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Sour Cream Donuts

During this trying period of Coronavirus quarantine, is anyone trying to lose weight? I didn’t think so. We’ve all been spending more time cooking, and now is the time to indulge in whatever comfort you can conjure up in the kitchen, from pizza to popcorn to pastries. Add donuts to that list too — in specific, these sour cream donuts that are soft and tender inside, with a crunchy, sugary sweetness on the outside. They’re from a website called Handle The Heat, and they’re much easier to make than most donuts, since the recipe doesn’t involve yeast, which is in short supply right now anyway.

You will need to use cake flour to give them the lightness they need. After you’ve rolled out the dough to about a 1/2 inch thickness, cut out a circular shape for each donut, then cut out another smaller circle within the larger circle for the donut hole. I used biscuit cutters, but you could also use a drinking glass and a shot glass for the donut hole.

The recipe below is for a dozen donuts, but I cut it in half and made only six. (I am one of those crazy people actually trying to lose weight right now.)

The donuts must be fried, not baked, in order to get that fresh-from-the-bakery taste.

They come out of the frying pan with lots of nooks and crannies, which are perfect for holding onto that sweet glaze.

They don’t keep very well, and are best eaten the day you make them. But make the full recipe and share the love. You’re bound to put some smiles on friends and neighbors you already have, and maybe make some new ones in the neighborhood too. Just make sure to keep that safe social distance when you deliver these tempting treats.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what Ciao Chow Linda is up to in the kitchen (and other places too.)

Sour Cream Donuts
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • FOR THE DONUTS:
  • 2¼ cup (255 grams) cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (29 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup (113 grams) sour cream
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 3½ cup (350 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup hot water
Instructions
  1. FOR THE DONUTS:
  2. In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until sandy.
  4. Add the egg yolks and mix until light and thick. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour.
  5. The dough will be sticky.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  7. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about ½ inch thickness.
  8. Use a doughnut cutter or two differently sized biscuit cutters to cut out as many donuts as possible, dipping the cutters into flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
  9. You should get about 12 doughnuts and holes.
  10. Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a deep-fry thermometer attached.
  11. Heat to 325°F.
  12. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.
  13. FOR THE GLAZE:
  14. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Immerse each doughnut into the glaze.
  15. Place on a wire rack above a sheet pan to catch any excess glaze.
  16. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.
  17. Doughnuts are best served the day they are made but may be store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.
 

Bomboloni For Carnevale

Calling all fry-babies. It’s only a couple of days until Ash Wednesday, signaling the end of Carnevale and beginning of Lent. During Carnevale, Italians typically feast on rich, (and often) fried foods, like the addictive fried cookies called chiacchiere, or the doughnut-hole-like specialty called castagnole, both of which you can read about and find a recipe for by clicking on those names.

Another treat that’s eaten in Italy all year long, but especially at Carnevale, are these fluffy filled doughnuts, called bomboloni. In the Trentino Alto-Adige region and other Northern parts of Italy, they’re often called Krapfen, a nod to their Austrian name. They’re also called fasnacht in Germany, where they’re served on Fasnacht Day, the day before Ash Wednesday. Call it Fat Tuesday in the U.S., or martedi grassa in Italy, but either way, it’s meant to be the last hurrah of merriment and gluttonous eating before the solemn 40 days of Lent.

I had been wanting to make bomboloni for a long time, and got a push to make them after learning that my daughter-in-law had a weakness for them. Last summer when we were in Tuscany together, she went out early while we were all still asleep to hunt for bomboloni for our breakfast. Once she gave birth to my granddaughter last fall, I felt I had to indulge her with home made bomboloni.

They’re not at all hard to make, but they do require some advance preparation because of the yeast dough, which needs to rise twice until tripled in size. This is what the dough looks like before rising. Sorry I don’t have a photo of the risen dough, but it completely filled the bowl that contained it.

Once it’s risen enough, it’s a very easy dough to work with and roll out into a rectangle.

Use a biscuit cutter, or if you don’t have one, the rim of a glass to cut out circles.

Place the rounds on a baking sheet and allow them to rise until tripled in size again, another one and a half hours or so.

Then carefully fry in hot oil until they’re browned. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil, which should be about 170-180 degrees. If it’s too hot, the bomboloni will brown on the outside and might still be raw inside. If it’s not hot enough, you’ll have greasy bomboloni.

You might want to make a test one before frying all of them, and cut into it to see if it’s fully cooked. Have a large plate of sugar handy. Drain the bomboloni on paper towels, and roll them immediately in the granulated sugar. You could use powdered sugar as an alternative.

You can certainly eat them as is, but they’re even better if you fill them. Use a pastry bag with a plain tip that has a large opening. Cut a slit in the side, insert the tip and squeeze in some of the filling. It’s a little easier if you have someone helping you. I use an easy pastry cream recipe that’s made with whipped cream and instant vanilla pudding.

You can also use Nutella, or even a good jam as your filling.

Either way, they’re best eaten the same day they’re made, which was certainly not a problem here.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what’s cooking in Ciao Chow Linda’s kitchen each day (and more).

Bomboloni
 
Adapted from Valentina, The Baking Fairy
Author:
Serves: 18-20
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BOMBOLONI DOUGH:
  • 250g (2 cups) bread flour
  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 75g (heaping ⅓ cup) granulated white sugar
  • 100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 20g fresh cake yeast or 1 package (7g) dry instant yeast
  • 7g (1½ tsp) salt
  • 150g (3) whole large eggs
  • 40g (2) egg yolks
  • 110g (1/2 cup) lukewarm water
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar, for coating
  • pastry cream, Nutella, or jam, for filling
  • FOR THE VANILLA PASTRY CREAM FILLING:
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • ½ cup whipping cream
Instructions
  1. First, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and allow it to sit until it blooms.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all ingredients except for one of the whole eggs, and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, then high speed for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add in the remaining egg, and beat on medium speed until a smooth and elastic dough forms {you may have to add a little more flour if it seems too sticky}.
  4. Knead by hand for a couple of minutes, then place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours until tripled in size.
  5. After the first rise, lightly knead the dough, roll it out to 1.5 cm/0.5 inch thickness, and cut out rounds. I found a regular water glass to be the perfect size!
  6. Transfer all your rounds to baking sheets lined with wax paper, spray lightly with water, and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow the bomboloni to rise another hour and a half until they triple in size once more.
  7. When ready to fry, heat vegetable oil in a large, deep pan to a temperature between 170-180C {a frying thermometer comes in handy}.
  8. Fry the bomboloni a few at a time, making sure to not crowd the pan. Fry them for about 3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown, then drain off the excess oil, and set them on a wire rack to cool.
  9. While they are still warm, pour some granulated sugar in a small bowl, and roll the bomboloni around until completely coated in the sugar.
  10. FOR THE VANILLA PASTRY CREAM FILLING:
  11. Make the vanilla pudding according to instructions on box.
  12. Whip the cream with 2 Tablespoons confectioner's sugar until it reaches soft peaks.
  13. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding.
  14. Fill a pastry bag that has a long metal tip, with the filling.
  15. Insert a knife into the side of a bombolone and squeeze in some of the filling.