For me, anything deep fried is delicious, unless the stuff is sodden with oil or burnt. I love throwing things into the oven and let it do its work but now and then I like playing with fire, I mean, a wok, some oil and a bit of splutter and flutter.
You can bake things that are otherwise meant to be fried, sure, but the taste is definitely a notch lesser. Um, imagine baking bhajjis and pakodas, if you must. What’s a day of deep fried stuff going to do to your heart, really? I say keep those crunches coming, instead.
I believe things that are meant to be fried must be fried with an exception of a handful of recipes that I’ve come across which are truly delicious even without going into the big fat fryer. But I’ll talk about those recipes another day; today is all about indulging in puffy, golden brown, oil-bathed doughnuts.
It’s interesting how a snack food became a breakfast staple in America. Apparently the likes of Krispy Creme and Dunkin’ Donuts began to serve coffee with doughnuts that it gradually became a morning tradition for the Americans. Well, a day that begins with a bittersweet combination of sugar glazed doughnuts and coffee has to be a good day, really.
I have this superb book of Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni, yeah, this is not the first time an Italian is mastering an American classic. I’ve only seen and heard of simple doughnuts with different glazes but this book takes the idea of a doughnut to another level – think red velvet and crème brûlée doughnuts.
I was spoilt for choice with this book but my attention really kept going to one recipe – banana bread doughnut. The idea of shape shifting a delicious loaf of banana bread into fried rings was just incredibly appealing to me. And what spells breakfast better than banana?
- 240 g ( 1 ¾ cups) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
- 75 g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 banana, mashed
- Pinch of cardamom
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For honey glaze
- 150 g (1 ½ cups) icing sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3-4 tbsp water/milk
Makes 8-9 medium sized doughnuts
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
- Add the butter to flour mixture and rub using your fingers. Cut the flour with butter using your fingers. You need to obtain a sand-like texture.
- In another bowl, combine egg, milk, yogurt and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Fold to combine. Finally, add the mashed banana and cardamom. Whisk thoroughly. The batter should be of a moist cookie dough consistency.
- Cover the batter with cling film and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
- In a heavy bottom wok, pour oil up to 3 inches. Keep the flame at medium-high. Using a candy thermometer let the oil heat up to 360 F/170 C.
- While the oil heats up, cut out 4 by 4 squares from a parchment paper. Grease the squares with oil or butter.
- Fit a disposable piping bag with ¾ inch plain tip.
- Fill the piping bag with little batter. Pipe a 3 inch ring over each parchment square (see pic).
- When the oil comes up to 360 F, bring the heat down to medium. Gently place the doughnut into the oil, parchment side up. Remove the parchment square with tongs.
- Cook doughnut for 2-3 minutes on each side, until puffy and brown. Keep adjusting the heat as you go. Repeat the same for all doughnuts.
- Allow the doughnuts to cool on a wire rack. To prepare the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, honey and water until smooth and lump free.
- Dunk the cooled doughnuts one by one into the prepared glaze. Place back on the wire rack.
- Serve doughnuts with coffee.
Recipe courtesy: Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni