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The Memory Dish - Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe, inspired by America

Friday 6 June 2014

I actually feel quite emotional about this. I made donuts. And they worked! They worked, and were delicious, and only a tiny little thing went wrong, that had nothing to do with my cookery skills. Hurrah! HURRAH!

I have such a soft spot in my heart for donuts. Both the warm, sugary ones you can pick up from Brighton Pier, the soft, jam filled ones I'd have as a child, and the sweet, glazed, fluffy beings from America. They're hard to find in Ireland - there's no Krispy Kreme in Dublin, and I'm yet to find something that comes close. American donuts are a different ballgame, I think. There's just something so... American about them. 

When I was in New York in 2008, they became something of a daily tradition. While my friend got ready in the morning (it takes me an embarrassingly short amount of time to go from horizontal to what I deem outwardly acceptable) I nipped out and got bagels, with cream cheese and lox, and a couple of lattes. Then, come afternoon time, the coffee would be accompanied by a warm, glazed donut. 

The last time I tried to make them, I was faced with a complete disaster. If you live in Ireland, it's unlikely you live in a house that is conducive to rising yeast. Hell, if you're anything like me, 'softened butter' is just a pipe dream, all but two weeks of the year. 

This time, I was ready. I'd put my oven onto it's lowest setting, and was going to use the warmer compartment for all of my rising needs. It would be like baking in the desert. 

And it worked! It worked. 

This is the kind of recipe that will take you most of the day, without taking that much work in itself. Each step requires about an hour of rising time, so save it for a day when you're planning on staying in your pyjamas, reading the paper and gently pottering around like an old lady. 

I halved the recipe I found at the 350 Degree Oven, because I didn't trust myself to be around 14 donuts. Plus, they really don't keep very well. I knew that 7 would be gone in a flash (not just by my hand, I should add. I got a measly ONE out of the deal. OK, two)

Halving the recipe made things a little complicated (how do you halve an egg??) so if you want to make more, stick to the original at the link above. 

Oh, and to halve an egg? Whisk it in a glass first. You're welcome. 

The key to the super fluffy, Krispy Kreme-esque texture is in the tangzhong, a water roux that's a key ingredient of Japanese milk bread. It's easy to make, but you can read more about it here. Do read over her instructions first, as the recipe worked really well for me.

So here we go! Makes roughly 7 donuts.

187g plain flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons butter (I melted mine)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. milk
1/2 egg
1 tsp. yeast
1/2 c. tangzhong

130g icing sugar
130ml milk
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. First up, make the tangzhong. Basically, this is a roux made from flour and water, and it gives you a super light and fluffy dough. Because I halved a recipe, I accidentally used twice as much as I had to... but it was still fine. In a saucepan over a low heat, mix 1/3 cup of flour in with 1 cup of water. Whisk until the whisk leaves lines in the roux.

2. Next up, dump all of the ingredients into a mixer with a dough hook, and mix for around 15 minutes. If you are certifiably insane, you can do this by hand. Cover the dough and leave somewhere warm to rise until it's double in size (about 45 minutes), then knock it back and leave for another 45. If you live somewhere cold, then put it somewhere stupidly warm - I actually put mine in the warmer that my Rayburn has, on its lowest possible setting. Someone else suggested putting it into a (cold) oven with the light on.

3. When the dough is huge and puffy, roll it out to a thickness of about half an inch. On a VERY floured surface. Then use a cookie cutter to get your donut shapes, and keep the holes. Be very careful at this stage - you don't want to handle them too much, or you'll lose the fluffiness of the dough. Don't roll them any more than you have to.

4. Leave them somewhere warm to rise again. I actually put them on top of my Rayburn this time, which I'm sure almost cooked them. But I've been ruined before by non rising donuts, so I was dammed if I was going to let it happen again. The recipe actually said to cover them loosely with cling film, but this was a DISASTER. The donuts rose and stuck to the film, leaving them ripped of half of their mass. It made me sad. So I say, don't even risk covering them.

5. Heat your oil to exactly 375f/190c. EXACTLY. Donuts are temperamental little buggers - they cook quickly but burn easily, and they'll be too oily if you cook them at too low of a temperature. Make sure you have the oil at a steady heat before cooking.

6. Make your glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together. Taste it. Mmmmm.

7. Lower your donuts in carefully with a slotted spoon. Don't overcrowd the pan - they only take a few minutes to cook - maybe 40 seconds each side. Use the spoon to flip them over.

8. When they're done, take them out and drain them on kitchen roll. When they're cool enough to touch, dip them in the glaze. A few times, because life is for the living. Then put them on a wire rack and, later on, scrape the dripped off glaze and eat it with your hands.

And there you have it! KRISPY KREME STYLE DONUTS! Have a look at these pictures and do a little cry...

1 comment

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