Saturday, July 16, 2011

Farm Stand Buttermilk Doughnuts ~three ways ~

I have never met a doughnut I didn't like. In fact, pretty sure I have never met anything sweet I didn't like. Doughnuts, however, are an occasional thing for me and usually come into my life at an actual doughnut shop and relate to 'moving day' or some travel adventure on the open road, early in the morning. There is something fun and uniquely special about walking into a doughnut shop and being overwhelmed by the warmth from the ovens and the sweet aroma's that hang in the air. I usually stand staring into the doughut case for what seems like many minutes while I try to figure out which doughnut(s) I want. If you are like me, there is no picking just one.

This was the first time ever in my life that I have made doughnuts at home and from scratch. While they did not turn out beautiful, they tasted outstanding. My experience was a little bit challenging and I found myself cursing more than usual and with a high degree of flour and stickiness all over everything. Not to be outdone by a doughnut, I pressed on, while considering changing my blog name to Baked Disasters.

Ultimately I achieved success and had to spend some time altering the temperature of the oil to what was working versus what the book was suggesting. It was also my first time using a thermometer, so perhaps it was something I did. I enjoyed the doughnut flavor very much as buttermilk donuts have historically been one of my favorites in the plain, non glazed, variety. While not fancy, they are very satisfying to me and not overly sweet and they have a soft inside with a crunchy texture which you cannot beat. You really cannot go wrong with these doughnuts.


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Vegetable oil for frying

Chocolate Dip
4 ounces good quality, dark chocolate (60 - 70%), coarsely chopped
1/2cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sprinkles to decorate

Vanilla Glaze
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Sprinkles to decorate
Cinnamon Sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon


Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and another baking sheet with two layers of paper towels.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream until combined. Add the melted butter and whisk again.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. With a rubber spatula, slowly fold the flour into the liquid center until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Sprinkle the top of the dough and pat it out until it is about 1/2 inch thick.

Use two round cutters (3 1/4 inch and 1 1/2 inch for large doughnuts; 2 1/2 inch and 1 inch for smaller doughnuts). Dip the large cutter in flour and press out the rounds. Dip the smaller cutter in the flour and cut out the center of each dough round. Arrange both doughnuts and doughnut holes on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the dough scraps back together, and use them to make as many doughnuts and doughnut holes as possible. Chill the dough while you heat the oil.

Pour enough oil into a deep skillet to make a layer approximately 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches deep. Slowly heat the oil over medium- high heat until it is 365 to 370 degrees F.

While you are waiting for the oil to reach temperature, make the assorted toppings.

Chocolate Dip
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium wide-mouthed bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it is just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Keep the mixture warm.

Vanilla Glaze
In a medium wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the sugar, the milk, and the vanilla paste.

Cinnamon Sugar
In a medium wide-mouthed bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar.

To Fry the Doughnuts
Once the oil reaches temperature, gently life the large doughnuts off the baking sheet and place them in the hot oil. Do not crowd the skillet - make no more than 3 doughnuts at a time. Once they have browned on one side (this takes 2 to 3 minutes), turn them over with tongs or a slotted spoon and continue to cook for another minute or just until browned (they can overcook or burn quickly). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper-towel lined baking sheet and continue to fry the rest of the dough until finished. The doughnut holes will cook faster and can be made in two or three batches after the doughnuts are done.

Assemble the Doughnuts
Once you have finished frying, work quickly to dip the doughnuts in the chocolate or vanilla glaze, or the cinnamon sugar. If you like, decorate the chocolate or vanilla doughnuts with sprinkles. Serve immediately.


New York-Style Crumb Cake


This recipe for crumb cake has been made so many times in my efforts to share goodness and make people happy, that I have lost count. It is a recipe that I refer people to on a regular basis and every time people have reported to love it! My roommate shares this with people at work who now know it by name and get thrilled whenever they see him walk in with a plastic container... " Is that the crumb cake"? ...Oh yes it is!


Crumb Topping
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass 9 -by-13-inch pan. You can use a metal, but the edges of the cake may turn crispy.

Crumb Topping
In a medium bowl, stir together both sugars, the salt, and the cinnamon. Add the melted butter and whisk until combined. Fold in the flour until it is absorbed and set the mixture aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is completely smooth and ribbon-like. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat the mixture until it starts to look fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl before each addition, beating only until it is just incorporated.

Assemble the cake
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Use your hands to scoop up a handful of the topping and make a fist. The topping should hold together. Break off in chunks and and drop them over the cake. Repeat to use all of the topping. Remember, the topping layer will look outrageously thick.

Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Rotate the pan two times during the baking process. Cool the entire pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before serving.

The cake will last for 3 days, tightly covered, at room temperature.