Resurrecting the Tradition
April 17, 2008
Whoops. Did I mention last Friday that I was making donuts? And did I then let nearly an entire week elapse before writing about them here? It seems that way, doesn’t it? Well, I am most apologetic. But, here’s the bright side: today is Thursday, which means you can go out and buy any necessary ingredients (this step might not be necessary, if you have decently-stocked baking pantry) tonight or tomorrow. And then you can make and shape the dough on Saturday afternoon and store them overnight in the fridge. Then, simply wake up on Sunday morning, give the donuts a last quick rise, slide them in the oven, brush them with melted butter and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. And then—oh, then–experience homemade donut nirvana. See, I’m actually bringing you these donuts just in time.
As I said last Friday, I made these donuts for Kevin, who is an avid donut connoisseur, on his birthday. It was actually the second of Kevin’s birthday mornings that have involved piping hot donuts, made by me. You see, I made him birthday donuts a couple years back, shortly after we moved in together. Truth be told, I always chalked up that first pre-dawn-deep-frying-donut-excursion to some sort of co-habitation honeymoon haze—one that severely impaired my judgment. When I went to work that day smelling as though I had bathed in cooking oil, I came to my senses and put a mental end to the donuts-for-birthday-breakfast traditional right quick.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
But! Then, I saw this recipe for donuts a long while ago on 101 Cookbooks and immediately knew that it was time to resurrect the birthday-donut tradition. Not only did Heidi’s donut photo have me drooling just a little a bit, but her recipe called for baking (yes, baking) the donuts. And she assured me that I could do almost all of the work the night before. So this donut excursion would be neither pre-dawn nor deep-fried. Sold.
If Kevin’s three (okay, maybe four) donut performance (this from the man who can barely choke down a bowl of cereal most mornings!) was any indication, these donuts were totally irresistible. They’re golden and puffed, and their slick of melted butter shimmers just a little bit, between the specks of cinnamon and sugar clinging to it. They’ll make you close your eyes while you chew each bite, enjoying their faint, yeasty sweetness and airy interior. And then, before you know it, they’ll have you reaching for another. (Or, in Kevin’s case, another and another, but who keeps count on a birthday, right?)
I’ll send you over to Heidi’s site for the recipe: click here. Have fun gawking at her gorgeous pictures and being inspired by her wholesome recipes. And, most importantly, enjoy the donuts. Remember, step 1: head to the store tonight! You are this close to homemade donut nirvana.
Also, a couple recipe notes: (1) This recipe makes a lot of donuts and they are definitely best straight out of the oven, so if you make the full recipe, you should strongly consider baking off only as many as you think you can eat. Keep the leftovers in the fridge for the next morning. Or even try freezing them. (2) I think these would be great dipped in melted chocolate (and doused with sprinkles, if that’s your thing). (3) Don’t discard the holes! As you can see, I baked them up and they were quite cute and delicious.