One of the things I miss very dearly about Texas is Shipley Do-nuts. Which is funny because I was never really an avid doughnut eater. But when I did want one I could count on Shipley’s to have warm fluffy ones with a glaze that was sure to get all over my fingers. The exhuberently priced, stale Krispy Kremes sold at the grocers around here leaves me feeling broker, fatter and wishing for home. This has set me on a mission- Recreate those Shipley doughnuts.
The following recipe I’ve tried several times over the past couple of months and while its small doughnuts in comparison, they do capture that fresh yeasty fluff reminiscent to the “good ones”. I would gladly get fat for these. Be sure not to skimp on the resting times or else you’ll have doughnuts fit for paper weights. Trust me.
Vanilla Raised Donuts
active timve 1hr. Total 4hr
Makes About 16 Doughnuts or 4 Dz Doughnut Holes
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 1/2 Vanilla beans, split and seed scraped (I sub’d 1 tsp. of vanilla paste)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
- Four 1/4-ounce pkgs. active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 Lg. egg yolks
- 2 tsp. table salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground mace (I didn’t have this and left it out and they were just fine)
- 500 grams (3 2/3 cups) Bread Flour, sifted
- Boiling water
- Vegetable oil, for frying
In a small saucepan, warm the milk, vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp. of the sugar over moderate heat until tepid (but not scalding or else you’ll kill the yeast) Transfer to the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast and let stand until foamy. 5 minutes. Add the shortening, egg yolk and remaining 1/2 c of sugar and beat at medium speed just until the shortening is broken up. Beat in the salt, baking powder and mace. At low speed, add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is firm but still tacky (you may need to add more or less flour).
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times. Pat it into a disk and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Dust with flour and cover with a towel. Place the baking sheet in the center of a turned-off oven. Set a large roasting pan on the bottom rack and fill it halfway with boiling water. Close the oven door and let the dough stand until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and dust with flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 12-inch round, 1/2 inch thick. For doughnuts, use a floured 2 3/4-inch doughnut cutter (or 2 3/4-inch and 1 1/4-inch cookie cutters) and stamp them out as close together as possible. For doughnut holes, use a 1-inch cookie cutter. Transfer the doughnuts and/or holes to the baking sheets and return to the oven. Refill the roasting pan with boiling water and close the oven door. Let stand until the dough has doubled in bulk, 45 minutes.
*I like to keep the scrap pieces of dough for testing the oil to make sure it’s up to temp.
Set a rack on a baking sheet and cover with paper towels. In a large saucepan (or even better, a cast iron skillet), heat 2 inches of oil to 365*F. Add 3 doughnuts at a time making sure to slide them in or else grease will splatter everywhere. adjust the heat to keep the oil between 350*F and 360*F. Fry doughnuts until golden brown, 1 minute per side. (Flipping them with chopsticks is MUCH easier than with a slotted spoon) If frying doughnut holes, cook them in batches of no more than 6 (they cook super fast) Transfer doughnuts immediately to glaze and then leave to dry on wire rack with pan underneath.
For the glaze
- 1/4 cup whole milk (I used 2% and didn’t have any problems)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners’ sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined. Remove from heat and set over a bowl of warm water (I set it in the sink) To get donuts with a nice thick glaze, glaze once and then once hardened (about 5 minutes) glaze a second time.
*If you’re planning on saving any for the next day I would recommend glazing the whole doughnut and not just the tops as it will help lock in the moisture and keep them tasting fresher.