Yeast Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Icing



The granddaddy classic doughnut but not your granddaddy’s recipe. This streamlined doughnut formula has you creating a lighter-than-air yeasted dough ideally fit for the fryer. Whether dipped in Vanilla Bean Icing or rolled in cinnamon sugar, the final product offers simple perfection in iconic style. For a complete visual how-to, take a look at our yeast doughnuts tutorial.

Yeast Doughnuts with Vanilla Bean Icing

  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 4 tablespoons (48 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4 to 4¼ cups (500 to 531 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 10 minutes
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Vanilla Bean Icing (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, milk, melted butter, eggs, bread flour, salt, reserved vanilla bean seeds, and remaining 3 tablespoons (36 grams) sugar to yeast mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment; beat at medium speed just until dough starts to pull away from sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes, adding up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if needed. (Dough will still be quite soft and slightly sticky but should not seem excessively wet.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour. (Alternatively, cover and let rise in refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, proceed as directed.)
  5. Spray 3 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Cut out 14 (6×6-inch) pieces of parchment paper, and place on prepared pans. Spray parchment with cooking spray. Spray 3 large sheets of plastic wrap with cooking spray.
  6. Punch down dough; turn out onto a heavily floured surface, and roll or pat to ½-inch thickness. Using a 3½-inch doughnut cutter dipped in flour, cut dough. Gently transfer doughnuts to prepared parchment squares, spacing at least 2 to 2½ inches apart. Reroll scraps, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes; cut scraps. Cover doughnuts with prepared plastic wrap, spray side down, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 40 minutes to 1 hour. (Find out how to check properly proofed doughnuts with the technique on page 64).
  7. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 365°F (185°C). Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with paper towels.
  8. Working in batches, use parchment paper to gently pick up doughnuts and add to oil (do not place parchment paper in oil). Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Using a spider strainer, transfer doughnuts to prepared pans. Let cool completely.
  9. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; place wire racks on prepared pans.
  10. Holding 1 doughnut horizontally, dip doughnut halfway into Vanilla Bean Icing; lift straight out, and swirl in a circular motion, letting excess drip off. Quickly turn doughnut, and place, icing side up, on a prepared rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve immediately, or let stand until icing is set, 20 to 30 minutes.

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Vanilla Bean Icing

  • 7⅓ cups (880 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (135 grams) whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons (126 grams) light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  1. In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth and well combined. Use immediately.

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