My first batch of baked doughnuts
Last week a neighbour brought some home-made fried doughnuts round to our place. They seemed so delicious but I was afraid they would upset my elimination diet. Since then I have been craving doughnuts, especially since people have been discussing doughnuts on the Failsafe discussion group. [Failsafe = free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers.] So I decided to plunge into the world of doughnut making myself. [Update 11/12/07: read my notes on fried dough foods in different cultures here.]
Firstly, I decided to make baked doughnuts instead. I had been reading about doughnut baking tins on the Failsafe discussion group and learnt about baked doughnuts for the first time. Certainly healthier than fried ones. I went out and got myself a doughnut baking tray (Takashimaya, S$19.90; in comparison, an electric waffle maker at S$49 isn’t a lot more!).
Next, I trawled the internet and read more than twenty baked doughnut recipes. Realised that there are two basic types:
a) ones that use buttermilk or milk+apple cider vinegar (to simulate buttermilk)
b) ones with no fermented milk
Under (b), there are two further sub-categories:
i) ones made like muffins: dry ingredients dump into wet ingredients, mix
ii) ones made like cake: cream fat & sugar, beat in egg, mix in dry ingredients.
[Want to know more about the 'muffin method' vs. the creaming method? Then read this post.]
Since (a) recipes are out of the question for me – I try to avoid fermented stuff and vinegar if possible (anti-candida), and also buttermilk is ridiculously expensive so it’s better not to depend on it if there are other alternatives.
Out of (b) recipes, this being my first attempt at making doughnuts I didn’t want a less-than-satisfactory result to put me off trying again, so I chose the more labour-intensive method, which I also thought would result in a lighter, fluffier doughnut.
I used a recipe from Cooks.com – there are so many baked donut recipes there, I compared various that fitted (b)(i), all the ingredients quantities were the same, so any of them would do. E.g.
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 c. flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk
Cream butter and sugar; add beaten egg and mix well. Mix in dry ingredients and milk alternately. Fill greased muffin tins 1/2 full. Bake 350 degrees, 20-30 minutes.
1) Used all wholemeal flour.
2) Reduced sugar to 1/4 cup
3) Omitted nutmeg (and cinammon, which many recipes call for) in order to be failsafe.
4) Used plastic bag with hole cut in corner to pipe the dough into the tin. It’s hard to spoon the slightly stiff dough into a the doughnut shape in the baking tray! It’s nicer having these doughnut shaped moulds rather than using a muffin tray as described in the recipe.
5) Baked at 180 degrees Celsius, 12 mins. Read this in other recipes, which say don’t overbake.
6) Instead of making a sticky icing for them, I dusted icing sugar over the top when they were done.
Wonderful! They were crisp on the outside, soft (albeit a bit crumbly) on the inside. Texture is fine with wholemeal flour, but a slight raw taste. Next time I will lightly toast the wholemeal flour first.
Next up, I want to eat waffles!
15/3/08 update: check out my grandmother’s doughnut method, using fried choux pastry.