Thursday, April 21, 2011

Donuts for Easter

Besides a basket of candy, the one thing I used to look forward to on Easter Sunday morning when I was a kid was donuts. My family would gather at my grandmother’s house after church and my uncle Joe would bring over a couple of boxes of Munchkins (donut holes) and donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts. The Munchkins were for the kids, the donuts for the adults; when my cousins and I grew up (we’re talking 8, 9, 10), we graduated to full-size donuts.

I hated the powdered, lemon-filled ones, but loved Boston kreme. I used to stuff chocolate Munchkins in a mug full of hot milk and eat with a spoon. The standard vanilla glazed donuts were my favorite, and I can still feel the dryness of the plain old-fashioned variety.

So, when I was checking out Brandi Henderson’s blog (she’s the pastry chef at Delancey, an excellent Seattle pizza place), I Made That, all those Easter donut memories came rushing back. Except, her donuts look a lot fresher and more delicious than the fast food ones I used to eat.

I’ve made donuts at home before, but, unlike her, never used yeast in the batter, which is probably why they turned out more like a fried cookie than a cakey donut. I really like how she lets the donuts rise on a baking sheet – think of all the delicious little caverns created by taking that one little (totally genius) step. Her recipe seems so simple, so delicious – I might even spring for a sprig of vanilla bean.

I’m going to attempt Brandi’s recipe this Easter. I’ll probably have to make a dozen, at least, because I’m going to a friend’s house for lunch. It’s very important to have a hole in the donut large enough so that you can hold the thing while dunking in coffee. So, I’ll be using this Ateco doughnut cutter for speed and consistency. And, of course, a big, sturdy wire strainer to move the donuts in and out of the oil, like this one from Helen Chen.

Now, if I could just get Dunkin’ Donuts to ship me a couple of liters of fresh coffee, I’d be able to re-live my childhood Easters.

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