Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fryday: maple bars for days

There is a special place in Spokane, Washington. It is not hidden and can be found on Hamilton Street near the Gonzaga University campus. It is not hidden, but this place is often overlooked. Perhaps the shabby outside is a bit of a deterrent. The red brick is chipped and run down, the windows appear fogged from the years when smoking was allowed inside restaurants, and probably from the years themselves. Perhaps it is the fact that the vinyl seats are torn in spots revealing stuffing that is older than I am. Welcome to one of my favorite places on the planet, welcome to Donut Parade.

I will get straight to it- maple bars. That's all you need to know. Maple bars for days. They sell them fresh from the fryer with a stripe of maple glaze that runs over the sides of the still-warm donut. Maple bars for around 50 cents. Get two, don't ask just do it.

I made my apartment Donut Parade this morning, no big deal.

Make the dough and cut it out the night before, it will save you a good hour and a half in the morning.

If you do the night before thing, allow donuts to sit at room temperature for an hour before frying them the next day.

A lot of donuts on the market today seem to disappear or deflate the moment you bite into them. Not the case here. These donuts are chewy and substantial. They are also, as I found out today, a perfect pre-run breakfast.

Overnight Maple Bars

(makes 8 bars and 4 twists)
1/4 c water, lukewarm
2 teaspoons (1 package) yeast
3/4 c milk, warm
1/3 c sugar
3 tablespoons butter, soft
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 c (plus more as needed) AP flour

1. In a standing mixer, whisk together first five ingredients and 1 1/2 c flour
2. Add eggs
3. Switch to dough hook and add remaining flour; mix for 8 minutes (about), until dough is smooth, elastic and separated from the sides of the mixing bowl
4. Put dough into a well-oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise one hour in a warm place
5. After initial rise, turn out onto a floured surface and roll to 1/2" thickness
6. Using a chef's knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into rectangles (about 2" by 4") and reserve any scrap dough for twists
7. Place cut-out donuts onto a floured baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight**
8. Remove donuts from fridge and allow to rise on the counter or a turned off oven for one hour
9. Pre-heat oil to 365
10. Fry donuts for 30-40 seconds, flipping once
11. Allow to drain on paper towels before glazing

Maple Glaze
In a small bowl, mix 1 1/4 c confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk; stream in maple syrup until you get the consistency you like (I added about 1/4 c so my glaze was spreadable)

** If making donuts the same day, cut them out, cover loosely with plastic and allow them to rise on the counter for an hour before frying them

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