Look at these here baked donuts, made with almond milk and gluten free flour. Delicious, right?
It's our twice monthly Cook the Book. We are cooking our way through every chapter of Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book. There are six of us participating in the project: Rachel of Ode to Goodness, Sammy of Rêve du Jour, Emily of The Bon Appetit Diaries, Aimee of Homemade Trade and Claudie of The Bohemian Kitchen.
My mom, Gran Fran, made fried donuts just once that I can recall. She has a big fear of somehow burning down her kitchen while working with hot oil, cooking anything fatty in the oven, or, come to think of it, anything other than pasta or potatoes. For a woman who spends so much time in the kitchen, she certainly isn't comfortable with any kind of volatile cooking.
When I mentioned I was making donuts, she, in NY, said to me, in SF:
"Make sure you open all the windows, have the fire extinguisher handy, and maybe let the neighbors know you're frying something, so in case there's some kind of fire, they can help you."
I'm the youngest of five, two of us live 3,000 miles away from Gran Fran. She has been giving me these long distance words of wisdom for 20 years. I can only image what kind of in-person guidance my NY siblings get from her.
When I was in New York for my parents 50th wedding anniversary, one of the granddaughters made a list of all the Gran-Fran and Joe-isms she could think of, along with some input from the other 10 grandkids and my sisters and brother. Let me tell you, there were a good number, none of which included any reference to the fire extinguisher. Wish I had remembered to bring that one up when the list was put together.
Two quotes stand out in the lineup:
1. "I'll make you a plate."
2. "Make sure you lock the top lock."
The first quote is a straightforward example of Gran Fran always making sure we are well fed, to the point of needing to switch into our stretchy pants.
The second refers to always locking all the locks on the door, especially the top lock. Whenever she would leave us alone, she'd lock the door behind her and get in the car. Next thing you hear is her banging on the back door yelling "Make sure you lock the top lock." This inevitably scared the heck out of us as we had already locked the top lock, and were not expecting a re-appearance of Gran Fran. (A friend sent me this link of S**t Italian Moms Say. Make it to the very end, you'll see why).
With Gran Fran's warning in my ear, I opted out on frying the donuts and instead chose a baked donut recipe. This is the second time I've tried baking donuts. The consistency is more like a cake donut, not so air filled, denser. I prefer a nice cake donut, so it's perfect for my taste. If you like an airier donut, you probably want to stick to frying.
Almond Milk Gluten-Free Baked Donuts
adapted from Marion Cunnigham’s The Breakfast Book, Copyright 1987, Alfred A. Knopf
- 2 packages dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1½ cups almond milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour, approximately (I used Gluten-Free Pantry's All Purpose Flour Mix)
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl and let it dissolve for 5 minutes. Put the milk and shortening in a saucepan and heat until the shortening is melted. Cool to lukewarm. Pour the yeast mixture into large mixing bowl and add the milk mixture. Stir in the ¼ cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, eggs, and 2 cups flour. Beat briskly until well blended. Add the remaining 2½ cups flour and beat until smooth.
Cover the bowl and let double in bulk, about 1 hour. Dust a board generously with flour and turn the dough mass onto it. The dough is soft and needs enough flour on the board to prevent sticking, but is easy to handle. Pat the dough into a round about ½ inch thick. Use a 3-inch doughnut cutter to cut out the doughnuts, placing them (and the doughnut holes) on greased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. These don't spread much; they rise.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Let the doughnuts rest and rise for 20 minutes, uncovered. Bake about 10 minutes, or a little longer, until they have a touch of golden brown. Remove them from the oven.
Have ready the melted butter and a brush. On a sheet of waxed paper spread the cinnamon sugar. Brush each doughnut and doughnut hole with butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve hot.