I must be honest, the main thing that I like about making homemade donuts, is really only eating homemade donuts. I had
to try quite a few recipes and techniques before I found one that worked. Also yeast is a b*tch, %&!@# yeast.
You might be wondering why I would
subject myself to this if I don't enjoy it and the answer is very simple - patience (well also donuts). Yes, I hate
yeast and sometimes baking because I have a serious issue with being patient. They both require a lot of waiting and a lot of rules.
Certain activities like baking or yoga
for example can be much like a mirror and give you a good peek at yourself. I know I am impatient without those activities, but
they tend to punctuate the big ones.
Now I am not in general, impatient, it IS selective; somehow for my sweet little 9 month old (no matter the state),
I seem to have infinite patience for him (at least now), but put me in rush hour traffic, be overbearing or pushy towards me, or
waste my time and you will not like what you see...I sure don't at least. So I make myself do these things as a way to learn
patience and yes also to eat donuts hehehe.
So back to these lovely Bismarck donuts, I have a few lessons learned to share. Yeast, just buy it new (if anything for a backup) and after you open it, keep it in
the fridge. Yeast is the most important ingredient here so when you start the recipe if it doesn't foam up, it's bad - toss it and find
new yeast. Let the dough rise the full amount of time. I always fall into the trap of - "eh, good enough" and I always regret it.
Donuts are really only good for the day you make them. Making them too far in advance is not a good idea unfortunately - another thing
I dislike about them - they are certainly edible, just not something you might be as proud to present. Also, a good donut will have a lighter golden
ring around the center after you have fried both sides - it just usually indicates that the donut has risen and there is enough air, so one side won't
be flat. As for filling the donuts with custard or cream, spring for the long "filling" specific tip - it is worth it.
Moments (Week in Review)
Somehow it is October, so it seems fitting to share one of my favorites, by possibly my favorite:
By Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
Yields: About 12 donuts
Blackberry & Cream Bismark Donuts
1 hour 20 minutes active, 3 hours inactive
* Making Pastry Cream and Blackberry Coulis a day ahead will save you about 20 minutes *
- 3 T yeast (I use dry active)
- 1 cup water (at about 100 degrees F)
- 1 cup sugar + 1 T separately
- 2 t salt
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 4 1/4 cup (620 g) bread flour
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 t vanilla
- high heat oil (canola, vegetable, safflower or peanut) or shortening for frying
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 t vanilla
- 2 cups of blackberries (frozen or fresh)
- 2 T Sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups powdered Sugar
- 6 T milk
- 1 - 2 T Blackberry Coulis
In mixer with dough attachment, add yeast, 1 T sugar and water and mix gently and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes until it foams.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar in a separate bowl.
Add shortening, egg yolks and vanilla to yeast and mix for about 1 minute.
Slowly mix 1 cup at a time of flour mixture until gone.
Knead briefly if any dry ingredients are not fully mixed into the dough.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, roll around a bit to coat dough on all sides in some oil too.
Let rise in a dark, warm place for about 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thickness or a 12 x 14 rectangle.
Using a 3 inch or 2.5 inch ring, cut out about 12 circles.
Place circles on baking sheet lined with parchment sprayed with oil.
Let circles rise in a dark, warm place for an hour, they should also double in size.
Heat oil in heavy pot (like a dutch oven) to about 330 - 350.
Drop circle in about two at a time and fry for about 1 minute on each side (until golden brown)
Place on paper towel lined baking sheet, mix up glaze and prepare pastry cream and blackberry coulis if you havent' already.
After they have completely cooled, fill with pastry cream via a pastry bag and filling tip, turn upside down into bowl of glaze, then
drizzle blackberry coulis and swirl.
Mix sugar, flour and salt with whisk attachement.
Add yolks and whisk until thick and pasty.
Warm milk on stove just until bubbles begin to form on the edges.
Slowly drizzle warm milk into eggs and whisk constantly.
Pour entire mixture back into pot and thicken over medium heat on stove (about 3 minutes).
Remove and pour through fine mesh sieve.
Pour into bowl, stir in vanilla and cover with saran wrap so it is touching cream and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until fruit is soft.
Remove from heat and puree in blender
Run mixture through a fine mesh sieve and refrigerate until ready for use.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl wide enough to dunk the top of your donuts.
Prepare this closer to when you will use.