October Daring Bakers Challenge: Donuts!

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.

This month's Daring Bakers challenge had some sentimental value to me , and ties into how I came up with the name for my blog.  My grandfather was a baker, and according to my mom he made the best donuts in his bakery.  I grew up with stories of how, as a little girl, she would go to the bakery with her parents, and took naps on the big bags of flour they kept in the back. This story always conjured up images of a little girl with smudges of flour on her nose, and a sprinkling of flour dusting her clothes - hence the name Sprinkled With Flour.

My grandfather was a wonderful  baker, and that gene was passed onto my mom - who makes the best pies by the way - and it seems the baking itch was passed onto me too.  My grandpa died when I was very young, and I never had the chance to get to know him or learn from his talent, so I started this blog to develop my baking talent and hopefully be able to do him proud one day.

I recently came into possession of his famous donut recipe, and attempted to make a batch. There is definitely an art to making donuts, and that art does not include flour flung across the kitchen, and dough hanging from places it shouldn't be hanging from. Do I need to spell out that this foray into the donut making world was a little bit of a baking disaster?  Needless to say, I was embarrassed to call myself a bakers granddaughter that day.  So, when I saw the Daring Baker's Challenge this month was to make donuts, I determined that I would get it right this time around - hopefully.  The challenge was to make either yeast or cake donuts, and since I had already tried yeast donuts, I decided to go with "the cake". (Sorry guys, this is not my grandpa's recipe.  That recipe has to stay locked in the family vault :)

I used my Halloween cookie cutters to make my donuts festive, and made bat eyes with Reece's Pieces with a dot of chocolate glaze.  The glaze also works to make the ghost faces.

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts: by Nancy Silverton

(Yield: About 15 doughnuts & 15 doughnut holes, depending on size)

1/4 cup Sour Cream
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (16oz + extra for dusting surface)
3/4 cup (6oz) granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt or 1/2 tsp table salt
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional: for decorating)

Chocolate Glaze (adapted from Alton Brown)
1/4 cup butter, unsalted
1/8 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

For the Donuts: In a small stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, heat the sour cream until just warm.  Heat the oil to 375°F/190°C.

Over a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg; make a large well in the center. Place the yeast in the well; pour the sour cream over it. Allow it to soften (if using packed fresh yeast), about 1 minute.

Pour the buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into the well. Using one hand, gradually draw in the dry ingredients. The mixture should be fairly smooth before you draw in more flour. Mix until it is completely incorporated. The dough will be very sticky. Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour.

Sift an even layer of flour onto a work surface. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of flour. You don’t want the donuts sticking to your counter. Scrape dough out of bowl onto the surface; sift another layer of flour over dough. Working quickly, pat dough into an even 1/2-inch thickness. Dip cutter in flour and, cutting as closely together as possible, cut out the donuts and holes. Place holes and donuts on a floured surface. Working quickly, gather scraps of dough together, pat into 1/2-inch thickness, and cut out remaining donuts and holes.

Drop three to four donuts at a time into the hot oil. Once they turn golden brown, turn them and cook the other side. Cooking times may vary, but with your oil at 375 °F,  they should take about 20 to 30 seconds per side. Tip: Try to keep your oil temperature even, if the oil is too hot the outside of your donuts will cook, but the inside will be raw.  If the oil is not hot enough, the donuts will absorb too much oil, making them greasy.

Once cooked, place on a baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain. Sift powdered sugar over donuts or dip in glaze.  If dipping your donuts in glaze, put the candy pieces on while the glaze is still wet.

For the Glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla. Heat until butter is melted. Decrease heat to low, add the chocolate and whisk until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar, whisk until smooth. Immediately dip the donuts in the glaze. Allow the glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.


Anonymous said...

Great looking doughnuts! Very nicely done. Love the ghost ones!! So creative.

Catalina said...

Although I tried the yeast ones, I believe these are very tasty, too :) I wish halloween was celebrated in my country so I could try making these spooky ghost doughnuts, too, because it's so cute (I mean spooky, of course :D).

Katie Rose said...

What a sweet story, maybe now that you've had more practice with doughnuts you will be able to attempt your grandfather's recipe with more success. I LOVE the Ghosts!! What an awesome idea!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

OH MY GOODNESS I am just in love with you donuts!!! You may know that I'm a HUGE Halloween fanatic so when I saw that you made Spooky Halloween Donuts, I got WAY too excited! Your donuts turned out so well. I had a lot of fun with this challenge too, it was my first one and I was SO excited to see that our challenge was to make donuts! :)

Elisabeth said...

Love the cute ghost donuts, and the recipe is yummy. You did such a wonderful job with the decorations.

shelley c. said...

I love your Halloween-y donuts, but love your story even more. I bet you your grandpa would be super proud of you. So are you going to give his recipe another shot now? :) Awesome job on the challenge.

Jan said...

I never thought to cut the doughnuts with different shaped cutters. Brilliant!

eatgreek.net said...

they are so lovely! :D

Emily Malloy said...

How freaking adorable and creative.

jana@cherryteacakes.com said...

so cute! and i love the sprinkles! good job on this challenge!

sara @ CaffeIna said...

One simple word: adorable!I'm with Jan here. I never thought of cutting out the donuts into different shape. Loved the idea!

Eileen said...

Such a cute idea!! I remember my dad going to a local bakery to get fresh made doughnuts for my sister and I when we were little girls. A fond memory too. Funny how food envokes memories isn't it? Great job. Any chance you'll be starting a bakery anytime soon?

Monet said...

These are the next baking treats I want to try. Thank you so much for sharing...I know you grandfather and mother would be very proud! How do you join the Daring Baker's Challenge? I would love to be a part of this! Thank you for sharing your recipe and memories!

Laura said...

Brilliant idea using the cookie cutters. Love the ghost!

Unknown said...

Monet, you can go to http://thedaringkitchen.com/faq
to find all the details. It is a lot of fun, and I'm sure you would enjoy it:)

Belinda @zomppa said...

Go grandpa!! Love the ghostly donut.

Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox said...

These are super cute! So glad you got to try your grandpa's recipe. And love the cookie cutter twist.

Susi's Kochen und Backen said...

Wonderful looking donuts! My kids would be all over the cute shapes. I think you did an awesome job with this challenge and I bet your grandpa would be mighty proud of you!

Gree said...

I love the Halloween theme, pretty challenging making them out of doughnuts! There is something lovely about fresh donuts, they are truly in a class by themselves.

mamtc said...

The cookies are delicious and perfect for halloween.

Renata said...

Love, Love, Love your doughnuts! The ghost is SOOO cute! Really creative!!!

Becky said...

Your Grandfather would be so proud of you, even if this isn't his recipe. The ghosts are very scary:) Great idea to use cookie cutters to cut the dough. If I ever make doughnuts, I'll have to remember the cookie cutters.


Love the cute Halloween shapes! Very unique!

Savoring Italy said...

These are so cute! Your grandfather would be proud and happy to eat some of this yumminess;)

Hilary said...

YUMMY! These look so good! I love Halloween because of the candy, sweets, cookies, and donuts! Thanks for your tip. Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Adorable! Seriously, I like to cut my sandwiches into cookie cutter shapes and donuts are even better than sandwiches!

Petra (Zoom Yummy) said...

Those are so cute! :) Petra

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