We bake and blog (and eat). Though baking takes up a lot more of our life than blogging.
March 31, 2014 / By Matt
There was a brief period in New York (long before the advent of social media) when Krispy Kreme doughnuts caused a stir in the city. Actually, it was more than a stir. It was a loud rumble. Suddenly, and without warning, a Krispy Kreme opened on an ugly stretch (near a very sketchy outlet of Boston Market nonetheless) of West 23rd street and, like magic, people descended. For one shining moment, Krispy Kreme drew Ramen Burger/Cronut-style legions. And then, for a multitude of reasons (oversaturation, awkward financials, etc…), it was over.
I was never a Krispy Kreme fan. Of course I would eat them (too many of them), but in terms of doughnuts, I lean towards the style perfected by farms and famer’s markets nationwide. I still have a deep affection for a great big bag – always paper, always slicked with a little bit of grease – of cider doughnuts: smallish, overly crispy, and covered in cinnamon sugar.
Sadly, I don’t really enjoy frying at home. I love a good fried doughnut and adore homemade fried chicken, but frying is messy and it always makes my smallish apartment smell sort of like McDonald’s. Besides, I have learned to really enjoy a lovely baked donut. Molly, our pastry chef, was the first person to get me on board with what a well-executed baked donut could be – light and cakey and grease-free (i.e. go to Baked now to get one).
And then I met the Sweet Paul baked doughnut. First of all, let me gush: The Sweet Paul Eat & Make book is beautiful (as is the magazine). The crafts and recipes within are simple and elegant and fun. I do not consider myself a craft person – but Paul Lowe’s crafts are approachable – easy for mere mortals like myself. I am still working my way through the book, but felt obligated to share his recipe for baked doughnuts with you. In the meantime, you should get some more Sweet Paul in your life (if only for the intriguingly titled World’s Best Cake recipe – a winner of Norway’s National Cake).
A few notes about baking donuts:
Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate from Paul Lowe’s book, Sweet Paul Eat & Make
For the Doughnuts
3 ½ cups cake flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temp
3 large eggs, room temp
1 tablespoon honey
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the Chocolate Dip
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
yield: about 20 regular doughnuts
Make the Doughnuts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a doughnut pan with a little melted butter.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, honey, and melted butter together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until combined.
Place the batter in a pastry bag (or, alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the pan) and pipe the batter into each doughnut well. Only fill ¾ of the way up.
Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees, place the pan in the oven, and bake until golden edges appear, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes than turn pan over, pop out doughnuts, and allow them to cool completely. Repeat until all the batter has been used…making sure to grease the pan between batches.
Make the Chocolate Dip
Place the chocolate in a medium wide-mouthed bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it is just about to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter. Keep the mixture warm and, working quickly, dip each doughnut in the chocolate. Add sprinkles. Serve within 12-24 hours.