Time to make the doughnuts! If you are looking for authentic, old-fashioned, glazed doughnuts and you have the time, this one will please everyone in your family. The addition of vanilla bean in the batter makes them extra-special."Pure yeasty goodness! This excellent recipe does take some time, but was worth it. For successful results, be sure to use a deep-fry thermometer to ensure that the oil is at the proper temperature: too low and the doughnuts will absorb oil, turning leaden and soggy; too high and the doughnuts will burn before the insides are cooked through. I glazed half the doughnuts and dipped the other half in cinnamon sugar; a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon. Both versions were utterly delicious." - sgrishka
Yield: 18 Ready in 45 minutes
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Raised Doughnuts Preparation
Place the yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until warm to the touch. Pour the milk over the yeast to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Add 2-3/4 cups of the flour to the milk mixture, without stirring. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the surface of the flour cracks, about 30 to 40 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the flour and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Using a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise. With the back of the knife, scrape out the pulp and seeds and add the scrapings from the vanilla bean and the pod to the butter. Swirl the pan to ensure the butter cooks evenly and doesn't burn. It will bubble somewhat vigorously as it browns. Continue cooking 3 to 5 more minutes, until the bubbles subside and the liquid is dark brown with a nutty, toasty aroma. Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the butter and dark flecks over the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Add the browned-butter mixture to the yeast mixture. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low for about 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the flour and mix to combine. Turn the mixer up to medium-high for 1 more minute. (The dough will be very sticky.) Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and gather it into a ball. Clean the mixing bowl and lightly coat it with vegetable oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, tuck under the edges to deflate and return the dough back to the oiled bowl. Cover bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oil to 375 degrees (F).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll or pat the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick, flouring the surface of the dough as necessary. Dip the cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut the doughnuts and holes. Place them on a floured surface. Gather the scraps of dough together, gently roll or pat into 1/2-inch thickness, and cut out the remaining doughnuts.
Fry the doughnuts by gently dropping them in the oil. Don't crowd them. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked. Remove and drain on paper towels. Glaze after cooling for several minutes.
Makes 18 doughnuts and holes.
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
In a small stainless steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, combine the powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt. Heat until just warm, stirring frequently. The glaze should be thin and translucent; if necessary, thin it down with more cream.
Makes 1/2 cup.
(Recipe from: "Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery")
This recipe worked out really well. The only change I would make in the future when making these again is to double the amount of glaze the recipe calls for, as I barely had enough to glaze all of the doughnuts. I fried the doughnuts in peanut oil (recommended by me, but not specified in the recipe itself). Make sure your oil stays at 375 degrees, it is very important to the final result that the oil temperature remains stable at 375 degrees, and it will cool if you crowd the fryer, so make sure you fry only a couple at a time, depending on the size of your pan or fryer. (I used an electric fryer and would recommend it for keeping the temperature steady.) The size of doughnut cutter was not specified in the recipe: I used a 2 3/4-inch cutter with good results.
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