If these donuts are any indication, I've officially lost my mind.
I planned to make and blog about donuts sometime this October. You could say they were on my 'to blog' list. So imagine my surprise and excitement when I opened the Daring Bakers announcement folder only to read that we were being challenged to fry up a batch of donuts. Serendipitous, truly. Donuts? Check. Daring Bakers? Check. The classic two birds, one stone scenario.
What you see here is my spin on this months challenge. Yeast raised donuts, schmeared with a brown sugar maple/cinnamon/cayenne glaze, topped with pepper bacon & candied oats (or as I refer to it, bacon granola). Yes, you read that correctly. Donuts, maple cinnamon glaze, bacon granola. Miss mallory has gone and lost her marbles. . .
Now, I've tried a few maple bacon donuts in my day. Each of which proved to be disappointing, even at my favorite donut haunts. Why is it that most donut shops, even the great gourmet ones, insist on using some form of microwave or other less-than-stellar bacon product? Why in the world would I want to eat thin, limp, dry bacon? I want thick, crispy edged, fatty fried, true blue bacon. So, for these donuts I used thick slices of pepper encrusted bacon, fried to perfection. I then chopped my slices up to bits, I was gunning for meat sprinkles, which is what I got. The night I fried and assembled these donuts also landed on a night we were having a few friends over for dinner. The candied granola originally had no intention of being mixed with the bacon, it had been created as a gluten free (as one of our guests is gluten intolerant) topping for a batch of delicious lemon cream ice cream I had planned for dessert. Mid day my lovely boyfriend, in a fit of hunger, scooped up two handfuls, one bacon the other granola, and popped them in his mouth. Let's just say, something magical occurred. Bacon granola? It's genius. So much so I feel like I should be marketing it!
I could not resist. Sure I'd heard of a maple bacon donut. But a maple bacon granola donut?
Thus the bacon granola donut was born.
The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Nuemann, and Epicurious.
Alton Browns Yeast Donuts
makes 20-25 donuts
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 oz vegetable shortening (about 1/3 cup)
2 packages instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
23 oz flour, plus additional for dusting
vegetable or peanut oil for frying (at least enough for 3 in depth in dutch oven)
1. Warm milk until just hot. Place shortening in a bowl, pour warm milk over shortening.
2. In a small bowl pour yeast over warm water. Allow yeast to stand & dissolve 5 minutes.
3. Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the milk/shortening to the yeast, being sure the milk is only lukewarm.
4. Add eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg and half of the flour to the mixing bowl.
5. On low speed beat until ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until ingredients are well combined.
6. Reduce speed to low again and add the remaining flour. Increase speed one last time, and beat well.
7. Remove paddle and attach dough hook. Knead dough on medium speed for about 4-5 minutes, or until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
8. Cover bowl and allow dough to rise for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
9. On a well floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick.
10. Cut out donut circles, one larger one smaller (I used a large round cookie cutter, and a very large icing piping tip for the middle hole, my donuts were thinner, but I loved the way that looked).
11. Set cut donuts (and donut holes) on baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and allow to proof, for about a half an hour. (when you poke the dough with your finger and it bounces back almost immediately, your dough is sufficiently proofed).
12. Heat oil (enough for 3 inch depth) to 365 F in a dutch oven.
13. Using a metal slotted spoon or other slotted kitchen gadget, gently place 3 donuts and a few holes at a time in hot oil. Cook for 1 minute or so per side, until golden brown, and removing from oil and placing on a baking rack set above paper towels.
14. Allow to cool about 20 minutes prior to glazing and decorating.
I swear, the only thing better than a warm donut, is a warm donut hole. . . they're the perfect bite size. No?