wine and dine

Doughnut-making success tips


• If made properly, fresh doughnuts are never greasy and have a soft bread-like interior. To make healthier doughnuts, bake the doughnuts in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 minutes instead of frying.

• If the oil is the proper temperature, frying seals the outside layer of the doughnut and prevents the oil from seeping in. If the temperature of the oil is too low, it cannot form an exterior seal, resulting in greasy doughnuts that have absorbed too much oil. If the oil is too hot, the outside will burn before the inside is fully cooked and your doughnuts will be gooey and raw inside. Check the oil temperature between batches and adjust heat if necessary.

• The best oils for frying are canola, safflower, or peanut oils.

• Do not crowd your doughnuts; it causes the oil temperature to drop. Fry no more than six to eight doughnut holes at a time and no more than four or five larger doughnuts in one batch.

• While frying doughnuts, stay put and watch them. They can go from perfect to burnt in moments.

• Use the following equipment: round cookie cutters in different sizes, a rolling pin, a heavy medium saucepan that can hold 1½ inches (4cm) of oil with space for the oil to bubble up, a candy thermometer—there is no way to fry properly without maintaining oil temperature between 365°F and 375°F (185°C and 190°C)—chopsticks or silicone spatula for gently turning the doughnuts, a slotted spoon to lift doughnuts out of the oil, a wire rack, and an aluminum-foil covered cookie sheet to put under the wire rack.