Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quick pizza dough doughnuts

Oh, Tuesday.  You will never be the same to me after this month of delectable doughnut recipes.  If you've been keeping track or you're new (welcome!), here is a review of what doughy delights have been made: There have been traditional yeast doughnutsChocolate cake and apple cider doughnuts have brought a level of flavor to homemade doughnuts that I never thought possible.  And for the "healthier" (relatively speaking) doughnut fan who loves a surprise, a Nutella-filled muffin that tastes so much like a doughnut you'll swear that hole in the middle isn't necessary at all.

This doughnut is the quickest of quick when it comes to preparation.  The frying method is the same, but no long rising times for the yeast and so few ingredients that I'd bet even my most kitchen-phobic of friends have everything in their cabinets to make this right now.  And, in keeping with this week's theme of making the most of an almost bare kitchen stock, this required a measly four ingredients.  Okay, okay.  If you are going to be a stickler and count water as an ingredient, that's five total ingredients.  Shhh.  Please don't rain on my doughnut parade.

These doughnuts are much smaller than the other varieties since I was planning to take them to work the next day.  I figured I should try a different size just for experiment's sake, too.  The pizza dough mix gave these tiny doughnuts a nice crisp exterior and a really airy (I mean, pockets of air amidst the fluffy dough) interior.  I used cinnamon sugar as a classic coating only after I realized I had used up my stash of powdered sugar to ice a birthday cake I made the previous weekend.  But hey, don't let my kitchen misfortunes limit your creativity with doughnut toppings!  Try powdered sugar, melted chocolate (milk or even white) with some rainbow sprinkles, or a simple glaze immediately rolled in toasted coconut.  The sky is the limit!  (Beware of falling doughnuts...)

Quickest Doughnuts
-makes 15 two-inch doughnuts

1 package just-add-water pizza dough
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prepare the dough as instructed on the package -- mine said to add 1/2 cup of warm water, stir until just moistened and cover for 5 minutes.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a floured 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out doughnut rounds. Using a floured 1-inch cookie cutter (or a trusty water bottle cap), cut out a hole in the center of each doughnut. Gather the dough scraps and reroll. Cut out more doughnuts until all of the dough has been used.

Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl to blend; set aside.  Pour enough vegetable oil in a small saucepan to reach a depth of two inches.  Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350F.  Working in small batches (2 per for me), fry the doughnuts until they puff but are still pale, about 45 seconds per side.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to a cooling rack over (or paper towels lining) a cookie sheet. Cool slightly. While the doughnuts are still warm, generously coat each with the cinnamon sugar.  Serve warm with a glass of milk and a good book (not for eating).  These can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a day.

And that's it for doughnut month!  (Thanks to BH for the idea!)  Did you try any of the recipes?  What did you think?  What was your favorite?  I've gotta say that while I enjoyed them all, my favorite was certainly the traditional yeast doughnut, but a close second was the not-at-all traditional "doughmuffin."  I will definitely be making these in the future and each recipe is perfect for a different occasion.  Happy eating!

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