Tuesday, July 5, 2011


In the paragraph following Vernon Dursley's decision to walk to the bakery for a bun, we learn that he in fact purchased a doughnut. How much he enjoys it may depend greatly on the conversations he overhears while walking back to his office at Grunnings.

"This bunch were whispering excitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a few words of what they were saying" (Sorcerer's Stone 4).

So today, we shall make doughnuts! Ms. Rowling does not specify what kind of doughnut Vernon chooses, so I'm using a basic glazed recipe that can easily be adapted to become spiced, chocolate, chocolate glazed, whatever you choose! A heads up to those of you making this recipe, I halved it (instructions below are for the full recipe), so if your process looks different from my pictures, do not fear! And I have to say, I don't recommend halving the recipe, because it's tricky to measure 1/6 cup, and  other such tiny measurements.

Hopefully you will enjoy your doughnut in celebration of the Boy Who Lived, instead of like Mr. Dursley, who probably chewed his with irritation while wondering if the Potters discussed on the streets are in fact his in-laws. Today's recipe comes from allrecipes.com.

For the Doughnuts You Will Need:
2 (.25 ounce) Envelopes Active Dry Yeast
1/4 Cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees F)
1 1/2 Cups Lukewarm Milk
1/2 Cup White Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Shortening
5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Quart Vegetable Oil for Frying

For the Glaze You Will Need:
1/3 Cup Butter
2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla (not pictured)
4 Tbs Hot Water (or as needed)

1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes on low with an electric mixer. Beat in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time with a wooden spoon, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.

3. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and set in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. The dough is ready if when you touch it, the indentation of your finger remains.

4. If you are like me, and do not own a "doughnut cutter,"you can separate the dough into 18 portions, and knead it into the shape you'd like for your doughnuts-- rings, holes, giant balls, swirled rolls, get creative! And keep in mind, they rise A LOT, so if you make rings, make the holes bigger than I did, because mine turned into blobs.

5. Place the doughnuts on a tray and cover with a towel, and (you guessed it) place them in a warm place to rise again until doubled.
6. While the doughnuts are rising, make the glaze! Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioner's sugar and vanilla (I forgot the vanilla... it works without it too, but I'd recommend using it!) until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one Tbs at a time until the icing is the desired consistency (thin but not watery-- I used 3 Tbs). Set aside.

7. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or a large heavy skillet (this is what I did-- no deep fryers in my house) to 350 degrees. Use a candy thermometer or something similar, as the temperature is actually really important. It will take at least 10 minutes for the oil to get this hot.
8. When oil is the right temperature, slide a doughnut or two at a time into the oil using a spatula. The oil will bubble a lot, so be careful! When the oil stops bubbling like crazy, flip the doughnut. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from the hot oil, and set them on a wire rack (over a cookie sheet or something to catch the drippy oil) to drain.

9. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while they are still hot, and set back onto the wire rack to cool and drain.

10. Enjoy!!!

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