Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Doughnuts


Our kids have a joke:  Q: What is the best thing to put in a donut? A: Your teeth. This sends them all into great fits of laughter with bits of donut flying everywhere. Kids love doughnuts ; not just eating them, but also making them and at our place it is the kids’ job to do it. Kneading dough is like playing with plasticine or playdough, only better because you get to eat the end result.

I believe it is really important for kids to handle food they are going to eat, to work with it and understand it. Like everything in life, if you work at something there is usually some sort of reward for your effort – that is especially true of food.

Doughnuts do not seem to have a single origin; they seem to have naturally developed with the introduction of wheat all over the world and most countries have someone they name as the inventor.

There are lots of different kinds to make, different rising agents, different favours, textures,
cooking methods… the list goes on. One that that is common among all of them is the yumminess factor – they are all yummy!

The recipe I am sharing with you today is the one we always use. I like getting the kids working with yeast – it is like a science experiment every time.  A yeast based donut will stay fresher for longer, too, so you can make them in advance. If you doughnut does go stale, split it down the middle and toast it like a bagel. The actual dough will be happy in the fridge or a day or so if you want to keep some in reserve to make the next day.

I will leave you with this wonderful quote from Oscar Wilde, “Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!”

Kia makona, Mawera Karetai x

 DOUGHNUTS
3/4 cup milk
2 x 7g packets dry yeast
1/4 cup + 2 Tblsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
4 1/2 cups plain flour
220g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Rice Bran oil, for frying
Method
Heat milk over low heat until just warm (overheating will kill yeast). Remove from heat and pour into a bowl (glass would be preferable as it holds the warmth of the milk). Add yeast, 2 tablespoons caster sugar, and salt. Whisk with a fork until well-combined. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Sift flour into a large bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1/4 cup caster sugar, stirring until well-combined. Make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture and eggs. Mix until well-combined. Drop mixture onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes. Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Knock down dough and turn onto a lightly floured board. Cut dough in half and knead each piece for 5 minutes. Roll one piece out to 1 1/4cm thick. Cut 8cm circles with a biscuit cutter. Using a 4cm round cutter, cut out centre of each circle to form donuts. Continue with remaining dough.
Half-fill a frypan with oil. Heat over medium heat until oil is hot. Add 2 to 3 doughnuts at a time, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Dip donuts in sugar glaze, melted chocolate, icing or cinnamon/ sugar to finish.

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