It’s been a while since we have discussed doughnuts in this article. For the last few years we have been bringing you lots of options for Chanukah menus and a variety of deep-fried treats.
It’s time to get back to basics.
· Always use canola or peanut oil. These oils have the highest smoking points. Low-smoking-point oil, like extra virgin olive oil will emit stronger odors and burn more easily.
· Use the heaviest large pot that you have. Heavy cookware will maintain more constant oil temperature.
· Never fill the pot more than half way with oil; it will inevitably spurt when you put the doughnuts in the oil. Use enough oil so that the food will cook without touching.
· Heat the oil to 350 degrees. If the oil is not hot enough, your doughnuts will absorb oil, becoming heavy and soggy. Using a candy or deep fry thermometer is the most accurate way of keeping track of temperature. Deep fry thermometers ranging in price from $5.00 to $15.00 are a worthwhile investment.
· Once the oil has reached the proper temperature, lower the heat slightly to keep it from getting hotter. Do not allow it to get hotter than 375 degrees. If the oil is too hot, the outside will burn without giving the dough inside a chance to cook.
· Drop in a few doughnuts at a time. Putting in too many doughnuts will cause the temperature to drop drastically. When the doughnuts have cooked to a light golden brown they are ready.
· Place a cooling rack over a large sheet pan lined with paper towel. This method is better than draining the doughnuts on paper towels.
Many doughnut recipes can be prepared in advance and frozen. Before frying, allow the doughnuts to defrost and come to room temperature. Defrost doughnuts uncovered to allow moisture to evaporate. Wet doughnuts will spritz dangerously when lowered into hot oil.
Homemade doughnuts will win taste tests in any family. Now that you know all the professional tips to easily turning out perfect doughnuts, you’re ready to pass the test with flying colors.
2½ cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar
¾ cups warm water
2 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ tablespoons softened margarine
canola or peanut oil for frying
granulated sugar and cinnamon
Sift flour into your mixer bowl. Add the yeast, sugar, egg yolks, water and salt. Knead until well blended.
Add the margarine and knead until dough is elastic. Cover and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle flour on your work surface. Roll out dough 1/8” thick and cut 2” circles using a cookie or doughnut cutter. Cover and let it rise for 15 minutes longer. Or freeze for later use.
Pour oil into a heavy pot. Heat to 350 degrees on a candy thermometer. Drop 4-5 doughnuts into the oil and cook until golden, turning only once to prevent too much oil from being absorbed. Remove from the oil using a skimmer or slotted spoon. Place on a cooling rack above a pan lined with paper towels. Continue cooking doughnuts until all are done.
In a small bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Roll doughnuts in this mixture and serve immediately.
To fill your doughnuts with jelly or custard, use a long icing tip made specifically for this purpose. Place the jelly or custard in a large pastry bag fitted with this filler tip. Use the end of the tip to poke a hole on the side or bottom of the doughnut. Squeeze the bag for a count of 3 to express the filling. Stop squeezing, wait a count of 3 and remove the tip from the doughnut. This will prevent filling from leaking out as you work.