DOUGHNUTS AND CRULLERS
Some kinds of doughnuts and crullers are made of bread dough, and for this reason really belong to breakfast breads instead of to cakes. However,¬†most of the recipes¬†for these two foods include sugar, shortening, milk, eggs, and leavening, making doughnuts and crullers so similar to cake in their composition that they are usually regarded as cake mixtures.
- The shortening, which is in smaller amounts than is required for most cakes, is supplied largely by the method of preparation peculiar to these cakes; that is, by their being fried in deep fat. Consequently, some of the same conditions apply in their preparation as in the making of other foods that are cooked in this way.
- As has already been learned, such foods must either contain a sufficient amount of protein material, such as egg, for instance, or be coated with enough material of this kind to prevent the absorption of fat. In the case of doughnuts, this material is supplied as an ingredient.
SHAPING DOUGHNUTS AND CRULLERS
- The ingredients used in the¬†making of doughnuts¬†are combined in much the same way as those used in other cake mixtures. A point to remember is that the mixture, like that for cookies, must be stiff enough to handle and roll out, but care should be taken not to use too much flour, for then the doughnuts are likely to be tough.
- Divide the dough into amounts of a convenient size, place one of these on a well-floured board, and roll out with a rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick. Then, with a doughnut cutter, cut as many doughnuts as possible from the rolled dough.
- If a regular doughnut cutter is not in supply, a round cookie cutter may be used and then a thimble or some other small round cutter applied to remove the center of the pieces thus cut. As here shown, a plate or some other small dish containing flour should be kept handy and the cutter dipped into this occasionally during the cutting to prevent it from sticking to the dough and marring the appearance of the doughnuts.
- Collect the centers and scraps that remain after the doughnuts have been cut from a piece and set these aside until all the fresh dough has been used. These may then be rolled out again and cut into doughnuts. If desired, however, the centers may be fried.
- While doughnuts are usually round and have a hole in the center, they may, for variety, be made in other shapes. For instance, after the dough is rolled out, it is sometimes cut with a sharp knife Into rectangular pieces about 4 inches long and 2-1/2 inches wide and each one of these pieces then cut lengthwise into three strips attached at one end.
- When cut in this way, the strips are braided and then pinched together at the loose end. Or, the pieces may be made 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, cut into two strips attached at one end, and the strips then twisted around each other and pinched together at the loose end.
FRYING DOUGHNUTS AND CRULLERS
- After the¬†doughnuts¬†have been cut in the desired shape, the next step is to fry them. The equipment required for this process consists of a pan or a kettle into which the fat is put, a long-handled frying basket into which the doughnuts are placed, and a receptacle containing hot water into which the doughnuts can be dipped after being fried.
- Put into the kettle a sufficient amount of fat, which may be any vegetable fat or oil, to cover the doughnuts well, allow it to become hot enough to brown an inch cube of bread in 40 seconds, place several doughnuts in the bottom of the basket and then lower the basket into the hot fat, when it will be found that the doughnuts will rise quickly to the top of the fat.
- Allow them to brown on one side and then turn them over with a fork and let them brown on the other side. Be careful not to let the fat become too hot during the frying, or the doughnuts will become darker than is desirable before the inside is cooked. If it is found that the fat is getting too hot, turn off some of the heat or remove the deep-fat kettle from the excessive heat.
- As soon as the doughnuts have become an even brown on both sides and have fried through thoroughly, lift the basket out of the fat and rest it on the edge of the frying kettle. Then remove the doughnuts one at a time from the basket with a fork and dip quickly into the pan of boiling water and remove again at once. Dipping the doughnuts into boiling water removes any excessive fat that may remain on the surface.
- Upon taking them from the water, place them on a piece of paper that will absorb as much of the remaining fat as possible. When these precautions are taken, the doughnuts will be found to be less greasy and not so likely to disagree with the persons who eat them. After the surface has become dried, the doughnuts may be improved by sprinkling them with pulverized or granulated sugar.
- If a large number of doughnuts are made and the hot-water method of drying them is adopted, it will be found that considerable fat will remain in the water. It will therefore pay to allow the fat to become cool and remove it from the surface of the water. Fat in which doughnuts and crullers are fried, after being poured from the dregs that collect in the bottom and reheated, may be clarified by adding several slices of raw potato to it and allowing these to become brown in it.
- This treatment will remove any foreign taste that the fat may have and make it possible to use the fat again for frying purposes. Fat in which¬†croquettes¬†have been fried may be treated in the same way and used the second time.