Frying and me – well we are not such good friends. Don’t get me wrong I find fried foods tantalizing and utterly delicious, but I also know that after indulging in fried foods, I not only feel guilty but also – greasy!
So I rarely fry at home. But when I do it has to be for a good cause. This month’s Daring Bakers challenge was definitely a good cause. Doughnuts! Another sinful treat I do not often indulge in. When I do, I bake them to at least try and make them less – evil!
John F. Kennedy probably did not realize, standing on the pulpit at the Berlin Wall back in June 1963, that when he said “Ich bin ein Berliner!” he was in actual fact saying “I am a jam doughnut!”
A Berliner pfannkuchen is a typical German doughnut made from a sweet yeast dough, fried in fat or oil and filled with a marmalade or jam and then dusted with some icing sugar. Bakeries in Germany nowadays offer them filled with all sorts of delightful fillings. Chocolate, flavored pastry creams, custards or my favorite advocaat cream are exquisite examples of the temptations that await me at bakeries here. So in a way I can understand why Mr. Kennedy might have been so distracted by these doughnuts.
Yes I do know that it is a common misconception that Mr. Kennedy was calling himself a jam doughnut, when in actual fact he was perfectly right. By deleting the article "ein" would have stated that he is a resident of Berlin. Since Kennedy was not saying that he was actually from Berlin but instead declaring solidarity with the citizens, "Ich bin ein Berliner" was perfectly acceptable.
I just like the urban legend better and thought I’d share it with you for a little laugh. ;o)
For this month’s Daring Bakers challenge I decided to indulge in the evil sin and fry the doughnuts. Lovely Lori of Butter Me Up was our wonderful hostess this month and she provided several recipes for doughnuts for us to choose from. There was a sweet yeast dough recipe, cake dough, bomboloni (or as we say here in Germany, Berliner) and a pumpkin doughnut recipe fitting the time of year. As I usually make doughnuts using a favorite cake dough recipe I decided to tackle the yeast dough for the challenge.
The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.
Yeast doughnuts take slighter longer to make, but the reward is a fluffy and airy doughnut that really is wonderfully moist and have an extraordinary chewy bite. I kept very much to the recipe provided by Lori, incorporating saffron and cardamom into the dough. I kneaded the dough with my hands – 45 minutes long – but had the most wonderful and pliable dough to work with. Finally while some of them were dusted with sprinkling of powdered sugar, others were drenched in a syrupy powdered sugar maple glaze with a sprinkling of pistachio nuts.
Saffron Cardamom Doughnuts with Pistachio
Printable version of recipe here
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size
360 ml milk
70 g butter
14 g active dry yeast (2 pkgs.)
80 ml warm water (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
2 large eggs, beaten
55 g white granulated sugar
1.5 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands, crushed
650 g all purpose flour + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)
Powdered Sugar Maple Glaze
480 g powdered (Icing) sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk
Pistachios, finely chopped
Additional powdered sugar for dusting
Powdered Sugar Maple Glaze
- Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter. (Make sure the butter is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.) Add the crushed saffron strands and let steep.
- Place the butter in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and butter mixture, first making sure the milk-saffron and butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
- Add the eggs, sugar, salt, cardamom, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
- Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
- Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.I decided to use my hands and knead the dough. It is very sticky to start with but the more you knead the more the dough comes together into a lovely, shiny and smooth ball.
- Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
- Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
- Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
- Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.
- Whisk powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 2 tablespoons milk to blend. Whisk to a medium thick glaze.
- Can be made up to 3 hours ahead.
- Add doughnut holes to bowl of powdered sugar and toss to coat. Dust some doughnuts with powdered sugar.
- Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar maple glaze and sprinkle with pistachios.
- Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.
What can I say? I know why I do not make doughnuts too often. Lucky enough the weekend was filled with good friends and fun times and I was able to share these with them. The dough had a gorgeous sunny vibrant yellow from the saffron and a delicious aroma of cardamom. A different flavor for a trusted pastry that was received really well with my German friends. I love surprising them with Indian flavors fused into something they know so well.
Thank you Lori for a great fun challenge this month!
Plate to Page Workshop
We’ve had an overwhelming response to the Plate to Page workshop we announced earlier this week. I thank everyone of you who emailed, tweeted and spread the word.
Just a quick note: if you really want to join us then register yourself soon – we’ve had a big rush on the places and there are only a couple left. Registrations have come in from Cape Town, Canada, USA, Italy, UK and Holland and we are so blown away by it.
We plan to provide you with a fresh new concept and trust me you will be working hard throughout the weekend. But we’ve set aside some time for play and fun too. ;o)
You might like these sinful treats from WFLH:
|Croquembouche with a Pistachio Rosewater Pastry Cream||Cannoli with Gianduja Cream and Lemon Goat Cheese Cream||Fudge Pralines with Cardamom and Chocolate|
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First