Donuts and Donut Holes

Generally Kaleigh and I stay away from deep frying things because it makes the house smell of oil for the next couple of days. Although every once in awhile a recipe comes along that has us excited enough to completely forgot about that lingering smell. Chefsteps donuts turned out to be one of those recipes.

So early Saturday morning we whipped out the mixing bowls and got to work. The recipe is, as mentioned, full proof. The only two small issues we encountered were the inability to find any diastatic malt powder, and our mixer turned out to be tad bit small for such a large volume of dough. Thankfully it seems to have survived the ordeal, at least for now. The diastatic malt powder is available online, but it was already Friday by the time we realized we wouldn’t be able to find any locally.

The diastatic malt contains malted barley, which itself contains enzymes that help break down the complex starches in flour into simpler carbohydrates. These simple carbs are what the yeast feeds on in order to make the dough rise. When you add diastatic malt to the dough it speeds up the rising process by making those carbohydrates available to the yeast sooner, thus decreasing rise time. Since we could only find non-diastatic malt, we added 20g of extra sugar. Sugar is itself a simple carb, so more ‘food’ was available to feed the yeast immediately.

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As you can tell by the pictures the dough was a bit much for our little mixer and attempted to eat it, but with regular scraping down it mixed just fine. Once the dough had risen and been rolled out, we cut out our donuts. We ended up with 20 donuts, and because there was some excess dough around them, we had enough for 50 donut holes.

The frying part of the process was surprisingly the easiest. We did three donuts at a time and didn’t have any problems with burning or having them come out undercooked. We found using colour to judge their doneness to be a better measure than time, especially since the oil temperature fluctuated a bit through the process. As it says in the instructions it’s important to flip them after the first 15 seconds of frying and then once more later. If you skip this first flip, and only try and do it once, the fried part of the donut will be too heavy and it might keep flipping back over on you.

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To finish the donuts off, we made a simple glaze and added a little bit of food colouring, topping them off with an assortment of sprinkles. Neither of us are huge on overly sweet things, so we just dipped the donuts in the glaze instead of fully coating them. For the filled donuts and donut holes, we tossed them in toasted sugar and filled them with a lemon pastry cream, which we got the recipe for from Modernist Cuisine at Home. The pastry cream was an absolute breeze to make.

This was our first time using the citric acid, and like anything else we use in the kitchen I like to try it on its own first. Lucky for me I only tried a tiny amount. I was expecting it to taste like the powder that’s left behind after sour keys. What I got was something 10 times more tart! That tartness in the pastry cream paired incredibly with the slight caramelly notes from the sugar.

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Next time we’ll likely half the recipe. Partially to make it easier for our mixer to handle, partially because having 20 donuts waiting for us in our kitchen is too tempting.

I was also working on a recipe for pork chops with a maple mustard sauce. Unfortunately due to time constraints I wasn’t able to test it out, so that will have to be reserved for a future project.

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