I don’t like to think of my son’s peanut and tree nut allergies in a negative way. Having said that, one thing you “lose” with this diagnosis is the freedom to eat food from many bakeries and most doughnut shops due to the peanuts and nuts on site. My son is ten years old, and he finally enjoyed his first doughnuts yesterday because I decided to learn how to make them. Although the procedure is time consuming, it’s fairly simple, and I’ll be making them again and again. The appreciation Jacob expressed and the joy on his face were all the inspiration I need.
You start by making the dough, which needs to be refrigerated for at least four hours, to make it easier to handle. I suggest doubling the dough recipe and freezing half of it for your next batch, which will really speed things up the next time you make them.
To make Donut Dough you need:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (5 ml)
2 cups milk warmed to 105 degrees F (500 ml)
1/2 cup sugar (125 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (2 ml)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (1.25 L)
1/2 cup room temperature butter
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over warm milk. Stir to dissolve and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add sugar, salt, beaten eggs, vanilla and blend thoroughly.
Change to dough hook and add flour, beat until smooth. Add butter and blend. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
The next step is to prepare your doughnut fillings. You can use store bought jam for this or make your own fillings. I made homemade lemon cream and homemade caramel chocolate ganache to fill mine. We had a little trouble with the piping bag for the chocolate ganache, so we wound up dipping our doughnuts in it, and it was absolutely fantastic.
You make lemon cream as follows:
Juice and zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup sugar (125 ml)
1/3 cup butter (80 ml)
Mix all the ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl.
Place bowl over a pot of boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes until it thickens, stirring constantly.Remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the cream. Let cool and keep refrigerated.
For the caramel ganache, you will need:
1 cup sugar (250 ml)
1/2 cup water (125 ml)
1/2 cup butter (125 ml)
1 cup whipping cream (250 ml)
1 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate, chopped or chips (250 ml)
In a saucepan, place the sugar and water over medium high heat. Do not stir it. After several minutes, it will become caramel brown. Lower heat, stir in the butter, then stir in the cream. Add the chocolate and stir until its melted. Remove from heat, let it cool, and store in an airtight container.
Once your dough has chilled for at least 4 hours, you can begin assembly. Roll the dough onto a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. I found it best to flour the surface of the dough, my hands, and the rolling pin as well, since the dough is very sticky. Cut out donuts using a circular cookie cutter or a small glass, like a shot glass. Lay the cut out dough on a parchment covered tray (I plan to flour the parchment paper next time) and let it rest covered with a cloth for one hour in a warm place.
Warm oil for deep frying to 360 degrees F (185 C). Working in batches, fry the doughnuts for about 2 minutes per side until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, use a pastry bag with a 4 mm tip to fill them. Insert the tip into the side of the doughnut, and gently squeeze the bag as you slowly pull the tip out of the doughnut. Using this technique, fill them with lemon cream or chocolate ganache or the jam of your choice. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve.
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