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Doughnuts, a cookbook to wake early for.

Doughnuts have rightfully gotten the attention they deserve in recent years.

While there are plenty of resources to learn how to make doughnuts at home, local photographer and food blogger Lara Ferroni’s aptly titled cookbook, Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home, pays them the proper respect.

Though small , the book thoroughly explains the fundamentals of doughnut cooking, and photographs the results as if they were featured in Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry cookbook.

Ferroni’s is  a very practical book, building more complex recipes on top of earlier versions and creating master recipes for basics, which includes standard fried doughnuts, baked doughnuts and gluten free dough.

The reliance on long rising dough adds a wonderful sour note to each of the risen recipes, creating a flavor that is difficult to find in any mass-produced version.

Classics like Boston and Bavarian Cream are included, as well as new styles such as crème Brulee and Chai.

Naturally, when I dived into this cookbook, I started with the maple bacon bars.

Read the recipe, adapted from the book with permission, after the jump.

Ingredients:

  • Bacon (preferably a thin cut, unflavored variety)
  • Maple glaze (use the one in the book or your favorite recipe)
  • 22 grams yeast (1 full pack of store bought yeast)
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup butter (softened and cubed)

Be careful frying this much dough. Seriously. 

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of the yeast in ¾ cup milk and mix with ¾ cup flour. Cover and let sit for half an hour in a warm spot. Best do this in whatever mixing bowl you’ll be using later on. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until crispy.
  2. Mix together the rest of the milk and yeast. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks. Using a paddle attachment (or a strong pair of hands), mix together. Meanwhile, mix the flour and salt together (this reduces the amount of contact the yeast may make directly with the salt, which kills it).
  3. In half cup increments, add the rest of the flour to the mixture, switching from a paddle attachment to a dough hook after 1 cup has been added. Knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add more flour at this point. When finished mixing, cover and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours.
  4. Roll out the dough into a ¼ inch sheet. At this point, you can either cut the dough into classic circles or into rectangles (as I did). Lay the cut dough on a floured baking sheet or counter and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let it rest from 5 to 20 minutes until doubled in size.
  5. While waiting, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 360 degrees. When the dough and the oil are ready, carefully slide the cut dough into the oil using a spider or spatula. DO NOT just drop the dough in there; I guarantee you will regret it. Cook the dough 1 to 2 minutes per side and then remove using a slotted spatula or spider and let the doughnut cool on a wire rack.
  6. Finally, dip the doughnuts into or drizzle over your maple glaze and immediately put the cooked bacon on top. Let the glaze set and enjoy.

There is, however, one problem with any cookbook dealing with doughnuts.

As the above recipe indicates, doughnuts can take a long time to make and, traditionally, doughnuts are served in the morning, so it’s not too likely most readers would be getting up early to make these doughnuts.

You can let the dough rest overnight in the fridge and this will cut off some time, but it is nonetheless still an effort to make a quick treat.

Ferroni’s Doughnuts, however, will make getting up early worth it.

Photos by Rachelle Longé