Sunday, October 9, 2011

Top Pot Raised Glazed Ring Doughnuts

Top Pot Doughnuts is probably my favorite doughnut shop on earth. It is a must-visit on my trips to Seattle. So, when I saw a Top Pot Doughnuts cookbook on I made sure to put a recently acquired gift card to good use, buying the book and a nice set of doughnut/biscuit cutters.

The first recipe I tried was the basic yeasted doughnut recipe with vanilla glaze. Since my prior doughnut making experience involves opening a can of biscuits and frying those, I figured that I should attempt a basic yeasted doughnut recipe to get the hang of it before I tackle the recipes that have a very high bar in my house (my husband's favorite Maple Bars, for example). Good thing too, as I learned that Mace, a key ingredient used in Top Pot's yeast doughnuts, really shines through quite a bit. I'll probably tone it down for the highly anticipated Maple Bar.

The only changes I made to the recipe were to use regular flour (frankly, I wasn't patient enough to wait to go to the grocery store again to buy bread flour), and I divided the recipe in half, which worked fairly well. I also used tahitian vanilla which added a very flowery flavor to it, and I think that regular madagascar vanilla would probably work better in the future.

Don't be intimidated by yeast doughnuts. They're just as easy as making a loaf of bread.

You can find the recipe for Raised Glazed Ring Doughnuts and Simple Vanilla Glaze (among many others) in the cookbook: Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts - Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker on

Here's the recipe from the book. Makes about 1 dozen:
  • 3 Tbs (4 1/4oz packets) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup very warm water (about 105)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 2 tsp iodized salt
  • 4 - 4.5 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • canola oil, for frying

Simplest Vanilla Glaze (you should prep this during the 2nd rise):
  • 3.5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted (measure first, then sift)
  • 1.5 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp iodized salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water, plus more if needed

Doughnut Directions:
  1. Whisk yeast, water, and 1 tbsp of sugar in work bowl of stand mixer and set aside for 5 minutes
  2. In large bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, mace, salt and 4 cups of bread flour
  3. Add shortening, egg yolks and vanilla to the foaming yeast mixture. Mix with paddle attachment on low for 1 minute to break up shortening. Add about 1/3rd of dry ingredients and mix until blended on low speed, then repeat with second 1/3rd of the dry ingredients
  4. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until no white spots remain each time, adding additional flour as necessary until the dough is dry enough to clan the bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 2 more minutes. (It should be smooth like bread dough, but still a bit tacky)
  5. Transfer dough to a baking sheet sprinkled with 1 tbsp flour. Shape into a flat disk 6 inches in diameter and dust lightly with flour and cover with a dish towel and set aside.
  6. Create a proofing box in your oven. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, pour water into a 9x13 dish set on the floor of your oven. Place sheet tray with covered dough in the middle rack. Close the door and let rise until doubled - about an hour.
  7. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and roll into a roughly 12 inch circle, about 1/2 inch thick with lightly floured rolling pin. Cut into 12 doughnuts and transfer doughnuts to baking sheets arranging them 2 inches apart and let rise in the oven (with new boiling water) uncovered for another 30 to 45 minutes until doubled in size.
  8. Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot over medium heat to 350 degrees. When the doughnuts have doubled, carefully place a few in the oil, taking care not to overcrowd them, and fry for a bout 30 seconds. (Note that the doughnuts will look more brown when they're done than they do in the oil). Carefully turn the doughnuts and fry for another 20 to 30 seconds until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack set over a layer of paper towels to cool.
  9. While doughnuts are very warm, dip the rounded side of each into the glaze. Let dry on cooling racks for 10-15 minutes.

Simplest Vanilla Glaze directions:
  1. Place confectioners sugar, corn syrup salt, vanilla and hot water in a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk, blend until mixture is smooth and all of the sugar is incorporated. If glaze is too thick, add more hot water a teaspoon at a time.

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