I never turn down a doughnut. Or two. Maple bars are my guilty pleasure, and I go back and forth between preferring cake doughnuts and raised, but one thing is clear to me: they must be fried to be irresistible. Baked doughnuts are fine, but . . . they just aren’t the same.
I love apple cider cake doughnuts, and was pondering the possibility of adding apple to a raised doughnut. (No, no, not chunks like apple fritters.) Would the addition of applesauce interfere with the rise of the yeast? The Man thought it was a bad idea, but rapidly changed his mind when he taste-tested a half dozen or so.
Here are some glazed and some sugared. See that dark doughnut kind of in the middle? I may have left that one in the oil too long. Still tasted good though!
This recipe creates a very soft dough. Soft and supple, and . . . well . . . I want to write poetry about the way it feels! It demands a little delicacy in handling, but the payoff is an incredibly light, fluffy doughnut. Actually, a whole lot of them; you’ll get about 24 doughnuts and a pile of doughnut holes. They’re best the day they’re made, but can be frozen for a few weeks, so don’t feel like you have to sit down and eat two dozen of them (though I did my best).
Oh, and there’s a reason store bought doughnuts come in a cardboard box! If you put these in an airtight plastic bag, they will get gooey. I find that they do well loosely covered with foil.
|Apple Cinnamon Raised Doughnuts|| |
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup sugar plus ½ teaspoon, divided
- 8 ounces applesauce (about a cup)
- ½ cup apple cider (or you can use apple juice)
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon (more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg (more to taste)
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup very warm water
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 6½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter, softened and cut into 8-10 slices
- cooking oil - lots of it! At least 2 inches deep in pot. (I use peanut oil.)
- GLAZE (OPTIONAL):
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider (a little more if needed to create a thin glaze)
- 1 teaspoon meringue powder (optional for a firmer glaze)
- SUGAR TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
- mix 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and roll warm doughnuts in mixture.
- In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, scald milk by bringing it almost to a boil. Remove when you see bubbles all around the edge of the pan.
- Add ⅓ cup sugar, apple sauce, apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (a sturdy stand mixer is recommended) combine the warm water, yeast, and remaining ½ teaspoon sugar. Let it sit until foamy - about 5 minutes.
- Add the milk mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with between eggs.
- Add 5 cups of the flour, one cup at a time (switch to a dough hook if using a stand mixer) and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add butter, one slice at a time, beating after each addition.
- Slowly add remaining flour and knead by machine for 5 minutes. (If kneading by hand, spoon dough onto generously floured surface and knead for 7-8 minutes.) Dough will be very soft and will not form a ball. Scrape into a large greased bowl and cover. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface. Flip over to cover both sides lightly with flour, and pat into a rectangle. Roll gently out approximately ⅓-inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter or a large and small round cutter, cut out the doughnuts. Try to keep them close together. Use a spoon to remove the holes as you go, placing them on lightly floured surface.
- Once all of the doughnuts are cut out, remove the scraps. They can be re-rolled once, but I don't recommend cutting out doughnuts. They will be a little tough, and not very attractive. But you can cut more holes out of the scraps.
- Cover the doughnuts with a dishtowel and let them rise until puffy. (About 45-60 minutes.)
- Heat oil to 365 F. Use a thermometer often, adjusting heat as necessary to keep the temperature consistent. Use a thin metal spatula to slide a few doughnuts at a time into the hot oil, always leaving them room to float and move in the oil. Cook until golden brown (about 1 minute) and flip the doughnut over to cook the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider, and place on cooling racks covered with paper towels.
- While still warm, whisk together the glaze ingredients (if using) and dip the top of each doughnut, placing on a rack to dry.
- Alternatively, you can simply combine sugar and cinnamon and roll the warm doughnuts in the mixture.
Here’s to a warm, cozy, indulgent holiday season. Wishing you joy,