This is Martha Stewart's recipe. I first made these about 15 years ago. This recipe is neither fast nor easy. But it is SO worth it! I'll give you the ingredients first:
3/4 cup milk
1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 cups + 2 Tbl flour
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 stick butter
1 vanilla bean (I didn't have one this time.)
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
2 quarts of peanut oil (or any oil good for deep frying)
Warm milk in a saucepan or microwave -- NOT too hot!! Place yeast in bowl of mixer. Add warm milk. (If it's too hot, it'll kill the yeast.) Sprinkle 2 3/4 cups flour over milk and let stand 20 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk lightly the egg yolks and sugar. Add salt & 1/4 cup flour.
Melt butter in saucepan. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into butter & add pod. Simmer until butter foams and smells nutty. Don't burn. Remove pod. Pour butter over egg mixture. I had to temper the butter (which was rather hot) with some of the egg, and whisk it firmly, before adding it all. Stir in vanilla.
Add butter mixture to yeast mixture. Mix at low speed 1 min. Add 2 Tbl. flour and mix 1 min. (Y'know, I forgot to do this step today, and it made no difference :) Dough will be sticky - very. Lightly oil large bowl. (Okay, this is now bowl #3, and this is perhaps why I avoid this recipe. Too many dishes!) Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, form a ball, and place in oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled.
It was at this point this morning that I decided, "Hey -- this would make a blog post! I'd better take some pictures!" Here's the dough after the first rise.
You turn it again, push it down and let it rise another 30 minutes. This pic shows how sticky it is, even after having been on a floured surface.
Here's the finished dough. It is very yellow from the egg yolks.
Here's the set-up. Ignore the bananas. You see the dough, the doughnut cutter (SO helpful!), the hot oil in cast iron, the yummy glaze, and the wire rack.
Let me give you the glaze recipe while we're at it:
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream (okay, you could use half/half or milk, but it won't be as good!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
Whisk together in a double boiler over low heat. Enlist a handy 10 year old to help.
Cutting out the doughnuts:
This is the part I hate -- the oil is very hot -- 375 degrees. Don't let it smoke. These babies brown SO fast that I over-cook quite a few. You need a long-handled slotted spoon to turn them gently and lift them out. Make sure you have everything assembled before you start slinging them in the oil. See those holes that are too brown? Sigh. (They're great anyway.)
Scoop them out and place them on the rack to cool for a couple of minutes.
Your handy assistant will dip them gracefully in the glaze, turn them, and lay them back on the rack. Here are a few choice specimens:
And they were gone in a FLASH!!
Julia's pretty handy with a spoon.
My family BEGS for these.
THEY ARE JUST AS GOOD AS KRISPY KREME. (If you're a Dunkies fan, please just eat a piece of day-old cake, and you'll be fine.)
Today I had no excuse, and besides Rebecca is here. These doughnuts just don't last very long. You might really want to consider making a double batch, because once you go to all the trouble, you might as well have LOTS of doughnuts to show for it! We're trying very hard -- very hard -- to be disciplined enough to save a few (just a few) for Peter, since he's gone till tonight. I don't know if we'll be able to withstand the temptation though.