If you're not ready to brave the deep fryer for a do-it-yourself doughnut, try these simple baked chocolate doughnuts. They take the hot oil out of the equation, and after you slather them with chocolate glaze, you'll never know you skipped the frying.
To make a designer doughnut, substitute lager or another dark beer for the water in the glaze. Dip cooled doughnuts into the glaze, then set aside to cool or coat with candy sprinkles. You also could flavor the doughnuts by adding orange or almond extracts.
BAKED CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUTS
Start to finish: 2 hours (30 minutes active)
Makes: 24 doughnuts and 24 doughnut holes
For the doughnuts:
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
In a small saucepan over medium, heat the milk and butter until the butter is just melted. Set aside until cooled to between 95 degrees and 105 degrees.
After the milk mixture has cooled, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
When the yeast and milk are ready, add the flour mixture, sugar and eggs. Using the mixer's dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour.
Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles, then use a 1-inch round cutter to remove center holes from each.
Arrange the rings and holes on the prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the doughnuts for about 20 minutes, or until they feel slightly firm to the touch. The doughnuts will not change color. Transfer the doughnuts to a wire wrack to cool at least 15 minutes before glazing.
To make the glaze, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir until fully melted, then remove from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and water. Let cool slightly, then dunk doughnuts into it.