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Baked cinnamon-sugar doughnuts

June 18, 2008

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Makes 12 medium

Making doughnuts at home means deep-frying, which is a mess. These yeasty doughnuts, a sweet dough cut into the classic shape, are baked in the oven. While they're hot, dip them in butter, then roll them in cinnamon-sugar. They taste almost fried and good enough to set a new standard. Make them on a cold rainy day and they'll cheer up the whole household.

BATTER

1 1/3 cups whole milk, heated to lukewarm
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Extra flour (for kneading)
Canola oil (for the bowl)

1. Have on hand a doughnut cutter or 3-inch and 3/4-inch plain round cutters. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, place 1/3 cup of the milk. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, sugar, remaining 1 cup of milk, and eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well blended.

3. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt. Stir well to incorporate them. Continue adding flour 1 cup at a time until the mixture forms a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it until it is smooth and supple. Shape it into a ball.

4. Oil a bowl and add the dough. Turn it over in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough is roughly double in size.

5. On a floured counter, punch down the dough and roll it 1/2-inch thick. Use the cutter to stamp out rounds and centers.

6. Transfer the circles to the baking sheet (including the smaller rounds). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 45 minutes.

7. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

8. Bake the doughnuts for 8 to 10 minutes (check them after 8 minutes) or until the bottoms are just golden.

TOPPING

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1. In a shallow bowl, place the butter. In another shallow bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.

2. When the doughnuts are baked, let them sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two to firm up.

3. Dip each doughnut in the butter and toss quickly with the cinnamon-sugar. Adapted from 101cookbooks.com