Daring Bakers October: Doughnuts

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 have to admit I was not as enthused as many going into this Daring Bakers. Having grown up in Australia where a doughnut was a rare treat rather than a food group like it is in my adopted country, Canada, they simply are not in my food culture. Plus, now I realise what we used to eat as a rare treat is nothing like a good doughnut.  But I still don’t like them. I don’t even much like churros for that matter.  Perhaps I am missing an enzyme, like those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap, because to me, doughnuts mostly taste like greasy sponges.

Knowing I was never going to be able to replicate the gorgeous-looking beignets we ate in New Orleans earlier this year (even there, one was definitely enough and the fried taste was lavishly hidden by the tons of icing sugar they coat them in), I decided to go all Canadian on you and make my own version of Timbits (doughnut holes to those of you not from Canada). Modelled on the super glazed with tons of sprinkles ones we had as kids from Balfour’s in Adelaide.  This way, I wouldn’t have a lot of them to trial and it didn’t feel so wasteful, since I knew I probably wouldn’t eat (m)any. I mainly did this challenge for the technique and any time I get to practice with yeast recipes, it’s a good thing. I need the practice.

I actually followed Lara Ferroni’s recipe that I found on the Sophisticated Gourmet just perchance last week. Those doughnuts with that glaze were exactly what I had in mind, only smaller, bite sized ones…

I did my thing with the yeast…

And improvised the cutter by using a shot measure… (as you do)

As I was letting them rest, I realised that I probably should have rolled my dough a bit thicker…

I ended up rolling these into small balls so they would puff up in the right shape when fried. Oh, and I lost a fair few when I fried them – couldn’t keep my oil temperature constant.

Decorating was  a tad messy…

But I ended up with exactly what I had in mind:

And how did they taste?

Since I am only a novice doughnut eater, I made Neil taste them. “It’s a Timbit” was his response. Normally I would hit the roof if Neil compared my baked goods to ones from Tim Horton’s (a place I am only likely to frequent if I am truly keeling over with hunger or thirst) but this was the correct response this time. Even I admit that it tasted like a Timbit. So, success?  Technique-wise, yes, I suppose so. But I am still not a fan…

Thanks Lori for a challenge that helped me face two of my nemeses – yeast and deep-frying! Not sure I would do it again but I am glad I can check this off the list!

** Did you know? Jamie Oliver is speaking in Toronto on November 18th.  Thanks to The Art of Cooking, I am able to offer a discount to you, my readers, of $10 per ticket (more if you purchase more than 5 tickets).  Click here for the special promotion code to be applied to your ticket price.  Don’t miss this event – I saw Jamie speak last year and it was inspirational to say the least. It inspired me to start Les Petits Chefs, for one…

One more thing –  I made it to Round 6 of Project Food Blog!  I would love your vote to move on to Round 7, where we have to make a recipe come alive through video.  Simply click here to vote. You have to be a Foodbuzz member to vote but it’s a simple sign-up process. Once you’re signed up, click the red heart to vote.  Thanks in advance. Many thanks for your continued support.

73 thoughts on “Daring Bakers October: Doughnuts”

  1. I’m also not a big donut fan (perhaps we’re missing the same gene?) but TheHusband is a veritable donut slut. I love how tiny these are – very cute.

  2. Wow, this challenge brought all the donut haters out of the woodwork! I adore donuts, all of them, and gorge on them whenever I’m in the US. I love your donut holes! Love them! Love the frosting and sprinkles and think that a plateful of these would be so easy to pop into my mouth one after the next.

  3. They look great! Ha I never knew Canadians called them Timbits, I’m sure that will catch on with Tim Hortons popping up everywhere in the US too…. Love all the bright colors 🙂

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  5. I think your Timbits (donut holes) turned out beautifully, way to embrace this months challenge Mardi. 🙂

  6. I think they look super yummy. I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂 I commend you for making them even if your missing the doughnut gene! I really enjoyed my bomboloni….guess I have the gene!

  7. I am so glad that you decided to go ahead with the challenge, even though you aren’t a donut fan. Your completed donuts look beautiful (LOVE the sprinkles!) and delicious, and it sounds like they came out perfectly! Great job.

  8. These look adorable and delicious! I love sprinkled donut holes – they’re the perfect pop-able treat. Can’t wait to try Lara’s recipe for myself! Thanks for sharing!

  9. You must be missing at least some of the Canadian gene to not love Tim Horton’s! But I guess that makes sense- I spent time in Australia, and I NEVER developed a taste for vegemite or marmite!

  10. This challenge has created so many wonderful posts on donuts and I love that you made donut bites. The fact that you were told they taste like *Timbits* is a great compliment. They are so colourful with the sprinkles.

  11. Too bad that you aren’t a big doughnut fan, but then again we can’t all like everything there is out there to eat, right! I like your doughnut holes (or Timbits) look very cute and colorful. Nice job on the challenge!

  12. Your bite sized chocolate glazed doughnuts with those sprinkles reminded me of the very Brazilian “brigadeiros” which have nothing to do with doughnuts, but look exactly like these! They look absolutely delicious!

  13. Love the way you improvised, Mardi! How are you a “novice donut eater”?!? Don’t love them? I have to stay away from them. As I tell my friends here, it brings out the fat girl in me. This is one of those posts that makes me wish I was still doing Daring Bakers…

  14. I’ve never been a doughnut fan either but recently I have seen the light (through the sheen of a greasy paper bag). There is a place in Freo/Perth that makes organic doughnuts, including chocolate filled ones, and they are amazing. They often have a little stall at music festivals or markets, and have even started selling right near where I usually sit at the football. There is no escaping. No wonder my winter weight gain was a little more pronounced this year. It’s not my fault.

    I LOVE your use of 100s and 1000s with these. Brava 😀

  15. Oh, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like them. I grew up in a country where doughnuts were everywhere and I love them, so it’s probably because it wasn’t part of your childhood. Anyway, they DO look beautifully – so colorful and cute 🙂

  16. oh, i love the nickname in the first commenter’s post . . . i believe steve might well be called a doughnut slut as well. i know full well that when we has work on the east side of the state, he loves going to get a multipack of timbits at the drive through, something he can’t indulge in over here in tim horton-less west michigan. and they do indeed look exactly like timbits – well done!


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