Baked Doughnut Selection

bakeddoughnuts-1-6My children have been asking me for sometime to make them doughnuts.

A month or so ago, I attempted to make a rather delicious sounding ‘Old Fashioned’ fried doughnut. Unfortunately, it was a complete disaster. The dough was too wet and did not retain the ‘ring’ shape in the frying process and ended up as random dollops of fried dough – not a pretty sight. They did taste good but my son said, ‘you’re no good at doughnuts Mum’.

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Not to be defeated, I gave these baked doughnuts a try. Having played around with flour, milk, buttermilk, yoghurt and flavour combinations, these are my third attempt with which I am very happy. They have a good rise, are fabulously light, are not overly sweet, have a hint of cinnamon and are baked. That makes them a more guilt-free option over the fried variety.

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Baked doughnuts can be prepared either by using a ‘doughnut’ baking pan, piping the dough into rings (both of these methods have a slightly wetter dough) or by rolling the dough and using a doughnut cutter, as I have done. You can buy the cutters fairly cheaply online, alternatively, most specialist cook shops should have them. I have used a 7cm diameter cutter so these are ‘midsize’ doughnuts – a perfect size for children.

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I have presented a selection of glaze and toppings. In our house everyone has their preferences and if you are  going to the effort to make these tasty morsels, you may as well keep everyone happy by offering a choice of toppings.

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Not only do children and adults alike enjoy these doughnuts, these are a fun bake to do with children. They love to help with the measuring of the ingredients, adding ingredients to the mixer (with supervision), cutting the doughnuts (warning: the dough is pretty soft and delicate) and of course, the glazing and decorating is the real fun for them.

These are best eaten fresh, warm and the day they are baked. They are a real hit and everyone will enjoy them. Perfect for the weekend!

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Baked Doughnut Selection

Approximately 20 mid-size doughnuts

Ingredients

  • 420g plain flour, plus extra for dusting surfaces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 7g (1 x sachet) instant active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 150g natural yogurt,
  • 75ml whole milk
  • 110g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Chocolate Topping
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Glaze and Sprinkle Topping
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk
  • Sprinkles of your choice

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, sieve together the flour and cinnamon and mix together. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a freestanding mixture, with a paddle attachment, beat together the egg and sugar. Add the yeast, salt and honey. Mix further.
  3. Mix together the natural yoghurt and milk in microwave-proof dish, or cup. Warm the milk mixture in the microwave for approximately 20-30 seconds until lightly warmed. Add the warmed mixture to the mixing bowl and beat until fully incorporated. Slowly add approximately one third of the flour.
  4. Change the mixing attachment to the dough hook. Add the butter to the mixture, in small amounts, whilst the dough hook is mixing, ensuring that each amount is well incorporated. Add the remainder of the flour in small amounts until the dough comes together.
  5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a little until the dough is smooth and less moist. Form into a ball and place into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for approximately 1 hour.
  6. Prepare two baking trays by lining with baking parchment.
  7. Once proved, again tip the dough on a floured work surface and knock the air out of the dough. Roll the dough until approximately 1/2 inch thick. With a cutter, cut the doughnuts and place on the prepared baking tray. With the off cuts, form into a smooth ball by stretching the dough over the creases and roll again to repeat the cutting.
  8. Cover the two trays with plastic bags and allow to prove for a further 20-30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C or Gas Mark 6.
  10. Bake the doughnuts for approximately 8 minutes (check after 5 minutes) until the doughnuts are a light golden colour.
  11. Place on a cooling rack and glaze, or sugar, whilst still warm. Enjoy warm.
  12. For the Chocolate Topping
  13. Sieve together the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add the water and stir thoroughly until you reach a smooth paste. Invert the warm doughnut and dip into the chocolate topping mixture.
  14. For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
  15. Place the caster sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and mix together thoroughly. Melt the butter and then brush the doughnuts with the butter. Dip into the sugar mixture and cover entirely.
  16. For the Glaze and Sprinkle Topping
  17. Sieve the icing sugar into a shallow bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk and mix until you reach a smooth paste. Pour the sprinkles onto a saucer. Invert the doughnut and dip into the glaze and then dip the glaze into the sprinkles.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/baked-doughnut-selection/

Source: Adapted from Lara Ferroni’s ‘Doughnuts’

 

 

Fairy Bread

fairybread-1-3Baking purists, avert your eyes! LOOK AWAY NOW.

