Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Time To Bake The Donuts!

Baked Donuts?

Has she gone MAD??

No. I haven't. Yet. This month's cover of Family Circle Magazine was intriguing. Baked Donuts? I mean, why not, right? We have baked potato chips and baked french fries....why not a baked donut?

It's in interesting concept. A regular donut, which has been deep fried in oil, has about 300 calories with 12-18 gms of fat per serving. A Baked Donut, minus the chocolate and sugar toppings, has about 135 calories with only 6 gms of fat per serving. So to the donut connoisseur, they may not live up to classic donut standards, but to a Weight Watcher.......they are bliss. True bliss. With a hole.

I ordered a couple of donut pans from Target and surfed the internet for donut recipes. The Family Circle recipe was a little too much like cake, and if I was going to bake a donut, then it had to taste like a donut too. The recipe I ended up with was adapted from three different recipes that I found, all on different websites.

So phone the neighbors and wake the kids, because you will definitely want to try these. They're easy to make and fun too.

Baked Donuts

1 1/3 cups warm milk

1 packet active dry yeast or about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 pinch or two of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball. Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Then, using a smaller circle cutter, I cut the doughnut "hole" out in the center. (Ah-ha! The "munchkin" is born!) Transfer the circles to the donut pan. Then cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Coat with your favorite toppings like a dip in melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl.

So, let's go over it again step by step.....just in case you weren't paying attention the first time.

Add the warm milk to the bowl.
Add the yeast, stir and let sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast will get all warm and bubbly and happy.

Then add the butter,

flour and sugar.

A healthy pinch of nutmeg. Um, yeah. Please don't mind my giant stumpy blacksmith hand.

Two spanking fresh eggs

Mix this all together with a wooden spoon, just until all the flour is incorporated.

Then, using a bread hook, knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.....but don't walk away will be ready in about 2 minutes.

Loosely shape the dough into a ball and put into a bowl that has been sprayed or wiped down with vegetable oil.

Cover it with a clean dishtowel and go do laundry for about an hour. By the time you're finished, the dough will have doubled in size.

Now comes the fun part. Make a fist and pretend it's your old high school math teacher.....remember the mean one? Yes, that one! Take aim at the dough, focus on that image and PUNCH. IT. DOWN! Then turn it out onto a floured countertop and using a rolling pin, roll it out to about 1/4 inch high.

Even though I have the donut pan, I used two cookie cutters to form the donut shape.

Then I plunked them down in the Donut Pan, covered them with a dishtowel. Ahem, a clean dishtowel, and let them rise for another 45 minutes. If you don't have a donut pan, just place the donut rings on a cookie sheet and follow the same instructions.

Then I baked them at 275 degrees for about 8 - 10 minutes. And they will come out looking all fat and happy.

Like this.

My friend Frank says that donuts are nothing more than "fat pills".

I wonder why.

Of course when you glaze them with sugar and chocolate, all bets on the "low fat" thing are off.

Oh and coconut. And chocolate sprinkles.

Did I already mention the chocolate? Um, ya. Easy to make. Mix about 2 cups of confectioners sugar with about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of dark unsweetened cocoa powder and stir it all up. Now take a warm donut and give it a little dunk. Um, ya.

I feel faint.

I almost forgot the best one. Cinnamon and Sugar Donuts! I used a pastry brush to coat the cooked donuts with melted butter. I know. I'm wicked. Then I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar all over. Moses.

Baked Donuts?

Go on. You can do it.


Lisa said...

You are wicked! I feel faint...Too!

Sooo, Lets talk about another field trip to your Aunt Grace's...We can make Donuts.

What do ya think???

Diane {} said...

Your donuts look delicious!

aunt grace said...

Oh boy do thoes look delecious. What next, I know how about doggie treats, they are not fatening and look good enough to eat.

The Amazing Trips said...

You've already been to SC.

You need to come HERE.

Right NOW. Because I need those donuts and that chocolate monkey bread and a fondant cake that looks like a scale.

Sandy (Your Life, Organized) said...

Wow! You make it look so easy!!
They are beautiful and looks so yummy!
Maybe i will have to give it a go!

StrawBerry CAKE said...

WOW, these look fantastic! your pictures make me want to grab one right off my screen!

clairebakescakes said...

OMG!!! I swear to the donut god I just OD'd watching this post. I really might have to try this. My hubbs and kids loves donut but I'm not a big fan. Maybe I will be a fan of this donut :-)
Thanks for sharing this.

ConnerFamily said...

oh my gosh! these donuts look amazing. and i love that they are baked! i'm definately trying this recipe! thanks =)

Snooky doodle said...

I can t believe these are baked. they look delicious!

Rachel said...

Yum! Those look amazing...and would definitely take me off my diet. If only I could eat them without the chocolate...

Tupper Cooks! said...

Holy Moley-Droolin' time again!

Val said...

I SOOO have to make donuts!

Scrapbtown said...

We made these for Christmas - Yummo. The kids decorated their own donuts & had a blast!! The recipe has now been transferred to a card - the high honor!! Thanks

Redaca said...

I just made the Family Circle ones and love them. Anything chocolate is good for me though! I don't know how big their pans were, but I was able to make one recipe fit 5 large and 12 mini shapes when it said it made 6 doughnuts...bonus! My favorite are jelly and I found by dusting a little regular sugar on them when they are warm, warming some jam in the microwave and drizzling it on and then a light drizzle of powdered sugar glaze made it taste pretty good. Of course not the deep fried thing, but still helps with those cravings.