Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Out of excuses

So the graduate school application is in, I'm more or less settled into the new job (I hope!) and anonymous readers are telling me to update.

I guess I owe you all some doughnuts, don't I?

Please excuse the lighting on the photos - it was fairly late at night when we began, and by the end of the process, we were far more interested in eating doughnuts than in photographing them.

Originally, my friend Katie and I hatched a plan for a doughnut brunch - which then became a midnight doughnut party - which then became an eight p.m. "hey, I have ingredients and a brand-new doughnut-cutter, do you want to bring your deep fryer over and make doughnuts?" sort of event.

There's something vaguely magical about deep-frying: the way the pale, flat rings of dough puffed and browned and floated to the top of the bubbling oil. We drained them on paper towels until they were only just cool enough to handle, and then we broke them into pieces and dipped them into cinnamon sugar and stuffed ourselves to the brim (and I'm not usually a doughnut person!) We even delivered one to the upstairs neighbour, (also a co-worker), who later pronounced them delicious and demanded that we bring a batch into work.

Well, we never got around to making another batch, but I have finally gotten around to sharing the recipe. So arm yourself with a deep fryer, several quarts of oil, tongs, plenty of cinnamon sugar, friends and a bottle of red wine - you'll find it's well worth it.

Sour Cream Doughnuts with Cinnamon Sugar
adapted from Epicurious

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled briefly
1 cup sour cream

Canola oil (for deep frying)
additional sugar and cinnamon to dip the doughnuts in

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs until very thick, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and keep mixing. Gradually beat in melted butter, and then add the sour cream in 2 additions. Gently fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions. The dough will still be very sticky. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. (Hopefully you'll remember to do this before your friends come over. If you're like me, and you don't, you can use that hour to go and get said bottle of wine).

Sprinkle two baking sheets lightly with flour. Divide dough into three portions. On a floured surface, press one third of dough out to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter, reserving scrapes and placing doughnuts and holes on floured baking sheets. Repeat with remaining two thirds of dough, pressing and recutting scraps until everything has been used.

Line two plates with several thicknesses of paper towels. Heat deep-fryer (or oil in deep, heavy skillet) to 365 to 370 degrees. Fry doughnut holes in two batches until puffed and golden-brown, turning once, about 2 minutes each side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnut holes to paper towels and let drain. Fry doughnuts in batches of about 3, depending on how many fit without crowding. They will take a couple minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and let drain. Dip in cinnamon sugar and eat as soon as humanly possible. The original recipe says to let them cool before doing anything, but who, may I ask, is going to look at a doughnut for that long?

Not anyone in my kitchen.

1 comment:

littlebijoux said...

Thank you for updating! Yay! The donuts were awesome. You know how I feel about frying things. You know how wonderful I think it is. I can't wait to do beignets. We should do onion rings or something at some point, too. Hooray!