Savory doughnuts for the Daring Bakers

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I made Alton Brown's yeast doughnuts. I chose to make them savory instead of sweet since I have more savory food lovers in the family than ones who enjoy sweet stuff. This is probably the very first time while gearing up for a challenge that I failed to notice I was short on all purpose flour. I had just about a cup and a third, and it was too late to quarter the recipe since I had already prepped the yeast and other ingredients for half the recipe. I had no all purpose flour substitute, so decided to go ahead and add a cup of wheat flour instead. I kept my fingers crossed the whole time the dough was rising and while the doughnuts were in the fryer. Thankfully they turned out good but not the same texture as doughnuts made with all purpose. These were slightly denser but tasted good. I will try making them with only all purpose flour sometime. I also used Butter instead of Vegetable Shortening.

Equipment required:
•A Dutch oven or deep skillet
•Deep fry thermometer, candy thermometer or any thermometer that will withstand and measure temperatures of up to 380 degrees
•Metal slotted spoon, metal slotted spatula or tongs (do NOT use plastic - it will melt!)
•Cookie sheets or a wire rack lined with paper towels to allow doughnuts to drain
•Electric hand mixer or stand mixer, or a bowl and a spoon if you are able to utilize a lot of elbow grease
•Doughnut or biscuit cutters or you can use a glass and a piping tip for the center

Half of this recipe yielded 20 doughnuts.

Yeast Doughnuts:
Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml 3/4th cup
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard) 40 ml
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface 325 gms

1/2 cup Grated parmesan
1 tsp Dried Basil
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp Garlic powder

Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

1.Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
2.Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
3.In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
4.Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
5.Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. Add the dried basil, garlic powder, parmesan and chilli flakes.
6.Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
7.Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
8.On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).

9.Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel(or plastic wrap), and let rise for 30 minutes.
10.Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
11.Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown. My doughnuts only took about 15 seconds on each side at this temperature). They browned quickly.

12.Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

While the doughnuts were still hot I brushed them with a little melted butter and sprinkled garlic powder on top.

Aloo Gobi Chettinad

We have family visiting us from India which has kept me on my toes taking them places and getting them familiarized with the American way of living. We even went on a road trip covering 3000 miles in 12 days. Was a whole lot of fun and now are back home to the usual grind.

On our road trip we had Aloo Gobi Chettinad at an Indian restaurant. It was spicy, just the way we like it. I recreated using what I thought went into the dish, and the results were pretty close. It is a simple dish quick enough to be made with less time.

You will need:

2 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups Cauliflower (cut into pieces)
2 Tomatoes, chopped
½ cup Chopped Onions
3 tbsp Oil
½ tsp Mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
3 Dried red chillies, cut into pieces
2 tsp Pepper powder
Salt to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the cubed potatoes and cauliflower. Return to a boil and cook for 6-7 minutes until almost done. Drain veggies and reserve.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chillies. Saute for a few seconds until the mustard seeds begin to splutter. Add the chopped onions and sauté until done. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.

Add the boiled veggies, pepper powder, ½ cup water and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 8 minutes on low heat until the curry is simmering. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Thanks to my readers for checking in during my absence, will try to update more often on here.

Have a great week ahead!

Spicy Basil Fried Rice - Restaurant style

This is one of our favorites at any Thai restaurant. Fried rice with lots of garlic and basil, spicy enough to make you cry! We used to order home-delivery on those odd days when I had no mood to cook, but the fried rice used to be disappointing. The fried rice would never be spicy enough. So there began my attempt to replicate restaurant style Spicy Basil Fried Rice. I've had to make this over and over to get the exact restaurant taste, trying different ingredients. One fine day I hit upon the right combination, here it is.

You will need:

1 cup Jasmine Rice (or Basmati Rice)
3 tbsp Oil
½ cup sliced onions
½ cup sliced green peppers
½ cup sliced red peppers
¼ cup frozen peas
½ cup carrot strips
5 cloves garlic, minced
1” piece ginger, grated
3 tbsp Sambal (red chilli paste)
2 tsp Sriracha (Asian Hot sauce)
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 ½ tbsp Brown Sugar
1 cup packed Thai basil leaves, washed and dried (or American basil)
Salt to taste

Prepare jasmine rice as per package instructions. Spread on a plate to cool and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Saute for a few seconds until fragrant. Now add the onions, bell peppers and carrots. Cook for 4-5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add the frozen peas. Saute for a minute and then add the sambal. Combine until veggies are coated. Now add the cooked cooled rice. Stir and then add the soy sauce and sriracha. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.

Add the brown sugar. The sambal and the soy sauce makes the fried rice taste salty and acidic, the brown sugar balances out by adding a little bit of sweetness. This leaves a very pleasant after taste without taking away the heat from the sauces. Lastly, add the chopped basil leaves.

Combine well, cover and cook for a minute. Turn off heat. Serve hot.

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