Krispy Kreme is within walking distance of my apartment and when I see the HOT NOW sign lit up, I never get the urge to cross three lanes of traffic to go in. BUT! They are the doughnuts by which all others are measured (sorry Dunkin Donuts fans). Now that I've got this recipe, Krispy Kreme will be reserved for out-of-town guests who want to see what all the fuss is about.
I found the recipe at Erin Cooks (who checked out 101 Cookbooks for inspiration) and her pretty pictures got me thinking. I just had to try them. I made them at work, hoping they'd be a hit, but they weren't. Not because they didn't taste good, but like I said...this is Krispy Kreme country. Doughnuts around here must be sweet, hot, yeasty, light, filled with obscene amounts of custard, jelly or dipped in a paper-thin glaze.
Next time I make them, I think that I'll add more sugar and perhaps play with the yeast to make them lighter. I will also dip the entire ring in a thin white flat icing and letting it set before dipping/topping them with the colored icing. They're best eaten hot from the oven, but if you wait 30 minutes, the effect will still be the same. Think of them as french fries: excellent fresh from the fryer, but not so great after becoming stone cold.
Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen doughnuts
adapted from 101 Cookbooks and Erin Cooks
1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons milk (depending on your desired consistency)
2-4 drops of food coloring (depending on your desired shade )
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. If your dough is too sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, put in a warm place, and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, combine the confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla, and food coloring in a medium bowl.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the icing. Eat immediately if not sooner.