Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' October Challenge - Doughnuts

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!


  1. Love the double chocolate and the idea of the triple chocolate! Genius! I found the dough to be really light as well and I think I probably deflated mine a but as well.

  2. Beautiful doughnuts--I love the picture of the drippy glaze one. They are fun to make and I'm sure you'll find eager volunteers if you decide to make the Belgian ones. Where do I sign up?

  3. Oh those are delicious looking donuts!! Love the chocolate on chocolate ones. Great job!

  4. Those chocolate on chocolate doughnuts look exquisite just so beautiful and it sounds like you had FUN doing this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  5. Those sound and look delicious! Great job. I just love how perfect they all look and the chocolate sprinkles look great on top of the chocolate glaze. :)

  6. It was a fun challenge indeed this month, and you did a tasty donut too! Feel the same way about deep-frying. I want to try the Belgian one now! See you tomorrow at le Boucan.

  7. That's one of the funniest things about DB's Challenges! The oportunity to make a recipe that we never though about making!
    And find great blogs like yours too!
    I love your chocolate sprinkle doughnuts!

  8. Just love the melting chocolate icing topped with chocolate sprinkles. Creates such an impactful shot!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  9. As I knew they would, your donuts turned out amazing! You know, I had no idea you grew up NY! City? 5 boroughs? That said, your description of the Belgian donuts sound very similar to Zeppole. Beautifully done, Val, and I'll take the triple chococ one with sprinkles! :) xoxox

  10. delicious looking donuts! well done

  11. i have to try choc donuts too, urs look divine

  12. Loved the chocolate doughnuts!!