Tuesday, January 3, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Cooking Challenge: Day Five- Five Gold Rings

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me five gold rings.

On the fifth day of Christmas, I made "Golden" Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts.

I love making doughnuts.  Or maybe I just love doughnuts.  Scratch that.  I definitely love doughnuts. I was debating between making onion rings making doughnuts, and then I thought, "Who am I kidding?" and I made the doughnuts.

These were a new method for me.  I've done baked cake doughnuts and I've done yeast fried doughnuts, but these?  These were yeast baked doughnuts.  And they were pretty delicious.  They had the wonderfully light texture of a yeast doughnut without the admittedly unhealthy (though admittedly amazing) addition of frying oil.  Alec claimed they were the best doughnuts I've made, though I don't know if I'd go that far.I liked them enough to eat three doughnuts and several doughnut holes that night alone.

"Golden" Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
makes 10-14 doughnuts, plus doughnut holes!

1 egg
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. milk, at 115 degrees F
1 tbs active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 c. flour
1 stick butter, softened, cut into pieces

1 stick butter, melted
1 c. sugar and 2 tbs cinnamon, mixed

Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one.  Beat the egg and sugar together for 2 minutes.  Add milk, yeast, salt, and vanilla.

Lower mixer speed to low, and add in 2 c. of the flour.

Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook and mix on medium, adding in one piece of butter at a time until combined.  Reduce speed to low and mix until dough comes together and is pulling away from the side of the bowl, slowly adding in more flour.  Dough should be soft and moist, but not sticky.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Gather into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.  Turn over to coat.  Cover with damp towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about one hour.

Punch dough down, turn out onto a floured surface, and roll out to 1/2" thickness.  Using a 3" round cutter and a 1" round cutter, cut out doughnuts from the dough.  Definitely save the 1" cut outs for doughnut holes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Place doughnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 1" apart.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 25 minutes on top of the preheating oven.

Bake 5-8 minutes, until light golden brown.

Let cool just enough to handle, and then, one by one, dip briefly in the melted butter, and then into the cinnamon sugar.  Eat promptly!

Note: These do not keep very well.  They're best fresh and hot from the oven, and are still okay the next day. But after that, I threw the remainder away.  Invite someone over (or several someones, depending on how generous you're feeling) over to share.

... four colly birds...

... three French hens...

... two turtledoves...

... and a partridge in a pear tree.

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