I know that I have been gone for awhile; I just haven't had much time in the kitchen lately. I always think that once the kids are out of school for the summer that I'll have more time, on the contrary I have been busier than ever. We had a good weekend and accomplished a lot. On Saturday we planted 25 bushes/plants and 2 trees, I was even sore that night. Then on Sunday I was sicker than a dog. I spent most of the day sleeping. I don't think I have slept that much since I had kids. Luckily enough it was a weekend and my husband was able to take care of the kids so that I could just rest. Then on Monday we had two unplanned on guests for dinner so I was busy preparing that. Today was the first day that I felt like I could do something that I wanted to do.
I actually have a list of things that I want to make and every once in awhile I'll look at it and actually make one of them. Today was one of those days. I have been eyeing this recipe for quite sometime and have kept telling myself that I needed to find a reason to make it. But really, who needs a reason to make doughnuts, and baked ones at that?! These were so simple that I can't wait to make them again. It's just as easy as making rolls but a lot more delicious. Once these little gems came out of the oven and were covered with their sugary coating they were consumed still piping hot. They almost melted in your mouth.
I chose to make three different toppings for the doughnuts; sugar and cinnamon, powdered sugar (my favorite), and chocolate ganache with and without sprinkles. I have to tell you that I found the chocolate ones to be a little dry as I didn't coat them with the butter first. If I was to make those ones again, I would coat them with some butter and let them sit a minute or two for it to absorb and then coat with the chocolate. I'm not sure how well these will keep as we consumed the whole batch while still hot, but I am sure that you could store them in an airtight container and then heat for a few seconds in the microwave.
Baked Doughnuts Recipe
This recipe comes from one of my all time favorite food blogs 101 Cookbooks. Whenever I search Heidi's blog, I am inspired to go and cook and usually it's something delicious and healthy. You have got to go and check her out, she takes gorgeous photos and makes amazing food.
Don't over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit - they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender - not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts - too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.
1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated(I used a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.