In case you haven’t noticed, I love doughnuts (except I spell it “donut” because it’s kind of like grey/gray, and that’s how I roll). When I went vegetarian back in the day, that was actually one of the things that I was stressed out about losing, because of lard usage. But up until recent years, there was a dearth of doughnut cookbooks. It is precisely because of this fact that so many people had their eye on Lara Ferroni’s Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home when it came out. After keeping the book for an eternity on my wishlist, I finally just went ahead and bought it.
Doughnuts is a slim paperback that is filled with more doughnut variations than you can imagine. All of the standards are in here: old-fashioned, cake, crullers, jelly-filled…you name it, Ferroni has it covered. Feeling fancy? There are recipes for crème brûlée doughnuts and strawberry shortcake doughnuts. Experimental? Try the margarita or s’mores doughnuts. She even includes some gluten-free and vegan options. It’s great.
The book begins with the ins and outs of doughnut-making, like basic ingredients and leavening information. The book then goes into the doughs and glazes; there are nineteen different dough recipes and nine glaze options. The last part of the book is where the real fun is: the flavors section, which takes the dough and glaze recipes and fancies them up into mouthwatering concoctions. A lot of the recipes are accompanied by full-page color photographs.
Confession: I have never made a doughnut in my life. It seemed complicated and labor-intensive, and the thought of working with yeast freaks me out. And I have seriously questionable dough-rolling skills. I wanted to keep my first doughnut-making attempt fairly simple (read: yeast-less), but I still wanted it to look impressive. I ended up choosing…you guessed it…chocolate iced doughnuts with no sprinkles! I went with the old-fashioned sour cream recipe because those split open and create all kinds of crispy cracks in the doughnut when you fry them (thus fulfilling my “look impressive” request). I also made the chocolate glaze recipe, which was insanely easy.
So even though I’d never made a doughnut in my life, and even though I suck and rolling out dough, and even though I completely spaced and forgot to add ½ a teaspoon of baking powder, and even though my doughnut cutter was a bit larger than the one the recipe called for, I was still able to come up with this:
This dough is workable enough that you can re-roll it and keep cutting doughnuts, but I was curious to see how doughnut holes would turn out. Everything came out great! I just bought a doughnut baking sheet, and I can’t wait to keep testing out some of these recipes in the coming year.
Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home was released in August 2010 by Sasquatch Books.