Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge - Pumpkin donuts!

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

We had a choice of donut kinds: pumpkin, bamboloni (which is what they call them in Tunisia, I guess it's from Italy), or raised. Apparently the raised ones bake pretty well, so I was gonna do them if I had time. Then I realized that I don't have time.

I did force myself to take a break, though, to make one kind. And pumpkin it was! I thought it sounded delicious. I prefer cake donuts for the most part, and of course these were. I was surprised at how easy they were to make. The prep didn't take too long, but frying them up definitely did. I was happy to have a reason to use the candy thermometer that my mom sent me :) Mine didn't hang around long enough to get glazed, but there is glaze in the recipe below.

And now for the beautiful pictures. Of the whole process for once. Rolled out dough, half-cut out, in the oil. Draining on paper towels. Broken open on a pile of whole ones to see the gorgeous inside and out. And then stacked up on a plate before everyone came by and gobbled them down. So lovely and wonderful. Taken on my friend's good camera, because mine is quite crappy and I still haven't replaced it. My friend who, for once, decided to delete a bunch of his pictures.... and accidentally got rid of mine at the same time. Heart broken. You have no idea.

There is one minor redeeming fact. A girl here is taking a picture of every thing she eats for a year. And happened to get one of the pumpkin donut holes. Here it is. The sole lonely surviving picture.

Pumpkin Doughnuts:

Preparation time:
Hands on pre-chill prep time - 15 minutes
Chilling time - 3 hours
After-chilling prep time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 30+ minutes (Depends on the size of your pan)

Yield: About 24 doughnuts & 24 doughnut holes

All Purpose Flour 3.5 cup / 840 ml / 490 gm / 17 ¼ oz
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon / 20 ml / 24 gm / .85 oz
Table Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml / 1.5 gm / .05 oz
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon / .6 ml / ¾ gm / .025 oz
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup / 240 ml / 225 gm / 8 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon / 5 ml
Buttermilk ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon / 135 ml /
Pumpkin 1 cup / 240 ml / 285 gm / 10 oz (Canned pure pumpkin or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin – DON’T use pumpkin pie mix!)
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

Powdered (Icing) Sugar 2 cup / 480 ml / 250 gm / 9 oz
Whipping Cream (About 32% butter fat) 4 Tablespoon + more if needed / 60 ml


  1. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
  2. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch (12 mm to 15 mm) thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) -diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
  3. Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches (40 mm). Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F (185°C to 188°C). Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

Glaze Directions:

  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze.
  2. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead.
  3. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.
  4. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze.
  5. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.


  1. I should come back and post here. Why is she taking a picture of everything she eats?

  2. She thought it would be an interesting project (not any kind of eating disorder.) You should make the donuts and post the pictures :)

  3. I'm so sorry about the pictures! I can imagine how heartbreaking that must have been. Your measurements are hard core! I'm impressed. :) Hope you are doing well!


Try this and want to share how it went? Have questions before you try it? Let me know!