Saturday, September 4, 2010

mmmm....Donuts for cheap

So I was lying in bed this morning and I just couldn't get donuts out of my mind. Crazy, but I guess that's what being pregnant with bacon bit does... Oh the fun cravings. So I got up early (we're talking 5:30 am here!) and was going to make some, but I'm out of oil. Bummer. SO I decided to write about them for everyone else to enjoy! (I'm off to the store later for some oil though!!)

Here is the recipe for homemade yeast donuts:

Yeast donuts:

2pks yeast (5tsp)
1/2 cup warm water (110-115*)
1/2 c warm milk
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
4.5-5 cups flour
oil for frying

* I make this in my kitchenaid mixer with dough hook but you can make these the old-fashion way with a bowl, spoon and hands.*

In mixing bowl place water, yeast and 1tsp sugar. Let it sit for 5 min or until bubbly. Add in milk, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Mix on LOW ( I use splatter shield attachment too) Mix in enough flour until dough pulls away and forms ball. Mix another 4-5 min on 2-3 speed. Turn on floured surface and kneed it a few times (I usually do about 8-10 turns- probably don't have to do this since the machine does a lot) Grease bowl - place dough in it and turn once. Let rise 1hr in warm spot.
Here it is after it's first rise
Punch down, just as it says, shove your fist in the middle and push down. You don't need to take any frustrations out on it though! One punch is all you need. Cut dough in 1/2. roll out 1/2 dough to 1/2" thickness and cut into donuts with donut cutter (or round cup, cookie cutter ect all work). place on greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel (flour sack dish towels work great) and let rise for 30min or about double in size in a warm spot. Finding a warm spot can sometimes be tricky. I normally put them in the sun, but on cool days I will pre-heat my oven to 200*. TURN OVEN OFF! Then set the pans in there to rise.
These were cut with a 3" donut cutter
Doubled in size and ready to fry
In electric skillet or pan, place enough oil for frying and let warm to 375 -(I bought an electric skillet at walmart for $20 and it works awesome- has temp control too so I don't have to worry about a thermometer) GENTLY place donut in oil, or their 'bath' as Little Miss Bacon likes to call it! If the kids are around, make sure they stay back and just watch this step. And be careful yourself, make sure not to splash the donut in and watch for oil spatter when frying so you don't get burnt. Because it hurts... I know I've done it! Fry until light brown, flip and brown other side.

Take out and drain on paper (i use brown paper bag and paper towels) and let them Cool.
Don't forget the donut holes too!
Look at how many one batch makes!! I got about 3 dozen donuts and 3 dozen donut holes! And you were thinking of spending $5 on a dozen!!
I spent under $5 on all of these.
Now the YUMMY part... Top with frosting/sprinkles ect. This is always fun for the kids to help out. Sometimes you get a sprinkles overload (and yes the floor will be covered in them too!) but as long as they are having fun right?! The frosting I make is just powder sugar, milk and almond extract. Honestly I just wing it, but it's something like this:
3 cups powder sugar
2 TBSP milk
1/2 tsp almond extract (you can use vanilla or any other kind you have on hand.... you can even omit this if you don't have anything)

Mix it all together, if it's too thick, add more milk. Thicker frosting can be spread on top and sprinkles added. If it's too runny, add more powdered sugar. Runny frosting, donuts can be dipped in it for a glaze. Once I frost my donuts, I usually place them on a wire rack so the extra frosting can drip off and get hard.
If you prefer chocolate you can make a ganache frosting for them. Or just add cocoa powder to the recipe above.

Chocolate Ganache:
9oz chocolate chips (1.5 cups or 3/4 of a standard bag)
1cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in a bowl. Warm cream on stove in sauce pan until it boils. Watch this closely as it happens fast and if not watching it will boil all over the place! Once it boils, pour it over the chocolate chips and stir with a whisk until smooth. Let it cool for a few minutes before frosting donuts. You can also whip this with an electric mixer or whisk once cooled for a nice thick chocolate frosting!

I know it looks like I spent a lot of time making these. And if you've never made homemade breads before it can seem really scary at first. But these are really easy. The part that takes the longest is waiting for everything to rise! Mixing the dough is really fast. And it doesn't take much time to cut them out or fry them up. So give it a try. They are SO DELICIOUS and worth it! And invite some friends over to help you eat them because they make a TON!

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