Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Making Yeast Doughnuts, Sliders, and Ice Cream

A good friend of mine, Joseph, let me borrow his Good Eats episodes a couple of weeks ago.  As we no longer have the budget for other than local television, I've been missing a lot of these shows.  One show recently that I am quite happy with was Alton Brown's yeast doughnut recipe. Now, like many men my age, I love my doughnuts.  When my wife and I went on our honeymoon to Las Vegas, we made sure we stayed in a hotel (or near one) with a Krispy Kremes.  

Since then I have been wanting to make my own, though in the past they have always been too bready for my liking.  Then I got a hold of Alton Brown's recipe. The recipe is linked to Food Network's website, so I won't bore you with the recipe.  But I will tell you how the making went.  

I don't have a Kitchen Aid with both a paddle and a dough hook, so I had to mix it by hand.  Not too bad, though the first time I tried this (on Wednesday), I think they were worked a little too hard.  kneading the dough was fun, and brought me back to the days of making homemade bread with my mom while growing up. I then fried the the doughnuts using vegetable shortening, because it cools hard and has a nice shine to it.  But, I didn't have enough shortening, so I added some canola oil to the mix.  I then tried to heat the required 365 degree temperature, and was called away to take care of the kids.  I came back with the oil too hot, and the candy thermometer, um, no longer useable.  Yes, it heated too hot, as I found out.

I started with the doughnut holes to test the temperature and to see how long it would take to cook to the center.  The recipe said 1 minute, but within 30 seconds a nice dark brown had developed..  Not good eats, as it turned out.  It was very nutty, close to burned on some.  It cooled down a little on the actual doughnuts, though not enough it would seem.  Hence the reason why I didn't blog about it on Wednesday.

Tonight, after missing both breakfast and lunch today, I was feeling hungry.  We also needed to use up some ingredients while they were still, ah, useable.  So I made some real ice cream (not frozen custard, by the way, so no eggs), and some sliders (which was really cool). The ice cream was just two cups of whipping cream with one cup of whole milk, a cup of sugar, two teaspoons of vanilla extract, and two tablespoons of peach preserves.  I heated it until simmering, and then placed it in the fridge for freezing tomorrow.  More on that later, if it turns out really good.  ^_^

The Sliders I made by rolling a pound of ground beef really thin on some parchment paper, and then seasoning them with a quick rub of salt, pepper, and onion powder.  Then I folded the ground beef on itself, cut it into six portions (to fit on the hamburger buns we had), and then threw it on the electric griddle heated to 350 degrees.  They were excellent, and very light with a lot of flavor.

By now the dough had risen for my doughnuts (after an hour), so I flattened it out and cut them out with a part from a sandwich cutter (that has never been used, interestingly enough), and the center cut out with a boiled egg cup (I love multi-taskers!).  I let them rise for 30 minutes more (bench-proofing), and ate my sliders (yes, I only had two).  At this time I also turned on the oil, and without a thermometer, I guessed that one notch below medium would do it (I have an electric stove, more's the pity).

By the time the half hour went by, the oil was ready, I thought.  So, I tested them with the doughnut holes.  I placed them in for a minute, and they didn't seem to heat up very fast.  I was worried it was too cool, but then when I turned them over, I had a lovely golden brown crust.  They turned out great.  I then went through all 20 doughnuts and their respective holes, and let them cool for 20 minutes.

Now I made the glaze.  I made the chocolate doughnut glaze as penned by Alton Brown, and it turned out great.  I had some left over, but as my son loves chocolate now, his fingers were forever in them.  I dunked each of the doughnuts, and quickly finished the doughnut holes myself (hence why they don't show up below).  Needless to say, the second time they were excellent.  I even think they were better than Krispy Kremes, if only because I know how they were made, and everything tastes better when you make it yourself.  Tell me what you think.

Doughnuts made on a Saturday afternoon

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