spoon skim and discard the white film on the surface.  Slowly pour butter into a bowl leaving behind any sediment. Let cool one minute.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with the extra butter.
Bring melted butter, sugar, salt, vodka and water to a boil in a 4qt sauce pan over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and add the flour, potato flakes and cornstarch and cook stirring constantly until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and leaves a film on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
Transfer dough to a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat dough until slightly cooled about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time beating until the egg is completely absorbed, scraping sides of bowl as needed.  After all the eggs are incorporated beat in the whites.  Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4" star tip and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat 2" of oil to 325 degrees.
Pipe 3" rings onto the greased parchment 2" apart.  Using scissors, cut the donuts out of the paper leaving 1" of paper around the sides of each donut.  Working in batches place crullers in oil (literally place the whole thing in the oil) paper side up using tongs, discard the paper.  Cook flipping once until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the donuts to a baking sheet with a wire rack. Cool completely.
Whisk the sugar, honey and hot water in a bowl until smooth. Dip donuts in the glaze, coating completely; return to rack until the glaze is set.

makes about 11/2 dozen large donuts.

Good luck!!  I hope yours turn out better than mine did.  I'm going to try a cake donut next time.

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