I love doughnuts. In fact I think there should be some rules or some sort, that if a stranger gives you a doughnut, you gotta make him one of your best friends or something. Doughnut is such a true representation of love, humanity and friendship between all living things. Little golden nuggets of fried soft and fluffy bread interior, wonderful fragrance of yeast and lovely combination of texture and sweetness. A bit of a chew, a bit of crunch from the sugar, totally enjoyable and light. Tell me, what's there not to love?
And hell are they dirt cheap to make. Half a bag of flour and one egg yields you a mountain of doughnuts good enough to spread the joy to the neighbors and even some for the kids to play around with. Before they were fried I was swearing that I will never make doughnuts again cause god... the amount are like rabbits giving birth! But yet it's so freaking easy to make and once they are done, you won't regret.
The process may be long (Bout 2 days for me) and it seem only right that you just pay like 80 cent to a dollar from the confectionery shop downstairs (Those who charge $1.20 for a doughnut are basically murdering the confectionery industry) But seriously, the whole process is just a question of some light mixing and kneading and repeating of steps. Something very very enjoyable to do on a quiet weekend after a crazy week at work. And god how you truly reap what you sow.
Anyway I didn't have those doughnut cutters so I just use a glass, cut out the rounds and made little holes in the middle by my fingers. Well just tear them it won't hurt.
Kitchen towels on the left, cinnamon sugar on the right
The only deal is that well.... it's fried. I hate frying stuffs at home because I do not have a fryer and I do not like the idea of half a bottle of oil gone in just one day. But at the same time I do not approve any forms of doughnut or fake imitations of doughnut by baking. It's worse than sin. Other than the frying part, you really gotta be damn good at coordination because many things will be happening just within split seconds. Not exactly relaxing but well... the enjoyable meter is still running.
But still on the topic of coordination, when I first made these alone I really had a very hard time keeping everything in control. First gotta lay the fermented dough gently into the hot oil, and by the time you are done picking up the 2nd dough, you have to check on the first one that you just plonk into the oil just seconds ago. Before you even consider putting more doughs into the oil cause you really want to end all these real quick, it's time to pick them all out, shake out all those dripping oil droplets and bunk them on some kitchen towels. And because you need them hot so the sugar will stick, you roll them quick around the towels and then into the sugar and now start all over again with the rest of the dough. TIRING. But well you know... I did the mistake of not considering hiring some help.
Icing makes them happy
I tell you they are not going to eat it all
I personally prefer doughnuts rolled in caster or cinnamon sugar only. Those heavily decorated and iced commercial stuffs are really not my cup of tea but according to the terrible twos, they said this recipe is quite good with icing. And apparently, hell lots of it.
This was only one of the many trays...
My Favorite Old Fashioned Doughnuts
180g Soften Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Cups of Milk
2 1/4 tsp Yeast
1/2 Cup Water
1kg Plain Flour (Don't be appalled... I told you this yields a village portion)
Don't really have a proper recipe, but here's how I did mine.
First, dissolve the yeast into the 1/2 cup of water and leave it aside. Heat up the milk and leave it warm aside. Cream butter, salt and sugar till they are well mixed and fluffy, then add in the eggs one by one and vanilla till it turns into a batter.
By now the milk should be warm. Pour it in and then the yeast water and stir to combine everything together. It will look terribly like a whole bowl of liquid and that's why you need one whole bag of flour. Add flour and knead till you get a soft dough (Bout 6 - 8 cups) and once your dough has come together, knead till smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. I know it's just more easier to dump in more flour but try not to be tempted or else you get hard fried rocks.
Leave the dough to proof until visibly doubled in size or as long as you can leave it to. I'm not stating a time as weather is so irregular these days so I usually heat up the oven to the lowest degree for a few minutes to get it stuffy and leave the whole bowl inside. Takes me bout 1 - 1 1/2 hour. Knead out the air after that and let it proof again for the 2nd time (I usually leave the dough to proof in the fridge until the next day).
If proofing in fridge, let the dough come to room temperature first. Then roll out to about half inch thickness and cut up whatever way you want cause they'll end up round anyway. Leave to proof again for the 3rd time (I do my oven trick again) Heat up oil in a pan, making sure it is all hot but not smoking. Pick up the dough gently and lie them into the oil. Fry a few minutes each side till golden brown and roll in a tray of sugar.
One thing I learn is that if your oil temperature is not constant, your doughnuts can turn out either too brown or unevenly cooked. So you really gotta know your stove well. Also roll the doughnuts in the sugar while they are hot. Don't bother about draining them or squeezing every single drop of oil out of them. Life doesn't go around this way and worse is the sugar won't stick.