Doughnuts!

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 Epicurio
I was so busy all month with other tasks I had decided I wouldn’t be a part of this months challenge. But yesterday I did have some time to myself , thanks mainly to my parents who are visiting. Obviously the fact that my kids and I absolutely love doughnuts did help convince me to make em!!! And am so glad I did!

I halved the Alton Brown Yeast recipe so finally got just about 8 doughnuts and it was a mad scramble to polish them off. As Aparna had suggested on the forum, I reduced the egg and the yeast and contrary to my fears and pervious experiences the dough was extremely manageable. Boy! They were delicious. I made a chocolate –praline topping and it was fantastic…thanks Lori for a great challenge!

Yeast Doughnuts:
Preparation time:Hands on prep time – 25 minutesRising time – 1.5 hours totalCooking time – 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Ingredients
Milk 3/4 cup
Butter 35 grams
Active Dry Yeast 1 teaspoon
Warm Water 40ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs,small 1
White Granulated Sugar 1/8th cup,25 grams
Nutmeg, grated 1/2 tsp.
Purpose Flour 2 1/3 cup + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Directions:
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired

Topping

Over a low heat, melt 1½oz caster sugar in a saucepan with 1½oz almonds.
Once melted and browning nicely, keep moving it around with a metal spoon until but they get a bit darker for a good flavour
Once cold, crush into a course powder.
Mix it in with melted chocolate ….hmmmmm It will make you MOAN!

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Super Healthy Eggless Choco-Nut Banana Bread

Banana Bread, that innocuous looking cake-masquerading-as-bread breakfast choice has eluded me for a while now. But when I saw this, it took me less than five minutes to assemble the required ingredients and a very short while later I had a wonderful banana bread that my family and I absolutely loved. And here’s the bonus- Its low fat and very healthy( flax seeds, almonds..and what have you…).

Go ahead, make some now…….

Eggless Choco-Nut Banana Bread


Ingredients:
(yields one loaf in a 9 X 12 pan)

1. 2 cups whole wheat flour + 1 cup all purpose flour plus more for dusting
2. a pinch of salt
3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
4. 1/3 cup flaxseed powder
5. 1/3 cup + 1 cup milk
6. 1/4 cup oil
7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8. 1 cup sugar
9. 1 cup mashed banana, about 3-4 bananas depending on the size
10. 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
11. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
12. 1 cups chopped almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 loaf pan.

First sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.

Take 1/3 cup of the milk and add the flaxseed powder to it.Keep it aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in another bowl combine the oil, sugar, vanilla essence ,mashed banana, and the remaining milk.

Add the flaxseed powder-milk mix to this and stir to combine.

Add the flour mix to this wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. Dont panic if its a sticky dough. Thats the way its supposed to be.Thrwo in the chocolate chips and the chopped(or powdered in my case) almonds. Fold it it.

Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour to hour and a half or till the toothpick comes out clean .

Cool completely for about 15 minutes before turning the bread over. Slice only when completely cool or it will fall apart.

Down Came the Rain

leaves from my balcony
It’s the perfect climate to snuggle up in bed. But alas, my kids think otherwise and insist of creating mayhem at home. It’s impossible to sleep amidst all that noise. Trust me, if it were anyway possible I would be snoring away. The other day I needed to get the number of a local store and had called the Goa helpline. Hearing all the crazy chaos in the background the lady actually asked me if I were calling from a school!!! I swear this really happened; the two of them make that much noise. And today was even worse as they were all excited about some party we had to attend. It was held in an aircraft hangar with helicopters and aircrafts parked all around. Look at our golf course all soaked in the rain ….
It's Flooded!

Water Water Everywhere..

And a commercial aircraft trying to make a quick exit before the next round of rains.
Quick Getaway

Had some leftover shredded chicken …so made some creamy olive chicken sandwich.

1 onion shredded
1 tomato chopped
½ cup cabbage shredded
¼ cup mayonnaise or cheese spread/cream cheese
10 black pitted olives
1 tomato cut into thin rounds
Chicken, boiled and shredded
1 tsp olive oil
As many slices of bread as required. I used brown bread
Butter
chicken sandwich

In a saucepan heat the oil and fry the onions. Once it looks done (read opaque), add the tomatoes and the shredded chicken. Fry until chicken is slightly browned. Put this mixture into a bowl and add the shredded cabbage and the mayo/cheese spread. Throw in the olives. Apply on buttered bread and put the tomato slices and lettuce leaves (I didn’t have any). Grill. Eat.

