Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adam's First Guest Post: Homemade Donuts

If you couldn't tell by the ridiculous amount of good food presented in this blog, I eat pretty well for someone not far removed from bachelor-hood. Although Pizza Rolls and Hamburger Helper are delicious in their own way, I've grown accustomed to the fantastic meals I'm treated to almost nightly. That being said, I don't often get to contribute a recipe of my own to the rotation.

Growing up I was a fairly active Boy Scout. This was where I first was taught to plan a menu, shop for the ingredients, and throw something together out in the woods somewhere. Now anyone familiar with attempting to feed large amounts of young men, and the leaders who've had to corral them all day, knows that food needs to be delicious and in great supply. The following recipe was often used as a way to mainline dessert/breakfast into the bellies of the horde of scouts that would descend upon the camp kitchens at every meal. There's something, maybe a few things, to be said for the beauty and simplicity of a recipe that can be created via assembly-line...

- Adam

Homemade Donuts

1 can refrigerated biscuit dough
3-4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar to 4-ish teaspoon cinnamon ratio, depending on taste)

Heat oil to 370-375F (187.8-190.56C, sorry I'm an engineer) in a medium sauce pan. Using a candy thermometer throughout the process is recommended.

Take each round of biscuit dough and divide equally into three pieces. Poke a hole in the middle of each respective piece with a forefinger (using the middle is accepted if you're not a big fan of your guests). Proceed to spin the ring of dough on your finger to enlarge the diameter of the hole to 3/4" or 1". The larger the hole, the crispier the donut and the greater the surface area for the cinnamon sugar to adhere to.

The figure below shows the donuts ready to go in the pool. Now I prefer to give all of the donuts their rough shape and then a finishing spin as I'm about to dump them in the oil. Obviously, as with any engineered process, a fair amount of optimization should be performed through repeated attempts to maximize donut production.

Fry the donuts for about 3 minutes, turning once, until they are golden and brown. Only put a few donuts in at a time as the energy stored in the heated oil is not enough to properly cook more than two or three at once. Allow the oil to return to temperature between groups.

Once the three minutes have elapsed, yank them out using a utensil that will allow the oil to drain away (i.e., slotted spoon, or the like). Give the donuts a quick roll in the cinnamon sugar and set aside for a brief (1-2 min.) cool down.

I'd recommend consuming these little guys immediately because they do tend to get a little greasy as the day goes along.

Makes: 24 donuts


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