Mention the word doughnut to most people and they automatically think breakfast. But in my family, those people are known as AMATEURS. Back when my parents were dating they’d often buy a box of doughnuts and split them – in the car on the way home, in lieu of dinner. Now, I’m not bragging, but back then (before super-sizing became a way of life) this probably could have earned them some type of “Food Olympics” competitive eating medal. But they were young and thin and could afford to indulge. I grew up in much the same way and have a whole mouth full of fillings to prove it. Fortunately for me, those days of mass consumption are over. Today’s recipe is not health food and shouldn’t be taken as such (unless of course you’re pregnant). But you KNOW you’re going to want a doughnut sooner or later, and if you’re going to indulge, you’ll have fewer regrets if there’s ZERO salt or lard involved. Besides, there’s nothing cooler than making your own doughnuts. So tonight when you’re at that party and someone asks “what did you do today?” let them marvel at your answer. Now time to make the doughnuts!
Yields one dozen.
SODIUM CONTENT: 17.7 mg per doughnut
2 1/4 t. (1 pkg) dry active yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. warm milk
1/2 c. honey
2 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 1/2-4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1.55-oz. (regular size) Hershey’s chocolate bar
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
48 oz. vegetable oil, for frying
Jimmies or sprinkles (optional)
To make the doughnuts, measure the yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add the warm water and milk and stir to combine. Let rest a moment, then add the honey, melted butter and egg and stir well. Gradually add the flour, a half cup at a time, stirring to combine. Once the dough begins to form, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 6-7 minutes. Place the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover (I like to use plastic wrap with a rubber band at the top to keep it secure), and place it in a warm spot. Let it rise until doubled in size, about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
Once dough has risen, remove the cover and punch down. Turn the bowl out onto a lightly floured surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll it out to 1-inch (approx) thickness. Cut the dough into doughnuts using a doughnut cutter (two different size glasses will also work in a pinch). Place cut doughnuts onto a lightly oiled baking sheet, place in a warm spot and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Once the doughnuts have risen, heat the oil in a skillet or saute pan (or better yet, a deep fryer) to 375 degrees. Depending upon space, place one or more doughnuts into the heated oil – you do not want to crowd them – and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Once doughnuts are done, remove from oil and place on a wire rack (above paper towels) to drain well and cool to touch.
While the doughnuts are cooking and cooling, make the icing. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. Stir in the cocoa, powdered sugar and milk, mixing until very smooth. Once the doughnuts have cooled to the touch (they can still be warm, but do not burn your hands doing this), gently dip one side into the icing and pull up. Place onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with jimmies if desired. Serve immediately or within the next several hours. They do not keep well, but you probably will not have to worry about that..