Happy New Year 2015 folks! It's now beginning of February. Can you believe that? Boy! time seems to be slipping through my fingers daily. One moment, I was busy prepping for Christmas, New Years and now my family started talking about Chinese New Year preparations too. Not to mention, Valentines Day seems to be just round the corner. To me, every day is Valentines Day, depending how you see it of course. If you're like me, who may not be keen on paying for overpriced food on a fixed menu, couldn't tolerate a rude waiter or waitress, couldn't get a reservation or better yet would just like to spend simple quality time, fret not. I got you covered with 5 ideas, that I think it not only pleases both you, and your man and for parents alike, you can spend the day with your kids. After all, it's about showing what love is.
First stop, have a coffee or milk with these Breakfast Coffee Doughnuts. Be in your PJ's, have them in bed, or not, the idea is to be casual, grab a semi-light bite to wake up those senses.
For the doughnuts, I have decided to use my all time favourite go-to basic doughnut recipe. I discovered the recipe not too long ago, and have been switching up the base recipe for different doughnut flavour. They are pretty soft and fluffy like how a doughnut should be. I guess the only thing required to make these doughnuts easier, is that you have a stand mixer with a dough hook. That helps a lot in kneading the dough. Otherwise, I have also done the old fashion way. Kneading with my hands. It's quite a workout to the triceps and biceps. Let me tell you the end result is worth every effort put in.
So the key is, the dough would have slight elasticity, and slightly soft soft to touch. Another thing to look for is that the dough no longer stick between your fingers. As long it comes off clean from the sides of your mixer or from your hands, and you could form the dough into a smooth ball. Do keep in mind that over kneading can cause the doughnut to be tough once it's fried and cooled.
Breakfast Coffee Doughnuts
by Chic & Gorgeous Treats
* Makes 12 medium sized doughnuts.
* Doughnuts can be kept up to 3 days but best to consume the same day.
* Doughnut can be made a day in advance. Store in airtight container.
For the dough (loosely adapted from Epicurious.com)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm fresh/ full cream/ whole milk
2 1/4 cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Brachs Vanilla Bark or White Chocolate Glaze
4 oz white chocolate or 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
4 oz Brachs Vanilla Bark
3-4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, to thin out the glaze
coloured sprinkles, optional
To prepare doughnut dough:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the yeast with 3/4 cup of the warm milk and whisk to dissolve the yeast. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and mix well to create a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with cling film wrap and let it proof in a warm place for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon yeast with the remaining 1/4 cup milk mixed together with 2 teaspoons of the instant espresso powder. Add the proofed flour mixture along with the vanilla and egg yolks and mix on low until the ingredients are well incorporated. Next, add 1 cup of flour, along with the sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed until the dough starts to come together. Lastly, add the butter and mix until well combined.
3. Remove the paddle attachment and switch to a dough hook. Start adding the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time and knead the dough on low-medium speed until it completely pulls away from the side of the bowl and is smooth and not sticky to touch. The dough will be soft and moist. Increase the speed to high and knead for an additional 1 – 2 minutes to develop the gluten in the dough Shape it into a smooth ball and place in a well greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, gently press down on the dough to remove any gas bubbles then chill, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
4. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using round cookie cutters, cut out the doughnut and a smaller round cutter for the holes. (For this, I used one of my larger piping tip end to cut out the middle). Arrange the doughnuts ajar from the other on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Cover the doughnuts loosely with cling film wrap and let them proof in a warm place until almost doubled in size, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Check to see if the doughnuts are ready every 5 to 10 minutes. To test, use a fingertip to lightly touch one of the doughnuts. If the dough springs back immediately, it needs more time; if it springs back slowly, it’s ready; and if the dough doesn't spring back at all, it’s over-proofed. You can punch down and roll the over-proofed dough once more.
6. While the doughnuts are proofing, line a baking tray with 2 layers of paper towels and place a wire rack on top over the tray. In a heavy-bottomed large pot or deep fryer, heat at least 2 inches of oil until a thermometer registers 180C. Working in batches, use a slotted metal spoon or spatula to carefully place the doughnuts in the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the wire rack to drip dry. Set the doughnuts aside to cool slightly before glazing.
To prepare doughnut glaze::
7. In a double boiler, bring water up to a simmer. Place white chocolate or Brach’s Vanilla Bark in a heatproof bowl over the double boiler (careful, do not have the bowl touching the simmering water); stirring constantly until the white chocolate or vanilla bark melted completely. (Note: Do not over heat the white chocolate or vanilla bark or it will seize up). Remove off the heat.
8. To thin out the glaze, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening at a time, stirring into the warm melted white chocolate or vanilla bark. The glaze texture should be almost runny but still thick enough to glaze the doughnuts. If the glaze thickens, you can pop it into a microwave, on medium high, heat the glaze ever so slightly between 15-20 seconds and stir until it is well combined once more. ENJOY!
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