Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Diner-Style Powdered Buttermilk Doughnuts

Doughnut Holes - made December 3, 2011 from Diner Desserts by Tish Boyle

This is the other new recipe I tried for last Saturday's little dessert get together with my high school friends. The main thing I changed from the recipe is I made them all as doughnut holes and didn't cut them out as doughnuts.  Because they were only one of several treats I was serving at my dessert gathering, I didn't want any one dessert to be too big.  Doughnut holes were less of a commitment than doughnuts and left my guests free to sample everything else.  Although, as you can tell from the pictures, these look like really misshapen doughnut holes, lol.  I used a small round cookie cutter for them but they came out more like little biscuits that fried to their own interesting shape.  But they still tasted good.  They're more like cake doughnuts since they're not yeasted or, as one of my friends' kids put it, "they taste like churros".  As expected, they were best when warm but even after they had cooled, they were still crisp on the outside.  Their texture is a bit heavy so it's best to make them small.  If I make them again, I would make them half the size of these.

3 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1.    In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add the sugar and stir the dry ingredients with a whisk until combined.
2.   In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until blended.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into it.  Using a rubber spatula, stir until the mixture forms a soft, moist dough.  Dust a work surface with flour.  Scrape the dough onto the work surface and lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour.  Gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently 5 or 6 times, or until smooth.  Roll or pat the dough into a round roughly 10 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick.  Transfer the round to a baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm.
3.   Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter (or a 3-inch round biscuit cutter and a ¾-inch cutter or pastry tip for the hole), cut out 7 doughnuts and holes from the dough.  Gather the scraps together, reroll ½ inch thick, and cut out 3 more doughnuts and as many holes as possible.  Place the doughnuts and holes on a baking sheet or 2 plates, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while heating the oil for frying.
4.   Pour the oil into a deep-fat fryer or large straight-sided saucepan to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.  Heat the oil to 370⁰F.  Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
5.   Fry the doughnuts and holes in small batches, turning once for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towels to drain, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
6.   When the doughnuts and holes are completely cool, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.  Generously dredge the doughnuts and holes in the sugar, shaking off the excess.  Serve the same day.

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