Though my ideal temperature is that of a desert, there is a big part of me that likes winter. I don’t admit this too frequently, mostly because I would be making that declaration through chattering teeth and purple lips, but it’s true. The major stipulation is this: I like winter when I am just sort of cozily watching snow fall from my third-floor window view.
I like winter when the only reason to face the brutal winds is to run around the park like a crazy person with my dog (a big perk of having a dog!). I like winter when I’m buried deep under blankets, a candle is flickering and I’m burning my way through a Netflix series. Not wanting to leave home in the winter is a huge motivator for home cooking and baking.
The more delicious foods and drinks I am able to prepare at home, the less I need to 1) leave home 2) spend extra money and 3) eat less wholesome ingredients. Thanks to Joanna’s love of donuts, I was inspired to develop this donut-o-the-month series. So content am I with these homemade versions, I no longer need to brave the cold and the lines for the Pittsburgh brunch place that serves the beignets I used to crave. I am one step closer to a complete hermitage this winter, so three cheers for Jojotastic!
December’s donut was inspired by fluffy snow, gingerbread men and hikes in the park with my four-legged snow lover. I hope these donuts enable you to stay some place warm, sip something hot and dive into the series of your choice.
Powdered Whole Wheat Gingerbread Donuts
Yield: 14-16 donuts, depending on size
3 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup packed organic, light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 large organic/cage-free eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons (3 oz) organic, unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup organic Greek yogurt
Organic/Non-GMO Safflower Oil for frying
Organic Powdered Sugar for topping
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, molasses, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
With the mixer running, slowly pour in the butter and continue mixing until the butter is completely incorporated.
Add the yogurt in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between the additions.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until a uniform, but rough dough comes together. The dough will be sticky.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes (or up to overnight) before continuing with the recipe.
Add enough oil to a large cast iron Dutch oven/pot to measure about 2 inches in depth. Set the pan over medium heat. Let it start getting hot while you cut out the donuts (between 350 and 360 F if you’re lucky enough to have a thermometer that reads that high).
Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, adding more flour to your hands and the surface as needed. Roll the dough until it is about 1/2-inch thick (lifting and turning as you go to make sure it’s not sticking). Use a 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut rounds from the dough. To cut the holes in the center of the donuts use a 1-inch biscuit cutter. The donuts expand noticeably in the oil, so do not cut the center hole too small, or it will close up almost completely.
Gather and re-roll the scraps to cut more donuts. You can either save the holes to make donut holes or re-roll them with the scraps. If the dough gets too soft or warm to work with at any time, chill it in the fridge briefly.
When the oil reaches the desired temperature, add a few donuts at a time and fry them for 4 minutes total (flipping once so both sides cook evenly), or until brown and cooked through.
Use a stainless steel spatula to remove the donuts from the oil and transfer to a cooking rack with a pan underneath it to catch any dripping oil. Donuts holes will require less time to cook, about 1-2 minutes total (remember to flip at least once).
When the donuts are still slightly warm, roll them in a shallow bowl of powdered sugar.
From my blanket bundle,