Last May, I wrote about a lovely visit with my nieces. We had a great time cooking together, and I wanted them to get a sense of how easy (and rewarding) it is to make things from scratch. When 9-year-old Camryn looked up at me with her big round eyes and asked if I could make doughnuts (her favorite treat) from scratch, I said yes. It was a little white lie– I had never actually done it before, but of course I knew it could easily be done at home and I was hoping to have it mastered by the next time I saw her.
So when I returned home, I ordered a book by local food writer and photographer Lara Ferroni that looked perfect for learning how to make doughnuts at home. I was excited to see recipes for a vegan dough, a gluten-free recipe, and also multiple recipes for baked donuts instead of fried. Baked doughnuts seemed like a simpler, less messy way to make my first batch. Later this year, you can be sure I will tackle the Brandied Eggnog variation, and also the Banana Bread and Chai variations. I will be sure to let you know how those turn out! And best of all, next time I see my girls we can make these together.
Baked Cake Doughnuts
Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni
1/3 cup plus 1 tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs unsalted butter or shortening
1/4 cup whole milk, scalded
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
Note: to get the proper shape when baking cake doughnuts, you will need a doughnut pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flours and baking powder together in a large bowl of bowl of your mixer. Whisk in the sugar, nutmeg and salt. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub in the dry ingredients as you would in making pastry crust, until evenly distributed. Add the milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla and stir just until combined. Do not over mix or your donuts may be rubbery.
Use a piping bag or a spoon to fill each doughnut cup about 3/4 full, making sure the center post is clear. Bake until the doughnuts are a light golden brown and spring back when touched, 6-10 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from pan. Glaze as desired.