Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Baked Vanilla Bean Doughnuts

I love doughnuts, really really love them, though I cannot eat too many in one go.  I do have limits.  But if I can have a doughnut then I will.  Provided it is a flavour I like.  Remember, I am surprisingly picky despite my sweet tooth.  I grew up with jam doughnuts, so I always have a soft spot for them.  However, I developed a liking for glazed doughnuts when I first got to try a Krispy Creme!  Man, those things are scrummy.  Rather overpriced for a doughnut though, unfortunately.  For a single glazed doughnut from Krispy Creme, I can get a packet of at least 5 jam doughnuts from the supermarket.  Not that I could eat all those doughnuts in one day but that's not the point.

The point is, I have been wanting to make my own doughnuts at home for ages.  So what has been stopping me?  Well, the frying aspect.  Not the idea that they are fried, mind.  I have no issues with frying things.  But doughnuts are deep fried and my issue comes from the fact that deep frying requires a lot of oil, which will still be left over at the end of the frying.  And then what do I do with it?  I don't want to keep it in the pan.  I've only got so many pans and they all get used for making dinner.  I can't afford to be one pan down.  And I don't want to try bottling it up again.  Honestly, it is not worth the effort.

So when I stumbled across the idea of baked doughnuts, I was so excited!  Yet said stumbling happened two years ago and so far there has been no sign of doughnuts on this blog.  And the reason for that is I kept failing to find a recipe I liked and thought worked.  Hindered by the lack of a doughnut tray, I went looking for doughnuts I could shape and bake without a mould.  Said doughnuts always turned out too much like bread, both in appearance and taste.  Admittedly, quite sweet bread but bread nonetheless.  It was all rather disappointing and I became rather put off by the idea.

Anyway, at the start of the month, after finishing university and returning to the internet properly I discovered that the first Friday in June is apparently National Doughnut Day.  Admittedly, I don't know if that's just an American thing but if it is an excuse to eat doughnuts, I'm in.  Problem was, I had no doughnuts and my past failures with baked ones made me reluctant to try making them again, despite that being a suggestion when I was lamenting.  However, the brooding that resulted meant I finally did what I had been thinking of doing for ages and I decided I would buy that doughnut pan I had been admiring on Amazon for the last year!  I was going to try a softer mix and see how that turned out.

And what can I say?  They turned out great!  I found a really good recipe (thank you Chocolate Moosey!), though I decided to only glaze half of the doughnuts and coat the rest in cinnamon sugar.  The fiancĂ© is not a fan of glaze.  I also reduced the recipe slightly so I only made six as I wasn't sure we could manage nine doughnuts between two of us.  Turns out, we probably could have.  The fiancĂ© devoured his cinnamon coated doughnuts within the day and is requesting I make more.  And I probably will since they were so simple and so quick to make!  That, and they tasted lovely.  The texture was right and the taste was right.  Finally, a baked doughnut that tasted like a real doughnut.  I am so happy.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Recipe - adapted from Chocolate Moosey
Makes 6 

  • 150g/5.5oz plain flour
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 40g/1.4oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 60g/2oz caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 small egg
  • 2/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85ml/3fl.oz milk
Glaze (for 3 doughnuts):
  • 25g/1oz icing sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar:
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tbsp milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and grease a 6 cavity doughnut pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the seeds from the vanilla bean (cut the bean down the centre, split open and remove the seeds by running a knife along the length of the inside), the egg and the vanilla extract to the sugar butter and beat to incorporate.
  5. Beat in the milk.
  6. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing after each addition, until all the flour is just incorporated.
  7. Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large, round nozzle and pipe the mixture into each of the tray cavities, being careful not to overfill.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the doughnut comes out clean.
  9. Allow to rest in the tray for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Make the glaze once the doughnuts have cooled.  Mix together the icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl.  
  11. Add the milk and mix until smooth.
  12. Dip the tops of 3 of the doughnuts into the glaze until they are covered.  Allow to set.
  13. On a plate, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  14. Brush the unglazed doughnuts with the milk and then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

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