As far as I know, there aren’t enough eating establishments that allow you to choose half fries and half onion rings. This is only one of the things wrong with today’s economy, but in that go-time moment of truth it is the most pressing. It is with this same simultaneous passion for two similar but different types of junk food that I sugared half of my delicious orange donut holes and glazed the rest. Why choose? Tell me why. I decided to make donut holes in the first place with a passion for “why not?” You are encouraged to do the same. You are encouraged to make these lightly-oranged and not-too-sweet donuts for any pop-em-in-your-mouth occasion.
Not necessarily a spur-of-the-moment occasion, though. They need to rise like bread, then you need to fry ‘em up in batches standing over that sizzling pot for as long as it takes. It’s definitely a “project,” but the fun and plentiful results will please the masses. Procrastination cooking success.
Jen Cantin graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. with a degree in English and Journalism. She shares other (a)musings at Deep Fried Epiphany and dedicates this post to standing in line at the new Krispy Kreme with Jessica and Kirsten many years ago.
Sugared and Glazed Orange Donut Holes
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Makes 20 large donut holes, about 40 regular sized
Safety note: Be careful when working with hot oil. Investing in a deep fry thermometer (only about $10) will keep you safe from splattering pops of too-hot oil and prevent your food from burning (oil too hot) or becoming soggy (oil too cool). There are other methods for estimating the heat of your oil that are fairly reliable, but a thermometer is the only way to be certain.
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup plus one pinch sugar
One package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
Zest from one orange
2 1/4 cups flour plus more for dusting surface
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/2 gallon vegetable oil
One batch orange glaze OR one batch cinnamon sugar OR half of each (Recipes follow)
Pour milk in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until it gives off a slight heat. If you have a thermometer, it should read 110°–115°. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar and the package of yeast over the milk and let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat 1/3 cup sugar and the eggs together with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale and foamy, about three minutes. With a wooden spoon, stir the yeast mixture, melted butter and orange zest into the sugar and eggs. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt and stir until it comes together as a dough. It can be slightly lumpy and will be very soft. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. You can also let it rise for eight hours or overnight in the refrigerator instead.
Turn the dough out on a well-floured surface and knead the dough a bit, adding more flour if it’s too liquidy to work with. Break off pieces of dough a little smaller than golf balls and roll them into balls. They will puff up more when fried. Put them on a floured baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, begin heating the oil to 350°F in a large pot over medium heat. Once heated (use thermometer or test), lower 5-7 donuts into the oil with a slotted spoon. Donuts will flip over when one side is cooked but will sometimes be stubborn so keep an eye on them. They are done after about 2 minutes when they are a deep golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined surface.
Dip the first batch in the glaze or roll in sugar coating while the next batch is cooking. Place donuts on a cooling rack over a cutting board or cookie sheet to harden if using glaze. When finished, you can skim any residue from the oil and save it for a later deep-fry session. Donuts keep for a few days. You can microwave them for about 10 seconds to refresh that warm softness. They also freeze well.
Makes enough glaze for one batch of above donut recipe
1/4 cup orange juice– the juice of one orange should be about that
1 cup powdered sugar
Combine both ingredients in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds immediately before use.
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
Makes enough for one batch of above donut recipe
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine both ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.