Friday, December 15, 2006

Pumpkin Doughnuts

There are certain things that everyone should do at least once. The list could be long and varied, but here are a few that come to mind:
  • Spend time in a foreign country
  • Go skinny dipping in the ocean
  • Stay out all night
  • Fall in love

As it's true in life, so it goes in the kitchen. At least once, everyone with an inclination toward the culinary arts should bake yeast bread, try their hand at a souffle (see this post for inspiration), throw a dinner party and make sushi rolls (with or without raw fish). This past weekend, I added a new item to that list--make your own doughnuts. Like so many other food-related achievements, it was not nearly as complicated as we thought.

I got pumpkin doughnuts on the mind recently as I read all the blogs and magazines full of seasonal dishes spiced with warm fall flavors. When I saw Ivonne's, aka Cream Puffs in Venice, glowing recommendation of a recipe for pumpkin doughnuts from I am not one to whip out the deep fryer at the drop of a hat (difficult, because I don't own a deep fryer), so I doubted that I would act on my desire to beat Dunkin' Donuts at their own game. Then I mentioned the pumpkin doughnuts to Mike, and he lit up like, well, a Christmas tree. Off we went to buy a deep fry thermometer and a whole lot of canola oil, and we were ready to go.

Just in case you're thinking,

"Why do I have to fry my own doughnuts just to prove my culinary mettle, anyway?"

I have two words for you: Krispy Kreme. Just think how amazing a hot, fresh doughnut tastes melting on your tongue. I will warn you that these are more like a cake doughnut than a Krispy Kreme, and I actually preferred to eat mine once they cooled off. But the most important reason for you to make them is that it is really fun! Just follow the directions to keep the oil roughly between 365 and 370, and this is one of the easiest cooking projects you'll ever do. I would also recommend increasing the quantity of all the spices in the recipe, as I felt it was a bit stingy with those fall spices. It took us a total of about 5 minutes to fry the doughnuts to a sufficiently deep brown color, but otherwise, we followed the instructions in the recipe. Do a test donut to see how it cooks, inside and out. If pumpkin's not your thing, here are a couple more tasty recipes that I came across for cardamom-glazed and espresso-glazed doughnuts. Now, if you too are a fan of Dunkin' Donuts famous advertising slogan, repeat after me:

"It's time to make the donuts."

This dough was moist and sticky, so ample flour was used when handling it. We used a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to cut the large rounds and the lid from a bottle of olive oil for the holes.

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Anonymous said...

I really, really want to try to make doughnuts now!!

Anonymous said...

Bagels was on my list of things I should try making and when I did I found they really weren't as hard as I thought they'd be either. I'd better get on making some doughnuts now...

Kristen said...

Oh my...who needs Krispy Creme when you can have those in the comfort of your own home. Delicious!

christine said...

Jeez! What a temptress you are! Although I don't eat donuts, as you may as well just paste them to my hips, I am basking in their aura!

Julie said...

Rachel: Do it! I have a feeling you'll love this.
Brilynn: Bagels should definitely go on the list--I thought those were really hard to make too!
Kristen: Thank you!
Christine: Alton Brown said that if you fry things properly, they really don't end up being terribly fattening. Plus you'd be using the healthiest oil. Sorry to tempt you more!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Julie, I've been meaning to make doughnuts ever since I bought Richard's Bertinet "Dough" (I've only made his pizza dough so far - incredible)

I just need to invite people over - otherwise, I feel like I'll end up eating the whole batch...

yours look so delicious - I would never have thought of pumpkin doughnuts!

peabody said...

Mmm, pumpkin and doughnuts all in one! I so love this.

Erin S. said...

wowza...perhaps a new year's day activity? looks good to me!

Julie said...

Patricia: I haven't seen Bertinet's "Dough." It seems like a new baking book is always coming out as the ultimate, authoritative source, but I'm never sure which ones are truly great. I'll have to check this out.
Peabody: And they're even good leftover, out of the fridge--trust me, I know.
Erin: Yes, this is the perfect, fun weekend breakfast for a special day.

Garrett said...

Holy crap yum.

Ivonne said...

I'm so glad you tried them, Julie! Weren't they wonderful!

Sweet and Savory said...

If these are half as good as they look, they still will be fabulous.