Monday, March 10, 2014

Salty Chocolate Yeast Donuts

Salt. Oh salt. You've changed my life. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but sweet and salty?! Together!? I have a whole set of teeth for that.

Oh and donuts, of course. I think I've explained how I feel about donuts before. I won't go into it again. But, strangely, I had never made them until this batch you see here. I don't do much frying in my house. Every once and a while Olie makes a request for fried chicken, but that's it. It's kind of a pain to fry things. It takes a ton of oil, and the oil always goes everywhere: on your counters, on your stove, and inevitably a bit gets on you. Not pleasant. So I avoid frying if at all possible. And my health is better for it.

But the other day I decided it was time to give donuts a try. The results were stupendous. These are different than the donuts you get at a donut shop. They don't melt in your mouth (i.e. Krispy Kreme); they are a bit bready-er and chewier. Which I really like. This chocolate glaze was so easy and delicious, but what's great about making donuts at home is that you can experiment with different toppings. Start with something classic (as I did), and then go nuts. Marshmallow cream, chocolate sauce and graham cracker crumbs? That's what I'm thinking my next donut will be topped with. And a bit of salt of course.
Now, the whole salt thing is just a personal choice. Lately, I have been topping all of my deserts with a bit of sea salt. I like it. I think it's perfect. I think it's amazing. But feel free to leave it off, if you prefer your sugar with more sugar.

I ate 5 of these the first night. One without any glaze, and then four with the chocolate. I can eat a disgusting amount of donuts. It's best to make these when you have some friends/family around that you can share with. Cuz.......if not, you might eat them all.

Mmm! Look at those donuts! Make these now! I could look at these pictures all day long!

Salty Chocolate Yeast Donuts (adapted from How Sweet It Is)

1 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2% is best)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (don't skip this ingredient!)
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
oil for frying

Chocolate Glaze
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
3 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
sea salt

Ok, here we go. Let's make a delicious mess.

Heat your milk and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Let it heat up a bit, but don't let it bubble at all.

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour warm milk and water over the butter and stir until it melts. Add the honey and yeast and give it a quick stir. Let sit for 5 minutes until it gets foamy.

Add your eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of your flour to the yeast mixture. Using the paddle attachment, beat on a low speed until ingredients combine. It will be sticky, that's fine. Add the rest of the flour and mix on a low speed and gradually increase to a medium speed until dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead dough for five minutes on a medium speed. Dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour in a warm place.

Dust a flat surface with flour. Place dough on floured surface and roll out until about 1 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to make perfect little donuts. Using your finger, make a hole in the middle. You can use a smaller cutter (like a bottle cap) to make the holes, but I found that my finger worked better. Cover and let rise for another thirty minutes.

Heat a large pot of oil (I used canola oil) over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature. You don't want it above 370 degrees. Fry your donuts about 3 or 4 at a time for about one minute on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place fried donuts on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess grease.

Let your donuts cool completely. Then make your glaze. Heat your butter, vanilla, corn syrup and milk in a sauce pan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add your chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Dunk each donut into glaze and sprinkle with sea salt.

Enjoy! These rock.

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