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. (Recipes HERE)
What a perfect treat for October! I made yeast (raised) donuts, and they turned out delicious. The outside fried up with a thin crisp crust, and the inside was airy and tender. Although many people fry doughnuts in a light oil, I remember my dad, the baker, telling me about the science of frying doughnuts. A hard fat (shortening, lard, etc.) works better for those attributes I just mentioned - crispness outside and lightness inside. He must have been right, because I used lard and these were outstanding.
I started out cutting them out with a doughnut cutter that I found among my collection of cookie cutters. It was a plastic one, and I've had it for years and years. That's probably why it cracked and broke after cutting only two doughnuts. From the rest of the dough I simply cut little pillow-shapes, using a pizza cutter. They fried up just fine, for the most part, although I had a couple of uncooperative pillows that refused to turn over to fry on the second side.
I sugar-coated some, glazed some with a white vanilla glaze (with sprinkles) and glazed a few with a caramel flavored glaze.
When I was finished frying the them, I took some across the street to our good neighbors. Coming back into the house, after breathing the outside air, I was struck with the wonderful smell of hot yeasty doughnuts. When I was a child, and we lived upstairs over my Dad's bakery, I woke to that delicious aroma every morning. What great memories!