By the lack of postings one could wonder if I ever came down from the high that BlogHer Food and San Francisco. I did. I actually gave myself one day to catch up and crashed hard on Wednesday evening. Responsibilities hit me up again the following day. I love that work is insane and insanely good. I don’t like that it keeps me away from here this much. I definitely rely on a 4 o’clock break complete with cookies and milk. Or as it was the case this week, doughnuts and hot chocolate!
I am not one to be afraid of deep frying but I certainly am one to shy away from making doughnuts that often. I know I will end up eating too many. Right out of the hot oil. Almost. Perfectly brown. Crisp and soft. Lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. Simple is always best but there is a place and time to venture out in baking. Especially when it comes to doughnuts. S’Mores Doughnut specifically.
Thanks to Lara Ferroni and her book "Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home", I only have to sit there and pick the next one. I know for having been part of her testing panel that all the recipes have been seriously and thoroughly discussed, dissected and perfected. I could not have possibly tested them all and started making a list of the ones to bake once her book would be out. S’mores doughnuts of course, but also Apple Cider, Creme Brulees, Sopapillas, Loukoumades, Carrot Cake…there is literally a doughnut and a glaze for every friend you have.
You get it. I liked the book. A lot. The doughs, the glazes, the fillings. The regulars like Basic Raised Yeast doughnuts, the basic cake, the chocolate version. And a impeccable gluten free version. Maple glaze, bourbon, caramel, chocolate. There four pages of these for your belly’s delights. See? Not kidding when I tell you there something for everyone.
If you are into visuals, Lara’s book is truly the proverbial feast for your eyes. And how could it be otherwise with Lara’s talent as a photographer and stylist. Knowing what goes into a shoot when working/acting as a single agent, from the shopping, cooking, styling, photographing, all the way to post processing, you can tell that Lara poured her heart and perfectionism into this book.
It shows. It’s fun, it’s straight foward, it’s generous in details and instructions and it’s quirky at times. Much like Lara…
So far this week, I made the Gluten Free Raised Doughnuts with a citrus glaze and the S’Mores Doughnuts. Wish I had not ran out of gluten free flours when I decided to make these but from the look on B’s face as he chowed through a couple, I know I must make them again this week! Stay tuned for another doughnut post…Both versions of the basic yeasted doughnut were equally easy to work with and very close in texture which is no small order in gluten free baking. That makes me very very happy for the rest of the recipes in the book.
Bravo Lara! Hard work pays off, period. Wishing your book plenty of sweet and delicious success! I am honored everyday by your friendship and generosity.
S’Mores Doughnuts (reprinted with Lara’s permission)
Makes 8 to 12
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
10 graham crackers, finely crushed
2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 batch Basic Raised dough (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon milk or water
twelve 1-ounce squares milk or dark chocolate
48 mini marshmallows
Stir together 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, graham crackers and sugar. Cover and set aside.
Prepare the dough as directed through the proofing stage. Roll the dough to just a bit more than 1/4 -inch thick. Cut into 3-inch diameter rounds. Roll out half of the rounds to about a 3 1/4-inch diameter. To assemble, lightly brush each wider round with the milk or water and place a square of chocolate and 4 mini marshmallows in the center of each. Top with the smaller rounds and lightly pinch to seal. Then recut with the same cutter to seal the edges.
Fry the doughnuts as directed and let cool for only 3 minutes. Brush each doughnut with a little melted butter, then dip into the graham cracker mixture. Serve immediately.
Basic Raised Dough:
3 tablespoons (22grams) active dry yeast, divided
1 cup of whole milk, heated to 110ºF, divided
2 to 2 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons (30 grams) superfine sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
½ stick (4 tablespoons / 2 oz) unsalted butter or vegetable shortening
vegetable oil for frying
In a medium bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons of the yeast into ¾ cup of the milk. Add ¾ cup of flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the rested flour mixture along with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add ½ cup of the remaining flour. Mix on low for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds. Switch to a dough hook and add more flour, about ¼ cup at a time with the mixer turned off, kneading the dough at medium speed between additions, until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky. It will be very soft and moist, but not so sticky that you can’t roll it out. You may have flour left over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 12 hours).
Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured non-terry dish towel. Roll out the dough on a slightly floured surface to ½ inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter (can use a glass, too) cut out 3-inch-diameter rounds with 1-inch-diameter holes (for filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the holes).
Place the doughnuts on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, 5 to 20 minutes, testing at five-minute intervals. To test whether the dough is ready, touch lightly with a fingertip. If it springs back immediately, it needs more time. If it springs back slowly, it is ready. If it does not spring back at all, it has overproofed; no worries- you can punch it down and re-roll it once.
While the doughnuts are proofing, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a thermometer registers 360F. With a metal spatula, carefully place the doughnuts in the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool before glazing.
Disclosure: the book was sent by Lara’s publisher as a thank you for being one of her recipe testers.