Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge October 2010 - Going nuts

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.

Now this was a challenge I was only too eager to take up! For the first time in months I didn't leave things to the last minute, and my first batch of doughnuts had been gobbled up (mainly by me) on the 2nd of the month! :-)

Although most of the doughnuts sold here in Japan seem to be the ring-type, for me the perfect doughnut has to be filled with jam and rolled in sugar a la Tesco, and so I plumped for the bombolini recipe to start off with.

They were surprisingly easy to make, and were utterly delicious - thank goodness I'd halved the recipe! I stuffed them full with blueberry jam (unable to get raspberry here), and rolled them in sugar, but for some reason the sugar wouldn't stick so I ended up dusting them with icing sugar. I had to force myself to leave some for the rest of the family (I made them when they were all at the park)! I was reminded of the doughnut eating contests of my university years (eat as many as you can in a minute, without licking your fingers or lips - far, far harder than you might think)...


Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 35 minutes
Rising time - 1 1/2 hours plus overnight
Cooking time - 10 minutes

Yield: About 32 Bomboloni

Water, Lukewarm 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon
Active Dry Yeast 3 ¼ teaspoon (1.5 pkgs.) / 16.25 ml / 10 gm / .35 oz
Honey 1.5 Tablespoon / 22.5 ml
All Purpose Flour 3 cup / 720 ml / 420 gm / 14 ¾ oz
Milk 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml
Egg Yolk, Large 6
White Granulated Sugar 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 75 gm / 2 2/3 oz + more for rolling
Kosher (Flaked) Salt 2 teaspoon / 10 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Canola Oil 3 cup / 720 ml / (Or any other flavorless oil used for frying)
Raspberry Jam, Seedless ¾ cup / 180 ml / 300 gm / 10.5 oz (or any flavor jam, preserves, jelly)


  1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, mix the water, yeast, honey and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (160 gm) of the flour. (Alternatively, whisk the ingredients by hand.) Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 1 hour.
  2. Return the bowl to the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (260 gm) of flour, along with the milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the salt. Mix at low speed until blended, then add the butter and knead at medium speed until silky but sticky, about 5 minutes; the dough will not pull away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 360°F/180°C. Line a rack with paper towels. Fill a shallow bowl with 1/2 inch (12 mm)of granulated sugar. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough a scant 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 2-inch (50 mm) round biscuit cutter, stamp out rounds. The original recipe said to not re-roll the dough, but I did and found it to be fine. Fry the rounds, 4 to 5 at a time, until they are browned, about 4 minutes (mine only took about a minute each – try to go more by sight). Be sure to keep the oil between 360°F and 375°F 180°C and 190°C. Drain the bomboloni on paper towels.
  5. Roll them in the granulated sugar.

Filling Directions:

Fit a pastry bag with a plain donut tip (or a 1/4-inch (6 mm) tip) and fill with the preserves (you can also use a squeeze bottle). Poke the tip three-fourths of the way into the bomboloni and squeeze in the preserves, pulling the tip out slightly as you squeeze to fill them as much as possible. Serve warm.

Next up came the yeast doughnuts.

Again, I halved the recipe (and this time made sure that I had plenty of people around me to help me eat them!) and they turned out wonderfully! As before, I had no hassles with the recipe, eveything was very straight forward. :-) I rolled half of the batch in cinnamon sugar, and the other half got dipped in Alton Brown's chocolate glaze... phwoarrr...

Yeast Doughnuts:

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)


  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
  2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
  9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
  11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

Chocolate Doughnut Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (I didn't have any on hand and so substituted with treacle)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

This was such a delicious challenge - I really don't think that you can beat freshly cooked doughnuts like these! My tastebuds are thanking you, Lori, although my waistline my never forgive you!


  1. I can just imagine how good your house smelled! You'd never have been able to keep it a secret from your family, so it's good you saved some for them. :D

  2. Yummy they look delicious, especially the chocolate dipped ones!

  3. Wow you did two versions and they both look fantastic and it sure sounds like you had fun doing this challenge, I'm impressed! Lovely photographs. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. Great looking doughnuts! Very nicely done.

  5. *Hand up* I have Raspberry jam!!!
    They look so good!! I'm with you a real doughnut is jam filled mmmmmmmmmmmmmm okay guess where my first stop is when I get off the plane!

    I suggest a trip to Heathers next summer for raspberry jam and doughnut making/pigging out weekend (and lots of wine). All in favour?

  6. Scrumptious! I miss Tesco but making your own is fun!

  7. You're definitely a woman after my own heart Angela! And smart too with making sure people are around you to help eat it. I had a bit of a moment with some cupcakes today and I wish I had some people around me then! :P

  8. Wow they look fab I might even have a go!!XX

  9. I must make those round jam filled ones next time. Like the way you dipped your "chocolatey" doughnuts.
    I have doughnut memories from my univ days too. :)

  10. Those look scrumptious - both kinds! And I have to laugh about the donut eating contests because I think I would be disqualified within the first 3 seconds for licking my fingers!! :) Really excellent work.

  11. All your donuts are mouthwatering! I specially like the one filled with jam and that one half dipped in chocolate... I don't know how much longer I'm going to resist not making MORE!!!!
    Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog!

  12. I'm getting hungry from seeing your doughnuts, I agree with you in that bomboloni are my favorites, but those chocolate-dipped rings... oh my, I'd love to eat one right now :-) Congratulations and love from Madrid!

  13. Oh, how I wish I used the Bomboloni for my eyeballs instead of the basic donut holes. They look perfectly round, puffy and beautiful! Well done!

  14. yuuum!!! The donuts look amazing!!
    I found raspberry jam at Ikea..pretty nice too, bit of a hike to get some tho eh..

  15. They look fabulous. Am getting hungry and thinking might need to be making another batch of donuts - but the jam filled kind :) Should probably do this months challenge first but!

  16. Oooh! These look incredible! I've always wondered about making donuts, feeling very inspired!