Dainty Not Quite Donuts
My parents have arrived and brought along with them a suitcase full of goodies and a couple of restrictions. See, I now have a diabetic and a heart patient living in Zee House of Sweets (!), thus my cooking and baking has to adapt. In the meantime, they surely did not come empty handed bringing a dozen of gourmet chocolate bars, caramels, hazelnut praline powder and other delicacies to bake with. More challenges!
Everybody in my family loves donuts, cakey or yeasty does not matter as long as they have that particular flavor of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. I have been wanting to make batch for a while and thought that their visit was a great opportunity to do so…. but I love them and surely want to preserve their health! I looked for a while for the recipe that would allow me to make baked donuts without losing texture and flavor. I decided upon a recipe fro Martha Stewart and tweaked it so I would send my mom’s insulin pump into a frenzy and my dad’s heart into shock.
I love that the recipe starts with a sponge one day, sat overnight and more yeast was added along with the flour and some buttermilk… all these words sounded like the end result could be quite light and airy if modified properly.
After following her recipe, I added enough flour to have still a sticky dough, but one that could be handled and kneaded a little bit, allowing me to form some nice little balls. I let them rise again and baked them with a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
The result: just perfect, we can’t stop eating them! Great way to have some dounuts without taking that deep fryer out.
Here is her recipe and my adaptation:
Dainty Doughnuts, adapted from Martha Stewart
2 envelopes (2 scant tablespoons) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm (110°) water
3 1/4cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface , ( I added 1 cup )
2 tablespoons buttermilk, warm
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks , (I used 3 whole eggs)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Peanut or canola oil, for deep-frying, (I passed)
1 cup superfine sugar, for coating
Nonstick cooking spray
1. In bowl of electric mixer with paddle, stir 1 envelope yeast into 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup flour; beat with paddle on low until combined. Cover; chill this “sponge” overnight.
2. Remove sponge from refrigerator; bring to room temperature. In separate bowl, mix remaining envelope yeast, 2 tablespoons warm water, and the buttermilk. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
3. Mix remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add buttermilk mixture, egg yolks, and cooled melted butter. Beat on low until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Add sponge; beat until dough is soft and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. On clean surface, knead a few turns into a ball. Coat bowl with cooking spray; add dough smooth side up. Cover; let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 3 hours.
4. Cut dough into thirds; cover with plastic wrap. On lightly floured surface, roll out each piece 1/4 inch thick. Using 2-inch and 3/4-inch cookie cutters, cut out doughnuts and centers. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Let stand in a warm place to rise, 15 minutes.
5. Sprinkle some sugar combined with cinnamon (to taste) on top of them and bake at 35o degrees for 10 minutes. Add powdered sugar if desired. (I only did it for the picture).