As New Englanders, we’re all about Dunkin’ Donuts. Of course, I don’t eat doughnuts much anymore, but if I’m craving one, I definitely head to Dunks. There was that year that Krispy Kreme tried to invade Boston, but they didn’t last long. What can we say? Bostonians “run on” Dunkin’ Donuts and aren’t likely to make a switch. I’ve heard AMAZING things about Krispy Kreme, but they were a little greasy and “empty-tasting” to me. That’s what happens when you grow up on a particular brand.
Whenever people ask me if I was a good softball player (I played for 8 years as a kid), I always think back to the ONE home run I hit in my career. After the game, my mom took me to Dunkin’ Donuts because she was so proud of me. She told the girl behind the counter that I hit a homerun and she gave me a free donut. And at age 9 and a member of the Pink Pigs team (along with Chels!), that was the highlight of my softball career. At that point, I think doughnuts were 49 cents at Dunkins. Now, they’re probably closer to $1.
In my recent bread-making obsession, I came across a recipe for Indian spiced doughnuts. Because they were in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, they actually claim to be a bit healthier than other doughnuts. Supposedly, because the doughnuts are fried at a high temperature, the water inside starts turning to steam immediately. It pushes outward through the pores and prevents the oil from moving inward. The authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day actually weighed the doughnuts before and after they were fried and found the doughnuts only absorb between 15 and 45 calories worth of oil. Sweet! And since we’re using a healthy oil, this isn’t bad at all.
SEE why I LOVE this book??
The dough I used is made with whole wheat flour and vital wheat gluten. I had a slightly tough time finding vital wheat gluten, but eventually found it in Whole Foods. This is necessary for whole grain bread so it can rise and won’t be too dense when you store it. Oh and beware, this dough needs 2 hours to rise and 2 hours to chill, so make sure you save time (or make it the day before).
Whole Wheat Brioche Dough (you’ll need less than half this recipe for 12 doughnuts, but I suggest making it all and doing something with the leftover dough):
- 4 C white whole wheat flour (I didn’t have “white,” so I used regular)
- 3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 T granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1 T kosher salt
- 2 1/4 C vital wheat gluten
- 2 C lukewarm water
- 3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3/4 C honey
- 5 large eggs
Indian Spiced Doughnuts (makes 12):
- 1 1/2 lbs (small cantaloupe size) pre-mixed whole wheat brioche dough
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/2 t ground ginger
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- 1/4 t ground cloves
- Neutral-flavored oil for frying (like canola, peanut, or vegetable-blend)
Making the dough was super simple. The more I do it, the easier it gets!
Just whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) container.
Combine liquid ingredients– water, butter, honey, and eggs.
And mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, using a spoon, without kneading. OR you can mix the ingredients together in your stand mixer with paddle (or food processor with dough attachment).
Cover (not airtight) and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.
At this point, you must chill the dough for at least 2 more hours. Once it’s done, you can keep it in the fridge for 5 days, or store in the freezer (in airtight container) for 2 weeks.
Once my dough had chilled for 2 hours, I was ready for some doughnut making! (actually, I’m lying. My dough defnitely sat in my fridge for 1.5 days, before I was ready to get frying.)
I had whole cardamom pods that I opened and removed the seeds from. I also had whole cloves.
I ground them all up in my little Cuisinart grinder.
And mixed them with the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
You’ll want to get your oil heating, too. Heat it to 360-370 degrees.
By the way, I LOVE my Foodnetwork candy thermometer.
While the oil is heating, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. The vital wheat gluten made the dough like none other I had made before. It was SUPER elastic-y. To the point that I would roll it out and then it would start moving back to it’s original form. At least it wasn’t sticking everywhere?
Ideally you’ll want to use a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter) to cut the dough into 12 circles. Mine was a bit smaller.
You’ll also want a 1-inch cutter to remove the centers. Keep the centers! For Munchkins! Doughnut holes? Whatever you call them in your part of the country!
Now your oil should be ready.
Drop the doughnut dough in.
Don’t do too many at once because you want them to have plenty of room to fall and then float to the top without getting stuck to each other. I stuck to 2 at a time to be safe.
Let them sit for about 1 minute before flipping them to the other side with a slotted spoon.
Let them sit another minute and then remove them from the oil.
Place on a paper towel to sop up excess oil and then immediately move to spice mixture while still warm.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you fry up the doughnut holes too. Because sometimes you just want a Munchkin or two. Or 12.
And then serve up your doughnuts and dig in. These were absolutely delicious, especially when still warm. You could definitely tell the dough was slightly healthier, but in a good way. They were a tiny bit chewy, which I think was from the gluten. I didn’t hate it, but I would have preferred a more crumbly doughnut. But I guess that’s the “healthy” sacrifice! I might try without as much of the gluten next time.
I would definitely make these again and think they would be fun for a fall party. They were super duper easy, especially now that I’m more comfortable with the dough-making process.
I loved the flavors of the Indian spice, but would also like to play around with different types of doughnuts. Perhaps a jelly doughnut? You thought my bread obsession was bad, I might start making a different doughnut every day of the week now. Essentially, I could probably put Dunkin’ Donuts out of business. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to them.
What’s your favorite kind of doughnut? How about doughnut bakery?