Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts


I've had these bookmarked for such a long time. They've been waiting patiently, starred in the inbox of my email, since the middle of February. Every week or so, I get a nice little email from Honey and Jam. Each email always features an irresistible recipe and beautiful photography. Careful not to drool on my keyboard, I read every word of the post before scrolling down hungrily down to the recipe.


It may seem counterintuitive, with bathing suit season hurtling toward us, but doughnuts always seem springy and special to me. They're fluffy and sweet and, in this case, even a little bit sparkly- just like all of the Easter candy lining the supermarket shelves. Such a nice accessory to a weekend brunch with strawberry french toast and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Maybe it goes back to when I was in lower school and my dad would always bring a box of Krispy Kremes on Saturday mornings, with a few of the chocolate cake doughnuts just for me. In the springtime when we were feeling particularly indulgent, we'd swing by the store before school and pick up a few as a treat for our homerooms.


I chose these little guys as a very, very late birthday present to a friend whose birthday was all the way back in January. Hey, better late than never, right? I thought so too. They were surprisingly easy to whip up, and it made so many doughnuts I almost passed out with excitement. They are airy and, because they are baked and not fried, not greasy in the slightest. You could fill them with jam or caramel sauce to make them extra delicious. Glittery and sweet, what more could you want in your breakfast?


Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
Makes 10-14 normal doughnuts, or 30 smaller circular doughnuts
Adapted from Honey & Jam

1 egg
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup warm whole milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided, plus more for kneading

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes

for topping:
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup superfine sugar + 2 tablespoons cinnamon (more or less, depending on your taste), mixed together

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg and sugar on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add the milk, yeast, salt and vanilla, and stir to blend. With the machine on low speed, add 2 cups of flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until the dough is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook. With the machine on medium speed, add the butter one piece at a time, and beat until no large chunks of butter are left in the bottom of the bowl, 3-5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the additional flour until the dough gathers around the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. It will be soft and moist, but not overly sticky. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough and roll out to 1/2 inch thick. With a doughnut or a cookie cutter, cut out 3 inch diameter rounds with 1 inch diameter holes. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the doughnuts at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Bake until the doughnuts are light golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes, being very careful not to overbake them. Immediately out of the oven, dip into butter, then directly into cinnamon sugar mixture.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I'm all excited that these are baked and not fried. They are definitely getting pinned to my "must eat" board :)