Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Squash Doughnut-A Daring Bakers Challenge

I have been a member of the Daring Bakers since March 2009 and sadly I haven't been able to participate every month. October's deadline caught me by surprise while working part time for a caterer. I was working so hard I didn't even realized it was the 27th until I started seeing doughnut posts going up. I really wanted to try participating in the doughnut challenge, especially since there were so many variations to choose from. Doughtnuts have been having a ranaissance lately, recipes have popped up in many food blogs, and Lara Ferroni, a very talented food photographer, just came out with a doughnut book. Since I missed the deadline, I challenged myself to eventually try all the recipes we were given to choose from, and started with the pumpkin doughnuts, which are not leavened by yeast, but by baking powder and soda instead. The recipe is really straightforward and simple. I used roasted Cabocha squash instead of the canned pumpkin for convenience, since I had it at home, and for flavor as well. The taste and consistency reminded me of little doughnuts called Castagnole, normally prepared in Italy during the Carnival. Needless to say, they went fast!

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I added the post lines just for the sake of being correct, and presented the recipe as written by Lori. I hope you will try it as it is worth it.

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 15 minutes
Chilling time - 3 hours
Cooking time - 10 minutes

Yield: About 24 doughnuts & 24 doughnut holes

All Purpose Flour 3.5 cup / 840 ml / 490 gm / 17 ¼ oz
Baking Powder 4 teaspoon / 20 ml / 24 gm / .85 oz
Table Salt 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon / 5 ml / 6 gm / .2 oz
Ginger, ground ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Baking Soda ½ teaspoon / 2.5 ml / 3 gm / .1 oz
Nutmeg, ground ¼ teaspoon / 1.25 ml / 1.5 gm / .05 oz
Cloves, ground 1/8 teaspoon / .6 ml / ¾ gm / .025 oz
White Granulated Sugar 1 cup / 240 ml / 225 gm / 8 oz
Butter, Unsalted 3 Tablespoon / 45 ml / 42 gm / 1.5 oz
Egg, Large 1
Egg Yolk, Large 2
Pure Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon / 5 ml
Buttermilk 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon / 135 ml /
Pumpkin 1 cup / 240 ml / 285 gm / 10 oz (Canned pure pumpkin or fresh cooked and pureed pumpkin – DON’T use pumpkin pie mix!) I used squash instead
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

Powdered (Icing) Sugar 2 cup / 480 ml / 250 gm / 9 oz
Whipping Cream (About 32% butter fat) 4 Tablespoon + more if needed / 60 ml


  1. Whisk together the first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (the mixture will be grainy and not smooth). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.
  2. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch (12 mm to 15 mm) thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) -diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
  3. Using 1-inch (25 mm) diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches (40 mm). Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F (185°C to 188°C). Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.
Sugar Glaze
  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze.
  2. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead.
  3. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.
  4. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze.
  5. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It doesn't matter if you are late... Your doughnuts look exquisite and beautiful.



Simona Carini said...

Great job on the doughnuts! I like the idea of adding pureed kabocha squash to the dough.

Gaia said...

Ciao Laura!
che belli che sono!
Dimmi un po': non usando il lievito, vengono comunque soffici?
un abbraccio

Laura said...

Rosa, you must have post antennas, you are always so quick! They were delicious. I have to check which ones you tried.

Simona, pumpkin is not really good in my opinion, and doing your own squash puree is really easy.

Gaia, c'e' del lievito chimico, pero' sono decisamente meno soffici delle frittelle lievitate col il lievito di birra. Voglio provare altre ricette di doughnuts, inclusi i bomboloni, e poi le confronto.

Dewi said...

I am so shy to admit that I haven't tried to make my own doughnut. Always tempting each time I see it. Yours look delicious !

Joyti said...

Pumpkin - what a great seasonal flavor for the doughnuts. Yours look SO delicious!

Bren said...

my goodness, who doesn't love doughnuts, especially anything with fall squash. nice to *meet* you, too.

Lindsey Barbara said...

wow ... I can't believe how amazing and tasty these donuts look just by reading and looking at your pictures!! Yum yum yum

Thank you for sharing :)

Julia @Mélanger said...

Maybe doughnuts are the new cupcake? A rise of popularity and all!

I've not been able to partipate in a DB challenge for so long. Really miss them. Particularly this one.

Your doughnuts look amazing. DELICIOUS!


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