For Christmas, I asked for a cookbook. I always put off buying what I want so I can get something for the kids. So when Dad asked what I wanted, I gave him a list of some cookbooks that I had been wanting and told him to get any of them and I'd be happy. He surprised me with all of them!
My donut cookbook is Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts by Mark and Michael Klebeck. Of course, the first donut I tried was the blueberry. I had trouble with the recipe as it was given. They said I'd have wet dough, and they weren't kidding. It was just too wet, unless you want abstract art donuts. I wanted the cute circles and holes. So I went to tweaking the recipe. For the dough, I changed the flour and spice amounts. I also changed the glaze just a bit. Here's what I came up with. I recommend making the dough the late afternoon or night before and then frying the donuts in the morning. I also make the glaze the night before and then heat it up in the morning.
3 1/2 c. of cake flour, plus more for rolling it out (Cake flour comes in a cardboard box and is usually on the very bottom or very top of the cake aisle. You must use this type of flour.)
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbl. Crisco
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
2/3 c. whole milk
3/4 c. blueberries (smaller the size of the berry, the better)
You can use frozen blueberries, but if you do, add another 1/4 c. of flour, at least. You'll need a deep fryer or a pan with a lot of canola or vegetable oil in it. You also need either a donut cutter or use what I did, two circle cookie cutters. One being 2 3/4" across and the other 1 1/4" across.
First get a medium bowl and your sifter. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together.
Then get your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, (or a new bowl and your rubber spatula) and mix the sugar and Crisco for 1 minute on low until it looks like white sand.
Then add the eggs and mix for a minute on medium. It should be light and thick. My mix will probably look a little darker because our eggs have more of an orange color to the yolks than those found at the store.
Then add a third of the flour mix, mix on low til just combined. Add half the milk and mix on low til just combined. Add another third of the flour, mix as before. Add the rest of the milk, mix like you know how. Add the rest of the flour and mix it again.
Add the blueberries. Mix on low until just combined so you don't crunch up the berries too much.
Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dough (like covering guacamole) and cover it again at the top of the bowl. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour, I put it in overnight. In the morning, this is what you'll see:
3 1/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs. blueberry jam, jelly, or preserves
1/3 c. hot water
Mix all but the water together to get it started using a whisk. Slowly add the hot water until you get the right consistency - not real runny cause you want it to stick on the donut but not thick like an icing. You probably won't use all the water and whisk it real good or it will taste grainy. Make sure to get all the sugar incorporated into the wet ingredients.. You'll want it to be close to pancake syrup - the good kind that costs money and not the Walmart brand. Cover the bowl until you are ready to use it, if it cools down, warm it in the microwave.
Heat the oil up, either in your pot or in a deep fryer, to 370 degrees. On a clean counter top, heavily flour the surface with cake flour. Dump out the dough on the flour. If it still seems too wet to work with, lightly knead in a little flour. You don't want to work the dough too much or the finished donut will be dense and tough. On the other hand, if there isn't enough flour to hold the dough together, your donuts will not work. Once the dough is on the counter, sprinkle the top with flour so you can roll it out to 1/2" thick. Make sure when it's rolled out that there is plenty of flour on the top and bottom.
Cut out two donuts at a time. Make sure you dip each cutter in flour before each cut so it doesn't stick to the dough.
Pick up the donut shapes with a floured metal spatula. Dust the extra flour off both sides with your fingers. Slide the donuts into the oil carefully. Turn the donuts over after the bottom turns a light brown. I used a long tea spoon to do this. (The kind to mix your sweet tea, not the kind to measure with.) When both sides are brown, put the donuts on a wire rack that has paper towels underneath it. As soon as you can touch the donuts, dip them one by one in the warm glaze and sit them back on the rack. You want to reroll the dough as little as possible, so make more holes than donuts in order to cut up as much dough at a time as possible. Everytime you reroll the scraps, the donut will be a little bit tougher. This is what it looks like if your dough is too soft because there wasn't enough flour.
See how the donuts have lost their circle and the holes aren't round? Too little dough. This is what you want it to look like.