Friday, July 23, 2010

Not for Dunkin'- Baked Currant Doughnuts

Baked Currant Doughnuts
from Christy Timon and Abram Faber of Clear Flour Bakery, Brookline, MA (Food and Wine, July, 2010)

I am not particularly a doughnut fan, but I thought it was time to try to make something other than cookies or cakes.  The Clear Flour Bakery in Brookline is a favorite of mine- their breads are beautiful and delicious.   Everything looks and smells so good, it is hard to choose.  The line out the door and around the corner on weekends is testimony to that.  Though no one is standing on line for my version of their doughnuts,  they are still very good.  Very time consuming to make because the doughnuts have to rise 3 times, but definitely worth a try if you have a long, open afternoon.

1 cup dried currants
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1/2-1 cup for dredging
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup milk, warmed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
4 ounces unsalted butter softened plus 4 -6 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt

     In a medium bowl, cover the currants with hot water and let stand until softened, 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, stir the yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water and a pinch of sugar and let stand until foamy about 5 minutes.
     In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, nutmeg and cinnamon with 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the milk, egg, egg yolk and half of the softened butter and beat at low speed for 3 minutes.  Beat in the yeast and then add the salt. Beat the dough on medium speed until soft and silky, about 8 minutes.  The dough should pull cleanly away from the bowl.  With the machine on, add the remaining butter to the dough in walnut size pieces, beating at low speed until incorporated.  Drain the currants, pressing out any excess water and beat them into the dough at low speed.  Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover and let stand in a warm , draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about  1 hour.  Punch it down, reform into a bowl and return to the bowl.  Cover and let stand until billowy, about 1 hour.
     Butter 2 large baking sheets.  Turn the dough onto a work surface and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Pinch each piece into a ball and arrange 6 balls on each of the baking sheets, smooth side up.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.  Using lightly floured hands, press each ball into a flat 4 inch disk.  Using a 1 1/4 inch round cutter, stamp out the centers of each disk and return the holes to the baking sheets.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour until risen slightly.
     Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the doughnuts and the holes for 20-25 minutes, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.  The doughnuts are done when they are golden and puffy and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 200 degrees.
     Spread granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Brush the hot doughnuts and holes on both sides with melted butter and dredge them in sugar. ((post by Susan))

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