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Baked Doughnuts

February 17, 2011
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The term “doughnuts” is used loosely in the title of this post.

They look like doughnuts… smell like doughnuts… but unfortunately they’re missing the essence of doughnuts.

I chose to make baked doughnuts because I’m a fried food novice.  It’s one thing to know your fast food has spent some time in the deep fryer.  It’s another to purposely dunk your meal in a vat of fat.  For that reason, I’ve always avoided making fried food at home.  I think next time I’ll take one for the team and go the fried route.

That being said, they still were tasty, and adorable.  Would I make them again?  No.  Did I eat three right out of the oven?  Yes.  Oops.

They’re made of your typical sweet yeast dough – no surprises there.  Cutting out the doughnuts was interesting.  I used a small cup-like container for the large circle, and an apple corer for the small hole in the middle.

The first roll out of the dough (far left in picture below) produced beautiful, perfectly shaped doughnuts.  The doughnuts cut out from the subsequent roll outs (far right) produced doughnuts that were difficult to shape.

Strangely enough, the misshapen doughnuts were the ones that rose the highest.  Must have been the extra kneading.

Baked Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts

adapted from Piece of Cake
makes about 12 doughnuts

Dough Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup milk, heated to 95 to 105 degrees
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon-sugar Coating Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place 3 tablespoons of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast and set aside for at least five minutes.
  2. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of warm milk in a small bowl, stir in the butter and sugar, and add it to the yeast mixture.
  3. On low speed, stir in the egg, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated.
  4. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. At this point, make a few adjustments – if your dough is seriously sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add a little bit of milk. Eventually, you want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and become soft and smooth.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface, knead it a few times by hand, and shape it into a smooth ball.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place. Let the dough rise until its doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on a floured work surface. Using a 2-3 inch cookie cutter, stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut holes in the centers with a smaller cutter, about half the diameter of the first–remember the hole will close up on the second rising if it’s too small, so make it a little bigger than what a finished doughnuts would look like (alternatively, use a doughnut cutter, if you actually own one).
  8. Cover the baking sheet with a clean cloth and let the doughnuts rise for another 45 minutes.
  9. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 7 to 9 minutes – start checking around 7. Better to underbake then overbake here–pull them early if in doubt. While the doughnuts are baking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugars and cinnamon in a separate bowl (or large ziploc bag), stirring to blend evenly.
  10. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugars. Serve immediately.
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