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Baked Doughnuts
Makes about a dozen and a half

1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 110)
1 1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled to about 110
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening (or butter), melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
melted butter for brushing on (maybe 1/2 cup)

Combine yeast, water, milk, sugar and salt and let sit for about
5 minutes. Beat in nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs and shortening. Beat in
flour until mixed. Put into a lightly greased bowl and let rise
until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn out onto a floured
surface. Or, you can do it the new way. If you have a bread
machine, put all the dough ingredients in the machine in the dough
cycle. When the cycle is over and the dough has risen, turn out
onto a floured surface and punch down. Dough should be soft. With
a floured rolling pin, gently roll dough about 1/2 inch thick and
cut with a floured 2 1/2 or 3 inch doughnut cutter. Either bake
the holes, too or push them back together, roll and cut until the
dough is all used up. Lift doughnuts with a floured spatula and
put about 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush
doughnuts gently with melted butter. Let rise, covered and away
from breezes until doubled, maybe 20 minutes. Heat oven to 425.
Bake 8 or 10 minutes or until nicely golden. Quickly, brush with
melted butter and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Or, alternately,
either sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or spread with glaze; recipes
follow. Cinnamon sugar mixture: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon
cinnamon, pinch allspice. Creamy glaze: Combine 1/3 cup melted
butter, 2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in
4 to 6 tablespoons water or apple juice, one tablespoon at a time,
until the warm glaze is just barely pourable. Variations include
adding things to the dough. You can add up to a cup of dry chopped
ingredients to the dough. Chopped nuts. Finely chopped dried
fruit like peaches, pears, apples or a combination. Raisins.
Dates. Fresh blueberries. Rinse and dry them very well. Gently
toss them with flour and add to the dough. Crushed pineapple.
Drain and pat dry. Or use a technique variation like this: roll
the dough out to about 1/4 inch and use a 3 inch cutter. Put a
ring of dough on the cookie sheet, top with some berries or something
else that strikes your fancy and put another ring of dough on top,
pinching to seal the edges. Proceed as in the original recipe.
Or use a biscuit cutter and don't have a hole in the center. Or
use a square cutter. Or some other shape but be careful of
too-complicated shapes that might burn out at the ends. In the
glaze, substitute some other flavored extracts for the vanilla.
Lemon. Orange. Coconut. Whatever you like. Peanut butter. Or
glaze with chocolate icing.


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