Daring Bakers Doughnuts

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I love a good homemade doughnut, so it should be no surprise that I was super stoked to take on this month’s doughnut challenge. Lori was pretty generous with the challenge requirements – asking that we simply make doughnuts! 2 cake and 2 yeast doughnut recipes were provided and the sky was the limit as to how we might want to tweak these recipes – fillings, toppings, shapes, and sizes were all up to the bakers.

Since I still haven’t acquired a doughnut pan, I decided that I would go the yeast doughnut route. I also knew that I would want to be baking these bad boys rather than frying them. Me + hot frying oil = not fun times. I settled on adapting the Baked Doughnuts recipe from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks. I halved the initial recipe and veganized it with great results.

I opted for three different glazes (Pumpkin Pie Spice, Southern Comfort, and Apple Cider) and attempted my first filled doughnuts. For the doughnut filling I combined about 2/3c vanilla pudding with 1/3 c pumpkin butter and piped it into the doughnuts – I am telling you, that filling was off the charts! I seriously considered just bypassing piping it into the doughnuts and piping it straight into my mouth. The only things I would change for the future would be to make my glazes a little thicker and to try to show some self-restraint and allow the doughnuts to cool a little bit longer before dunking them into the glazes and devouring.

You can view the adapted doughnut recipe plus the glaze recipes after the jump.

Baked Vegan Doughnuts
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks
makes about 1 dozen (the way I cut them yielded 3 filled doughnuts, 6 regular doughnuts, and 6 doughnut holes)

For the dough:
1/2 c plus 3 T warm rice milk, divided, 95-105 degrees (temperature is important, if it is too hot it will kill the yeast)
1 1/8 t active dry yeast (about half a packet)
1 T vegan butter
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c applesauce
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt

Place 3 T of the warm rice milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir in the yeast and set aside for at least 5 minutes. Place the remaining 1/2 c of warm rice milk in a small bowl, stir in the butter and sugar. Add to the yeast mixture when it is ready.

On low speed, mix in the applesauce, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until flour is incorporated. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for a few minutes more at medium speed. Make any adjustments to the dough that you need – if it’s too sticky add more flour a few tablespoons at a time, if it’s too dry add a little bit of milk. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and become soft and smooth.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it a few times by hand (the dough should be barely sticky). Shape the dough into a ball.

Transfer the ball of dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on a floured surface. Use a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut out the smaller inner circles using a 1 1/2 inch cutter. Cover the baking sheet with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

**Alternatively, at this point you can wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. Just let the doughnuts rise in a warm place an hour before baking.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes – start checking around 8. It is better to underbake than overbake – remember they will continue to bake outside of the oven for a few minutes after you pull them out.

While the doughnuts are baking you can prepare your glazes and toppings.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes on a wire rack. Dip the warm doughnuts in the glaze and toppings and serve immediately.

Doughnuts

For the glazes you pretty much start with the same amount of confectioner’s sugar and then just adjust what liquids/spices you add to them. I would highly recommend adding the liquid about 1/2 T – 1 T at a time and assessing the glaze consistency after each addition. Also, if you have the time to sift the sugar after measuring it will help eliminate any lumps in your glaze.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Glaze

3/4 c confectioner’s sugar
1/2 – 1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 – 2 T milk

Southern Comfort Glaze

3/4 c confectioner’s sugar
1 – 1 1/2 T Southern Comfort
1 t vanilla extract

Apple Cider Glaze

3/4 c confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 – 2 T apple cider

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