One of the sweet things that we used to do at my old job was on anyone’s birthday, they got to choose what special treat everyone in the office got to share. It was usually a particular kind of cake or cupcake or the one guy that really like Corona beer (ironic) and every one had a beer before we left for the day. On my birthday – it was doughnuts. Donuts from Duck Donuts to be exact. There is little in life that’s better than a soft warm doughnut with a sugary glaze on top.
And when it comes to doughnuts – there is no competition– yeasted and fried. I’ve had my fair share of cake doughnuts…but that’s just it…they are CAKE. Yeast. Fried. End of conversation.
However, I’m always up for a challenge and quite frankly just couldn’t be bothered to fry anything today. So, let’s give it a shot.
With the exception of warming up the milk and hot water, everything about this was sort of a ‘dump and mix’ situation. The shortening threw me off, as I’ve never made a doughnut with shortening before, but since the challenge is to follow the recipe exactly, we’ll stick with it.
I also thought the instructions to “mix for 1/2 minute” was interesting. When you add shortening to a shed load of wet ingredients you get big chunks of shortening….and half a minute is nothing. Once you start to mix in the remaining flour, everything started to come together – except HOLY STICKINESS! This wasn’t dough, it was goo. It took at least another 1/2 cup to get anywhere close to “smooth”.
Not to be a too much of a stickler for the rules, but no where in this recipe does it say to transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise. It says to just cover and let rise. The bowl is a mess! There’s little bits everywhere – especially because it’s so sticky. Leaving this in the mixing bowl to rise goes against everything I’ve ever done.
Also – just for the record – it never says to use a dough hook. Was I supposed to use the regular mixing attachment? That’s bizarre.
I decided to meet the recipe half way and I didn’t oil my bowl, but I did transfer to a clean container. I left it for an hour and argued with the guy that knocked on my door to sell me siding.
We have lift off! Look at that bubbly goodness!
Everything from this point was smooth sailing for the most part. I rolled out to about a 1/2 inch thickness and used a biscuit cutter to cut the rounds. They were placed on baking sheets and left to rise for a second time.
This is where it sort of fell off the rails. I left these bad boys for almost an hour and they just never rose again. Maybe not warm enough in my house? It’s like 9000 degrees outside today, so that seems unlikely. But dough is a tricky thing and has a mind of it’s own. Also, brushing the doughnuts with melted butter felt wrong before baking. Like somehow I was hurting the rise – which is a good possitbility.
After finally giving up on these suckers not rising – I just pushed forward and baked ’em.
The only way I can explain these is that it’s a cross between a yeasted doughnut, a cake doughnut, and a biscuit. There IS a doughnut in there, I’m just not sure what’s wrong with it.
It browned like a biscuit, and the bottom that was touching the baking sheet browned too much. It has the air filled yeasted pockets a normal yeasted doughnut would, but has the mouth feel of a cake doughnut.
But a doughnut, even a baked one is better than a Kale salad any day.
So, in summary: A doughnut that has some serious conflicting personality issues.
If you are going to go to all the trouble of making home made doughnuts, just fry the suckers.