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.

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