Monday, October 17, 2011

Week Twelve --Bacon Cheddar Scones and Baked Doughnuts

We’ve been reading The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens. I completely blame the book for our bakefest yesterday. Okay… blame isn’t the best word. Maybe credit? There is a scene in the novel where a dwarf delivers a breakfast for dinner feast to the Emma and Michael and Dr. Pym. Maybe it was just that we were hungry or maybe the description was so great or maybe both,
but we decided to partly mimic the meal. I say partly because in the book, the dwarf delivers at least seven different things. We started by making baked doughnuts, which we’ve done before, but which we enhanced with this round. The recipe is pretty basic, but it’s infinitely versatile. They’re really tasty despite being somewhat healthy. For best results, you really need a doughnut pan, but a muffin pan would work just as well, you’d just have doughnuts without any holes. Both of these recipes come from King Arthur Flour – which seriously is the greatest place for recipes, ingredients, mixes, and cool baking gadgets.
Baked Doughnuts

1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons dried buttermilk powder
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1) Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and  water (or buttermilk or yogurt) until foamy.
3) Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and stir
just until combined.
4) Butter or grease the doughnut pan; non-stick pan spray works well here. Note: even though the pan is non-stick, since the doughnuts are low-fat they may stick unless you grease the pan first. Fill each doughnut form half full.
5) Bake the doughnuts in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. When done, they'll spring back when touched lightly, and will be quite brown on the top.
6) Remove the doughnuts from the oven, remove them from the pan, and allow them to cool on rack. Glaze with icing, or coat with cinnamon-sugar or any non-melting sugar.

*** We made a few alterations. We put more batter in the pan. Using the amount the recipe called for made these wimpy flat doughnuts. By filling them to the brim, you get nice plump doughnuts.

*** We made a chocolate glaze with cocoa power and confectioner’s sugar and a bit of water. We added sprinkles to those. We also brushed a couple with butter and sprinkled cinnamon sugar over them. Finally we tried jelly-filled, which worked pretty well. Although I’d put a sheet pan under the pan to catch any runaway jelly. For these we put in half the batter, added about 2T of jelly, then topped with the remaining batter.

Bacon Cheddar Scones – note these are seriously the BEST scones I have ever tasted. Also we’re both veg, so we used soy bacon. You might try it. I think regular bacon might make the scones too greasy.

2 cups All-Purpose Flour or Pastry Blend
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter
1 cup (4 ounces) very coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup) We used Morning
Star bacon.
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons plain Greek
yogurt. (K.A.F. uses heavy cream here, but we substituted the yogurt.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
1) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
2) Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.
3) Mix in the cheese and bacon till evenly distributed.
4) Add ¾ cup of the yogurt, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add yogurt until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.
5) Pat the dough into a smooth 7" disk about ¾" thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.
6) Use a knife or bench knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.
7) Brush the scones with a bit of beaten egg; this will help their crust brown.
8) Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
Yield: 8 large scones

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