Sunday, April 17, 2011

When I moved to the East Coast nearly 7(!) years ago, one thing I noticed was the lack of maple bars, one of my favorite doughnuts growing up. I remember spending Sunday mornings at my Grandma Thora and Grandpa Jack’s house, where our breakfast would consist of a maple bar and raspberries in cream. Unhealthy, but so comforting.
I’ve been thinking about those days a lot – learning to water ski on Lake Meridian; playing with Lincoln Logs with my bro; sneaking MTV in the basement; the giant freezer filled with ice cream bars; fishing off La Push (pre-veg!) with “The Pill Pusher.” I’ve been so fortunate to have my grandparents as a strong presence throughout my life. Even though I’ve been far away for a long time now, they’ve always been supportive of me and what I’m doing. They’ve also been outstanding examples of how to live interesting, healthy lives and stay engaged with the world and people around them. 
Grandpa Jack is doing some gnarly hospital time right now, but I know how awesomely stubborn and strong he is. Can’t wait to spend Easter with them both next weekend. 
An ode to his favorite doughnut: 
Homemade Donuts
homemade donuts
Homemade donut bite
Maple Glazed Doughnuts (via Anna Olson)

4 cups all-purpose flour1 tsp instant dry yeast1 1/4 cups 2% milk, warmed up to 105 °F6 tbls unsalted butter at room temperature1/2 cup sugar1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp ground nutmeg1 large egg1 large egg yolk4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Maple Glaze1 cup sifted powdered2 tbls pure maple syrup2 tbls milk

For doughnuts, stir ¾ cup of flour, yeast and ¾ cup milk together until blended, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.

In a large mixing bowl using electric beaters, or in a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle, add remaining 3 ¼ cups flour, butter, sugar salt and spices and blend for 1 minute on low speed. Combine the initial flour, milk and yeast mixture, with the remaining milk, egg and egg yolk and beat on medium-low speed until batter is smooth and thick. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let sit until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ½-inch thick. Cut doughnuts with a 3-inch cutter and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and let doughnuts rest 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep pot to 365 °F. Set a doughnut onto a slotted spoon and set gently into oil. Let cook until brown on one side, then carefully turn over. Remove doughnut with slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towel to cool. Make a few doughnuts at a time, but take care not to overcrowd the pot (to prevent oil from cooling, resulting in greasy doughnuts).

Maple Glaze

For glaze, beat all ingredients until smooth, adjusting consistency with milk, if needed. Dip each doughnut halfway into glaze and let dry for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before serving.

A few weeks ago, when speaking with the ladies of Chozen, I mentioned the notion of nostalgia in food. I have memories of certain foods we ate growing up and it’s great to be able to recreate some of my favorite things in some sort of way. The doughnuts I made were a little bit more dense than I had imagined, and perhaps a little bit more work than I wanted for a Saturday afternoon, but the experience of making them was rewarding. me: i may have created something delicious adamAdam: it sounds pretty amazingme: oh man i’m doing a donut dance!Adam: ok, liz lemon

Brings you right back down to earth.

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