One for my ‘Contented Little Bakes’ section.

I feel a little embarrassed that this is not technically a ‘bake’. This ‘Fairy Bread’ is just a little party idea I wanted to share with you. It is something for young children to enjoy at a Birthday Tea Party. Easy and quick to prepare, the children are more than happy to help out with this one.

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We were introduced to ‘Fairy Bread’ by Australian friends when we were living overseas. It is very simple. Buttered bread dipped in sprinkles. As far as children are concerned, anything with sprinkles is a hit.

We will be making some in our house this week as we have own little birthday celebration happening.

Look on the plus side avid bakers, that means there will be plenty of cake to follow on this blog…

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Note: Please adjust quantities in accordance with the number of children to be served

Fairy Bread

Serving Size: Serves 8 Children

Ingredients

  • 4 slices fresh white bread
  • unsalted butter/spread of your choice, room temperature
  • 'hundreds and thousands' / sprinkles (approximately 30g)

Instructions

  1. Butter the four slices of bread.
  2. Remove/cut off the crusts neatly and cut into four triangles per slice.
  3. Pour the 'hundreds and thousands'/sprinkles into a saucer. Individually dip the buttered side of the triangle into the saucer of sprinkles and ensure that it is thoroughly covered. Continue until all the triangle slices are covered.
  4. Present the fairy bread on a platter, or large plate.
  5. The fairy bread can be stored in the refrigerator prior to serving but is best left at room temperature. (The colour of the sprinkles can 'bleed' if too chilled),
http://thecontentedbaker.com/fairy-bread/

 Source: The Contented Baker

Thumbprint Cookies

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Cookies are in order today.

We have an injury in the house. My son came off worse with an encounter with a bicycle hand break, resulting in stitches to his forehead. It is not like we needed an excuse to make cookies in our house, but if ever there was something quick to bake to make you feel better, cookies hit the spot.

I have been wanting to make these thumbprint cookies for a long time. They tend to appear mostly in my US recipe books and in the past, have got overlooked for some other baking challenge.

Not today…

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I wanted to make them and share them with you as this is a perfect recipe in which you can enlist the help of children, or not, as the case may be. Firstly there are relatively few ingredients (good for measuring skills), fairly straightforward instructions (including handling the dough) and fairly instant baked results (always good for kids’ limited patience levels). They will enjoy rolling the dough into little balls and placing thumbprints in the middle. What is a little tricky is spooning small amounts of preserve into the thumbprints. They will definitely need help with this.

I was excited at how splendid these little cookies looked even before they went in the oven…like little jewels!

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Whilst they were in the oven I had two, ‘something smells good, Mum’ comments, independent of each other. Bodes well.

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To sum up, I loved these cookies because they were so easy to make, looked beautiful, tasted light and wonderful. There is also the possibility for numerous variations. Please don’t overlook them, as I did. You will regret it.

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Tip: When rolling the dough in the palm of your hands, go for slightly less dough than you think you need and place them slightly further apart on the tray than you would expect. They spread out quite a lot.

Thumbprint Cookies

Makes Approximately 40 cookies (size dependant)

Ingredients

  • 280g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste, or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 140g preserves (I used raspberry and lemon curd)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a free standing mixer. Add the egg and mix further. Add the vanilla paste/essence and mix further.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the food mixer in three stages, mixing well after each addition ensuring that all the ingredients are combined. Beat together for a further couple of minutes.
  5. Use a regular tablespoon, or small ice cream scoop if you have one, to scoop the dough and roll in the palm of your hands into little balls. Place on baking parchment on baking trays about 2 inches apart to prevent the cookies from merging into one another.
  6. Press the centre of each dough ball with your thumb to form an indentation and then fill with the preserve of your choice.
  7. Bake the cookies for approximately 10 minutes, turning the trays half way through the bake. Once the preserve starts to bubble and the edges of the cookies start to turn golden, they are ready to come out of the oven.
  8. Cool on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/thumbprint-cookies/

Source: Adapted from Cheryl Day & Griffith Day’s ‘The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook’.