FYI: I HAVE A BETTER BAKED DONUT RECIPE HERE
Mmmmm donuts! I love the taste of donuts. I hate the way I feel after I eat them. Too much grease I guess. I really wanted to try doing yeast raised donuts at home, but just couldn't stomach the thought of frying them, at least not until I tried out baked donuts to see if they come close enough to satisfy my donut cravings. Baked donuts that taste like Krispy Kreme donuts. That is the mecca of donut happiness and one of my many baking missions. As such, I am sure there will be many donut posts along the way as I do my research.
These baked donuts from Mel's Kitchen Cafe are pretty easy, and they taste pretty darn good for being baked. I will put the disclaimer out there though that these are NOT going to be like fried donuts. They just aren't. They are more like a donut-like roll. My favorite part of a donut is the the maple glaze, so for me, they were an excellent carrier for my maple glaze recipe. Anyways, I think they are worth it to not have the yucky, greasy feeling after eating them, and to not have to heat up oil makes them very appealing. Just saying though, you have been warned.
Obviously you can do many things to top these donuts, like I said earlier, I am partial to maple glazed donuts so that is what I did. You can also roll them in cinnamon-sugar, coat them in a vanilla glaze, top them with glaze and sprinkles...lots of options. Here is one way.
(Donut dough recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
*Note: These little beauties are best made and eaten the same day, preferably warm right from the oven. The great news is that you can make the dough, roll and cut out the doughnuts the night before and let them do their second rising in the fridge, covered. Remove them from the refrigerator and put them on the counter about an hour before baking. I used instant yeast in the recipe. If you only have active dry yeast on hand, proof the yeast with 1/3 cup of the warm milk and the sugar until it is foaming before adding in the rest of the milk and proceeding with the recipe.
*Makes about 1 1/2 dozen doughnuts/doughnut holes
1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (I used soymilk, so sub as needed)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated (optional, leave out if doing a flavored glaze if you don't want competing flavors)
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 half and half (I used 2% evaporated milk, worked great)
1 Tbs. real maple syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
|Donuts before second rising|
- Place the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and sugar. Add the butter. Mix the eggs, flour, nutmeg (optional), and salt. Beat the dough with the dough hook attachment (or with a wooden spoon and eventually your hands) for 2-3 minutes at medium speed. Adjust the dough texture by adding flour a few tablespoons at a time or more milk. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be very soft and smooth but still slightly sticky – don’t over flour! Knead the dough for a few minutes (again, by mixer or by hand) and then transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size (the exact time will depend on the temperature of your kitchen).
- If you don't have a mixer, this can be done by hand. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and knead for 5 minutes by hand.
- Punch down the dough and roll it out to about 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured counter. Using a doughnut cutter or a 2-3 inch circle cookie cutter, cut out circles in the dough (I used a 3 inch cutter and a 1 inch cutter). Carefully transfer the circles to a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. Be sure to make the holes large enough that as the doughnuts rise again and bake, they don’t fill in the doughnut hole with the puffiness of the dough. Cover the tray with lightly greased plastic wrap. (At this point, you can refrigerate the doughnuts overnight or proceed with the recipe.) Let the doughnuts rise for about another 45 minutes, until they are puffed and nearly doubled.
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Start checking the doughnuts around minute 8. They should still be pale on top, not golden and browned, and just barely baked through.
- Maple Glaze: In a medium sauce pan combine the brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil. Add maple syrup and cook over medium heat for 1 minute until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cream slowly and mix until smooth. Add powdered sugar and stir until powdered sugar is dissolved and glaze is smooth. Dip donuts immediately while it is still warm and runny. If it sets up, heat it again on low heat until it is spreadable.
- Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Dip each one in the maple glaze or sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar. Serve immediately.