Thursday, March 15, 2007
chocolate sprinkle donuts
Yet another food item that isn't quite right in Zurich: donuts. Yes, I can get donuts here, but they are rather dense, too bread-y, a little dry, a myrid of complaints. So I made my own. Is there a better way to use a whole quart of oil in one sitting?
I used the Brioche Donut recipe from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef at Spago Beverly Hills. It's good, but not exactly what I was looking for. On the good side, they were light and fluffy and relatively easy to make. But it wasn't sweet enough for me - only 1TB sugar for 20 donuts. Yes, the glaze can do a lot of the work. But I like my donuts to be able to stand on their own. Here's a couple things I learned:
- Despite the ridiculously sticky dough, I resisted adding more flour (yea, me!) and only lightly dusted to roll and cut. The dough was much easier handle than I anticipated. Don't let the stickyness scare you into over-flouring and thus toughening your dough.
- The hardest part is maintaining the oil temperature - between 350-360F, particularly on my lame electric range. Under 350, the donuts absorb too much oil. Over 375 and the oil starts to break down. When you put the dough in, the temp will drop slightly so you have to have the heat properly adjusted so the temp can recover quickly. You must carefully watch the temp the entire time - don't get distracted.
- Use milk chocolate for the glaze, duh. I tend to use at least 55% dark for all my baking so it didn't occur to me that it wasn't appropriate for a donut. Perhaps it would have worked if the donut was sweeter. But to my taste, the dark chocolate was too bitter for this treat.
- The glaze was too runny, leaving only the thinnest layer on the dipped donut. After the glaze cooled a bit, it thickened, which made it easier to get a thicker layer - so much better. Still the glaze wasn't nearly glossy enough. I might prefer a pwd sugar/milk icing instead.
- They really are only good for about 2 hours, then they get a little tough. The next day, positively gross. Eat them while they're hot.
- Lastly, people love donuts. This is a great way to make friends and influence people. :)