Friday, September 19, 2014

For Nicole: Gluten Free Chocolate Doughnuts with Coconut-Chocolate Glaze

Dear Nicole,

So, I totally kept my word. This is something I try to do on a regular basis but sometimes I forget or get lazy or my children exist (and, well, you've met them). It is easier to keep my word when it involves my new favorite thing: the doughnut pan.

as good as it looks

Which reminds me! Hey! True story: "Mom, I am allergic to peanuts, right?" "Yes. You are allergic to peanuts and I am allergic to tree nuts. So we don't eat nuts in our house." "But I am not allergic to all nuts, right?" "We don't really know." "But, like, I am not allergic to doughnuts, right?" "Right." Accompanied by much laughter, naturally.

On a more serious note though, I think, seriously, that you (and maybe everyone) need(s) a doughnut pan. I especially think that gluten-free bakers need doughnut pans. They are a recipe for success. Because, here are some things that help with gluten-free baking: short cooking times, small items, eating baked goods day-of. Cookies and muffins? Great gluten free options. Cakes? Well, sometimes, depending on what other restrictions you might have. Pastries, pies, bread? Trickiest of all. Bring on the eight thousand ingredients. Baked doughnuts, I am happy to report, are basically muffins with a nice firm exterior. Think muffin top. But muffin top on top and bottom. Win-win. They bake in 15-20 minutes, they taste best on the first day but that is true of all doughnuts really, and I am fairly certain they are full-proof. Also, they are crazy-go-nuts good.

I adapted this recipe just barely from a woman named Jeanine whose blog is called The Baking Beauties. She is from Canada and she has done A LOT of work for you. I think she should be your go-to source for standard baking recipes made gluten-free.

You can go now. Because I think you need to get yourself a doughnut pan. Miss you.


GF Choc Donut Collagedonies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Doughnuts with Coconut-Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from Baking Beauties
Yields: 6

3/4 cup sorghum (that's what I used) or brown rice flour*
3 tablespoons tapioca starch*
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons: dry instant chocolate pudding mix, dry milk powder, or whey protein powder**
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
1-2 tablespoons milk or water

Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a doughnut pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. I recommend sifting cocoa powder into the bowl to avoid lumps. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the flour-cocoa mixture and stir until fully combined. Spoon mixture into prepared doughnut pan: aim for 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan 180 degrees after 6 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the doughnut comes out clean.

Let doughnuts sit for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely (20-30 minutes was sufficient) before frosting.

When ready to frost: Stir together the powdered sugar, sifted cocoa powder (sifting really is a helpful step here), butter or coconut oil, and enough milk or water to make the glaze the consistency you want. Dip your cooled doughnuts into the glaze and place on cooling rack until frosting firms up a bit. I dipped my doughnuts three times in the glaze to get them as shiny and evenly-coated as I wanted. There was more than enough frosting to do this.

* 1 cup less 1 tablespoon of whatever gluten-free baking mix you have on hand will work in place of the flour and starch in this recipe. Use the xanthan gum only if your baking mix doesn't include any. You can also substitute potato starch, arrowroot, or cornstarch for the tapioca starch.

** Jeanine consistently uses pudding mix in her recipes. I imagine, based on my use of milk powder in conventional baking, that this makes for a more *tender* (ew!) texture. I didn't have milk powder or pudding mix in my kitchen, so I used some whey protein powder and evidently it worked fine, since I think these doughnuts are perfect. Comments on the Baking Beauties site indicated that a tablespoon more of cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon of flour works fine too, just to even out the dry-to-wet ratio. Maybe *tenderness* (ew!) is compromised, but they will still be doughnuts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Go Big or Go Home: Spiced Pumpkin Doughnuts

It is fall and so we are sick. Well, I'm not actually (yet), but the rest of my family has their first cold of the season. My tiny sidekick has a cruddy variety of whatever's going around so I put community health above my own and skipped the gym today (and Kid Zone childcare (germville)). And then I was like, if I'm skipping the gym anyway, I might as well make doughnuts. So Beckett and I braved the cold (it dropped thirty degrees over the last 20 hours, because Minnesota is glorious like that), got a little token exercise / fresh air exposure (me on foot, B on scooter), and walked (or scooted) first to the local kitchenware store (not Target in this instance) for a doughnut pan and then to the nearest grocery store to pick up the only ingredient we didn't have on hand to make these bad boys: pumpkin puree (on sale - just in case I needed one more sign indicating today was doughnut day).

Pumpkin Doughnuts

These are adapted from King Arthur Flour. Here's what I did differently: halved the recipe (if I made twelve, we'd eat twelve), reduced sugar by a third in the doughnut recipe but used more for dusting (these do not need to be sweeter), increased spice a bit (subtlety, I feel, is best left to the novelists), and subbed half bread flour and half whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose (this was based on what I had on hand and a little knowledge about flours and I'm fairly certain that in the future I will use the exact same flour blend - texture was perfect).

As this was my first time using them, I slightly overfilled my doughnut molds, so my holes were not quite holes (but I didn't have anywhere else to put the remaining batter - what's a baker to do?). This aesthetic error was by no means a deal-breaker: these are hands down the best homemade baked good I've had in a long time. I can't think of a better tonic to counter your family's change-in-seasons malaise.

Next on my list: these!

Spiced Pumpkin Doughnuts
Adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour
Yields: 6 (well, probably 7, if you've got a spare doughnut mold)

For doughnuts
1/4 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie or other baking spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup (2 ounces) bread flour or all-purpose*

For dusting
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking spice or cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-ring standard doughnut mold.**

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder, until mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Stir in flour(s) until just combined.

Using about 1/4 cup batter per doughnut, fill each mold until 3/4 full (or 4/4 full, if you need to use up all your batter and you don't mind a slightly disfigured doughnut). Bake for 16 minutes, rotating pan 180 degrees after 8 minutes for even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place sugar and baking spice or cinnamon in a plastic bag and shake to combine. Once doughnuts are cool enough to handle, loosen edges with fingers (this was v. easy - no knife required), remove one doughnut at a time from pan, and toss it gently in the bag of cinnamon sugar until evenly coated. Place on cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before eating (that said, if you eat one hot, you won't regret it).

* I weighed the flours, so volume measurements are my best estimations.

** I greased 5 out of 6 of my molds, just to see how nonstick the nonstick was. It's pretty nonstick. I couldn't even figure out which one it was. So, you probably don't have to grease your pans, although a little external oil will help the cinnamon-sugar stick.