The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
I had such a blast with this month’s challenge. It was just plain fun. There’s just something about homemade doughnuts that brings a smile to my face – and people around me.
Growing up in New York, I had my share of Dunkin Donuts as a kid. I always had a soft spot for factory doughnuts: the sweet, sticky icing, the sprinkles, the dough that somehow managed to be super soft and somewhat chewy at the same time…
And then, there were Belgian doughnuts, also known as croustillons, or oliebollen. They are merely balls of dough (sometimes made with beer), deep-fried to a crisp and served piping hot with a sprinkling of icing sugar. They are sold from carts on the street or during fairs, and served in large paper cones. They are one of my fondest sweet memories, and I really wanted to try making them this month. Unfortunately, time ran out, and I was only able to make American-style yeast doughnuts, following the Alton Brown recipe our hostess Lori had given us.
Like I said, these doughnuts were just fun to make – fun, and easy. The dough was soft and forgiving, and the only mildly scary part of the process was the deep-frying. I’ve said it before: I know how to deep-fry, I’m just always nervous when I have to do it on my own. But I was home alone on the day I was doing the challenge, so it was just me and the frying pan. However, these doughnuts fried up so quickly, they barely made a splash in the oil. I’ve honestly never seen my stove so clean after a deep-frying session.
I made two kinds of butter-based sweet icing: one vanilla, and one chocolate. Because I like to get extreme when it comes to chocolate, I added chocolate sprinkles to the latter. Actually, those doughnuts were supposed to be triple chocolate (oh yes, I would’ve gone there!), but I forgot to split the dough in two and add cocoa to one half. Oh well…
The doughnuts were very good, although I would’ve liked them to be a bit fluffier. But I think I deflated my dough too much when I rolled it to cut out the doughnuts. But they were still light, and tasty, and impressed people. I love learning to make things that I never would’ve considered tackling before. Thanks, Lori!
Don’t forget to check out the challenge recipes and the other Daring Bakers’ creative doughnuts!