blackberry lemonade glazed donuts

blackberry lemonade glazed donuts

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First of all, there is no lemonade in this recipe. Sorry if this disappoints you. But there is fresh lemon zest and that coupled with the blackberry puree tastes remarkably like blackberry lemonade on a warm summer day. I realize that developing a donut recipe that takes three days to accomplish is a bit crazy, but with minimal foresight it comes together very easily. I have to say that the flavor developed through taking your time with this recipe is so yeasty and amazing. However, if you really need these donuts ASAP (I wouldn't blame you if you did), you can get this recipe done in about 4 hours. If you are making the abbreviated version of this recipe, you can warm your milk to a tepid temperature (around 75 degrees F), dissolve the sugar, add your yeast and let it sit for about 15 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. I would recommend transferring your dough to the fridge after about an hour and a half until cold as the dough is much easier to work with when chilled. 

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I had a friend tell me recently that she felt intimidated by frying foods at home and I can definitely understand that. My biggest tips for frying are: 1. Choose a reasonably sized vessel. Too large of a pot and you'll waste tons of oil, too small and you'll have a huge mess. For this recipe, I filled my 4 qt Lodge dutch oven about half full with oil (between 2-3 quarts of oil). This prevented excessive splatter as the donuts weren't frying near the top of the pot; 2. Invest in a thermometer. TRUST ME. I picked up a probe style thermometer on Amazon and I use it for everything from taking the internal temperatures of my meats to monitoring the temperature of oil to checking for doneness inside my breads. Being able to keep a close eye on that will keep your oil from burning your foods and becoming dangerous if it gets too hot. You'll notice in this recipe I fry at 325 degrees F--very important because frying at a higher temperature will get your donuts browned before they cook on the inside; 3. DO NOT drop whatever you are frying into the oil from high above. Your food's cannonball dive into the oil will cause  a splash and potentially result in some nasty burns. This might seem counterintuitive, but getting your hand closer to the oil and gently easing whatever you're frying in will save you so much pain and clean up. If you keep these three things in mind, you'll be frying foods like a true champ in no time!

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The most important thing I have learned about creating a great glaze is the powdered sugar to liquid ratio: there needs to be way more powdered sugar than liquid. If you want the shiny glaze that dries to leave a slight shell, it has to be fairly stiff from the powdered sugar so that it doesn't run all over the place (don't worry, I've already done the leg work here). If you want to make your own blackberry puree, I simmered one pint of blackberries with 80 g of sugar (about 1/3 of a cup) with one tablespoon of water over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes until syrupy. Since I didn't want the seeds in my glaze, I passed my blackberries through a fine mesh sieve and then stirred in my lemon zest. This made about 1 cup of puree, which can be frozen for later use since the glaze only requires about 1/4 cup. Taking advantage of berries coming into season is great but seedless blackberry jam thinned with 2 tablespoons of water will work as well.

I hope you have as much fun making and eating these donuts as I did!

DONUT DOUGH:
makes 18 donuts

500 g milk
175 g brown sugar
20 g active dry yeast
20 g vanilla bean paste (extract is fine, but the paste gives a more intense vanilla flavor)
3 eggs
1100 g bread flour
10 g sea salt
175 g unsalted butter, diced, cold
Canola oil, for frying

1. In a small sauce pan, weigh milk, sugar and vanilla. Warm gently over medium low heat until sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Add cooled milk mixture to an airtight container (I love these containers) and stir in yeast. Place in fridge overnight up to 24 hours. 

2. To make the dough, add yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add eggs and mix on low. In a separate bowl, weigh the bread flour and salt and stir to mix. With the mixer running, gradually add flour and salt mixture until all flour is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add butter, a couple of pieces at a time until all the butter has been added. Continue to mix at medium speed for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and butter is completely mixed in. Transfer dough to a greased bowl (or again, if you're like me, a greased gallon ziplock bag), cover and place in the fridge overnight. If you are making this recipe in one day, leave dough out at room temperature to proof for 90 minutes, then transfer to the fridge for an hour before using.

3. Remove dough from the fridge 30 minutes prior to rolling. Remove dough from container to a floured work surface and also dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Using a circular cutter about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, or a wide mouthed glass, cut out as many donuts as you can. Using a smaller circle cutter, or a shot glass, cut the hole out of the center of each donut. Transfer donuts and donut holes to a floured baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour. You can bring your remaining dough together once more and roll it out again to get more donuts but after that just toss the leftover dough.

4. In a dutch oven or pot, heat 2-3 quarts of oil to 325 degrees F. In batches of 3-4 donuts at a time, gently lower donuts into oil and fry 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer donuts to a wire rack set over a sheet tray to drain excess oil. Allow the oil to come back up to 325 degrees between each batch of donuts. Once donuts are cool, glaze with blackberry lemonade glaze and enjoy!

BLACKBERRY LEMONADE GLAZE:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup seedless blackberry jam (see above for homemade blackberry puree)
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
zest of 1 lemon

In a small bowl, whisk together blackberry jam and water. Sift in powdered sugar. Add milk, vanilla and lemon zest and whisk everything together until smooth. Cover at room temperature until ready to use. 

Dip each donut into glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a rack set over a sheet tray to let dry slightly before eating. 

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