Today I am working with Sourdough Doughnuts! I love sourdough baking! There is so much creativity involved.
I started last night with a preferment so that my dough today would have a high ratio of active cultures.
This morning I took the preferment which was bubbling along nicely and poured it into my Blendtec Mixer . I then added milk, mashed potatoes, vanilla, pastry and AP flours and other ingredients to make up a dough at 62 % hydration. The amounts were just at the limit of what my mixer could handle. The dough was shaggy looking when I was done with initial mixing.
However, after an autolyse period, the dough was looking stretchy and smoother.
I took the dough out of the mixer and put it into an 8 quart container, as my mixer had little room for the dough to expand. I used the Alaska starter so I didn’t have to wait all day long for the bulk ferment, plus the preferment also helps the dough to proceed at a faster pace.
I let the dough raise for about 4 hours. Then I poured it out on the table and divided the dough into two pieces. Each piece weighed just a little over 4 lbs, I had made 8 lbs 1.4oz of dough!
I let the dough pieces rest a bit and then rolled them out to about 1/2 ” thick circles. I had a donut cutter that I had bought at an antique store. It didn’t work too well. The inner piece for cutting the doughnut holes didn’t cut all the way through so I had to pull, rip out each center which was partially cut. I made about 50 doughnuts and 50 doughtnut holes. I let the dough proof on the couche for about 1.5 hours and then started to fry.
It took me almost exactly an hour to fry up all of the doughnuts. I had a deep, thick bottomed pan and I filled it with about 3/4 gallon of cooking oil. It kept the heat evenly so that I didn’t have to worry about the heat spiking or falling. I fried four doughnuts at a time for 2.5 minutes at just a little hotter than doughnut temperature around 192 degrees F.
I took the doughnuts out and drained them on a rack and then cooled them a little and put them in a pan of glaze:
Here are some pictures of the finished sourdough doughnuts:
I also shook some doughnuts in powdered sugar:
Here are the doughnuts up close and in half:
I don’t think I have ever baked anything sourdough that got so many raves… “These are the best doughnuts I have ever tasted, MOM!”; “These are circles of joy!”; ” Honey, these are the absolute best ever!!!” ; “Can I have another… another…another……..”
You get the idea. Sourdough doughnuts go stale faster than yeasted doughnuts, but they have a deeper flavor, more satisfying, they are denser, but tastier, and feel like you are eating something really good, not just sugarcarbs. They still warm up nicely in the microwave and taste stunning with a hot cup of coffee in the morning.