Not the best thing to have on a rainy day. But then we are suckers for anything fattening! Found the recipe from BBCGood food. It’s quite good…I used caramel topping..divine…

Vanilla Ice Cream

* 284ml carton double cream
* 300ml full fat milk
* 115g caster sugar
* 1 vanilla pod
* 3 large egg yolks
* have lots of ice cubes at the ready

1. Put the canister from the machine into the freezer a day before you want to make the ice cream. Next day, pour the cream and milk into a medium heavy-based pan, then add half the sugar. Cut the vanilla pods into three and add it in.
2. Heat the cream and milk over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost boils .Take off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes so the vanilla can infuse.
3. Beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar for about 2 minutes until the mixture has thickened, is paler in colour and falls in thick ribbons when you lift the beaters. Using a measuring jug, scoop out about 125ml/4fl oz of the cream mixture and beat into the egg yolks to slacken them. Reheat the cream until it just comes to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture.
4. Return the pan to a low heat and cook, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Watch that it doesn’t boil – as soon as you see any bubbles about to burst to the surface, it should be thick enough, so take the pan off the heat so the mixture doesn’t curdle.
5. Pour the custard into a heatproof bowl, then sit it in a bigger bowl one third full of iced water to cool (this takes about 30 minutes). Stir occasionally to stop a skin forming. Put the bowl of custard in the fridge overnight so it gets really cold.
6. Get the ice cream machine running, scoop out the vanilla pod pieces, then slowly pour in the cold custard. Leave it to churn for 10-30 minutes (depending on your machine). When it stops, it is probably too soft to eat, so spoon into a plastic container, cover with cling film, then a lid, and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. (It will keep in the freezer for 3 months but don’t take it out, then refreeze.) Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
7. To make it by hand: in step 1, heat the milk, vanilla, and half the sugar without the cream (the custard will be slightly thicker). At the start of step 6, whip the cream so it’s light and floppy, not too stiff, and fold it into the cold custard. Freeze for 3-4 hours, stirring once an hour until almost frozen, then freeze as above.
topping
Top with caramel or chocolate.

I Knead Bread

Bread- Homemade
Ah! the aroma of home baked bread! I have always shied away from baking bread the old-fashioned way, preferring to buy it from the bakery in our area. But a few days back I decided to take the plunge…and I am so very proud and glad that I did. That doesn’t mean that im gonna knead my way to all my bread requirements. All I’m saying is that it was very fulfilling in a i-didn’t-expect-it-to-turn-out-like-bread-at-all way. In fact I didn’t expect anything edible at all!
.

Although this 6,000-year-old process hasn’t changed much since Pasteur made the commercial variety of standardized yeast possible in 1859, all our modern electrical gadgets have undoubtedly helped simplify and quicken the whole process. Still the process remains rather time-consuming and a bit tiring (all that kneading and punching is really good exercise) but it is definitely something I want to try again. The version of bread I have baked is called Twirled Herb Bread. I got the recipe from a book called ‘Breads to Go’ that I found lying in my cupboard. So here goes…

2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
13 grams fresh yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 spring onions with greens, chopped
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
4 peppercorns, crushed
15 grams butter

In a small bowl mix ¼ cup of warm ( not boiling) water with the yeast and the sugar. Stir and keep in a warm place for 15 minutes to froth. If it does not froth then discard and try again.

Sift the flours and the salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the frothy yeast and approximately 2 cups of water (add water gradually, you do not want a gooey paste).

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and leave covered for about two hours until it doubles in size.Add the chopped ingredients

Punch back the swollen dough and add the minced garlic, spring onions, coriander leaves and the peppercorns. Knead well for a few minutes.

Next, divide the dough into two equal portions and roll each using your hands into cylindrical shape. Twist both the rolls to get a spiral shape. Now cover both these rolled dough’s with a damp cloth and wait until they double in size, 30 minutes or so.

Place the rolls on a greased tray and bake in a preheated oven
at 200 C for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Voila!!! Your very own home baked bread is ready!

Since this months theme for the Sunday Snacks Event is Bread(what a coincidence) I am submitting this recipe. The event started by Hima of snackorama is being hosted this month by priya. Her fantastic blog has more details of the event. You can click here to read more.

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