Lara Ferroni’s baked cinnamon sugar doughnuts

When I was a kid, it was always a rare treat when my parents brought me to the confectionary – there were so many things to see and smell. Cakes were decorated with Doraemon, Hello Kitty, freshly baked buns from the oven and like any kids, my favourite was doughnuts on a stick.

I do not know who came up with this way of eating doughnut. Sugary cake bread on a stick means parents don’t have to worry the doughnut would fall onto the ground and the kids won’t get their hands dirty. It is genius.

Now as an adult, I will still go to Four Leaves and sneak in a pack of their sugary doughnuts and start munching on them. It just takes a few minutes and the whole packet is empty.

I have always wanted to make doughnuts. But I don’t want to fry them. I don’t want to mess up my kitchen and seeing all that oil goes to waste is such a shame. So I was very happy when my friend, Biona showed me a recipe on baked doughnuts by Lara Ferroni.

It is not difficult to make the dough as most of the work will be done by the stand mixer. The only thing you need to have is patience – waiting for the dough to rise can be quite torturing.

If you do not have a cookie cutter, you can use the rim of a jar and a shot glass or simply use a small glass (you don’t really need the hole in the middle). Do eat the doughnuts while they are warm – they are so light and fluffy, you need to have some self control and stop yourself from popping all of them into your mouth.

Baked cinnamon sugar doughnuts

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
(Adapted from Lara Ferroni’s Doughnuts)
Makes about 24 doughnuts
Ingredients
1)      1 small egg
2)      25g caster sugar
3)      ½ cup (120ml) whole milk, heated to 46oC
4)      1 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
5)      ½ teaspoon salt
6)      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7)      250g – 300g all-purpose flour
8)      60g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
Toppings
1)      60g unsalted butter, melted
2)      100g caster sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
 
 
Methods
  •  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg and sugar on medium speed until blended. This will take about 1 minute. Add in the warm milk, yeast, salt and vanilla extract and blend.
  • Reduce the speed of the stand mixer, slowly add in about 120g of flour and beat until the dough is thick and pulls away from the side. If the dough looks wet and sticky, add in more flour till thickened. This process will take awhile.
  • Switch the mixer to the dough hook. On medium speed, add in the cubed butter one at a time, and beat until no large chunks of butter are left at the bottom of the bowl. Don’t worry if you see bits of melted butter at the side of the bowl. Once we add in the remaining flour, everything will be incorporated.
  • Reduce the speed of the stand mixer and add in the rest of the flour bit by bit until the dough gathers around the hook and clean the side of the bowl. You might need less or more of the flour stated. Hence it will be good to standby some flour at a side.
  • The dough should be soft and moist but not overly sticky.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.
  • Lightly grease a mixing bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp tea towel and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size or about an hour.
  • Punch down the risen dough and roll out to ½” thick. With a doughnut cutter, cut out 3” diameter with 1” diameter hole (I used 3” and 1” cookie cutters).
  • Preheat the oven to 200oC and line the baking sheets with parchment.
  • Place the doughnuts 1” apart on the baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, let it sit in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size or about 20 minutes.
  • Bake until the doughnuts turned light golden brown – around 5-8 minutes. Be very careful not to over-bake the doughnuts. Over-bake doughnuts are hard and chewy.
  • Once the doughnuts are out from the oven, lightly dipped it in the melted butter and coat it with the cinnamon sugar. I like to use chopsticks for this. If you don’t have chopsticks, you can use a tongs.
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