Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Baking 911

A really awesome website that has some amazing tutorials on it is baking911.com. The website is a little cluttered and has a little too much color for my taste, but it has TONS of useful information and detailed instructions about various baking methods.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Apple Cider Donuts

When the Fall rolls around, I love to make everything with apples in it...apple pie, apple cobber, etc...But yesterday I made apple cider donuts for the very first time using my deep fry/candy thermometer. Let me preface this by saying that my first attempt using a candy thermometer was a complete failure and I was a bit afraid to try again, but these donuts came out delicious. They were the perfect texture and moistness.

I started out by frying the donuts 2 minutes on each side, but noticed they were coming out a bit dark, so I changed to 1 minute on each side and...perfection! Also, the recipe says to use a "board" when patting down the dough. I used a regular cutting board and it worked well. Be sure to flour the surface with more flour than you think you need because the dough is VERY sticky. Also, I don't have a donut cutter, so I used a glass and then cut the holes out with a knife. I didn't think this method was much more work than if I had used a donut cutter. Remembering to put the donuts on paper towels after frying is of the utmost importance because nobody wants a greasy donut!

Given the success of this [easier] recipe, there is a recipe in the October 2009 issue of Food Network Magazine that I am just itching to try, but if you are a first timer like me, definitely give this recipe, which I got from Chowhound.com, a try.

(recipe courtesy of username random amblings on chowhound.com)

Vermont Apple Cider Doughnuts

1 cup Apple cider
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Solid vegetable shortening
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Buttermilk
3 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp.Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
Vegetable oil or shortening -for frying

1 cup cinnamon-sugar mixed

Boil apple cider in small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes; cool. Beat sugar with shortening until smooth. Add eggs and mix well, then add buttermilk and reduced cider. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl. Add to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine. Transfer dough to lightly floured board and pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3-inch doughnut cutter; reserve doughnut holes and reroll and cut scraps. Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat to 375'F. Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until browned and
cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to paper towels with slotted spoon. While still warm, shake a few at a time in a paper bag containing cinnamon sugar. Cool on a rack