Dough-nuts are a sweet snack food made from deep-fried confectionery dough. They are usually ring shaped or in other shapes that have fillings, as well as with various toppings and flavorings. dough-nuts are generally yeast-leavened, but also come as cake dough-nuts that are chemically leavened to produce a tender, more cake-like texture with a crisp brown crust. Here is everything you need to know about shaping, cooking and glazing cake dough-nuts.
• Piped Cake dough-nuts are made from a looser batter that is raised with chemical leaveners (baking powder or baking soda). The batter is piped into rounds or molds. These are usually baked, but can also be fried by piping directly into the frying oil.
• Rolled-Out Cake dough-nuts are made with a firmer, sturdier dough that is leavened with chemical leavener, rolled out, and cut into shapes before baking or frying.
• Crullers are a form of piped dough-nut, most often thought of as rings.
• Old-Fashioned dough-nuts are piped or scooped, giving them an irregular shape and therefore, a crispier, craggier outer crust.
Ingredients: The main difference in ingredients for cake dough-nuts versus yeast dough-nuts is the higher level of enrichments. Cake dough-nuts will have a noticeably greater amount of sugar in the dough or batter — it helps keep the dough-nut tender and soft. They also have a slightly higher ratio of eggs and liquid to flour. This is all to achieve a softer, looser, more cake-like batter and, ultimately, a dough-nut with a lightly toothsome exterior and a soft, tight interior crumb structure. Cake dough-nut batters have similar ingredients to that of a cake which makes it easy to experiment with.
You can add citrus zest or vanilla bean to the butter before creaming it with the sugar. You can also substitute nut flours, cocoa powder, or fruit powder (from freeze-dried fruit) for some of the flour. You can add inclusions galore: chopped chocolate, nuts, fresh or dried fruit, candied ginger, cocoa nibs, or swirls of filling: cream cheese, caramel, jam.
Mixing: Cake dough-nut batter should be mixed minimally to ensure tenderness. Most recipes use the blending method (mix dry ingredients together in bowl and then add the wet ingredients) or the creaming method. Some may employ the foaming method, using the volume of beaten eggs to create an even lighter batter. Whichever method you use, be sure to mix uniformly - a flour pocket could mean serious unpleasantness in a bite-sized pastry such as this. Scrape the bowl well to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, but avoid over-mixing, which can make the batter tough.
Shaping: There are three main ways to shape a cake dough-nut, and the path you choose is pretty much determined by the recipe itself and what kind of dough or batter you have ended up with.
• If you are making a roll-out cake dough-nut dough, you have to roll the dough out and cut into the appropriate shape. You can use a dough-nut cutter or two round cookie cutters to make a traditional shape. If you are going for no scraps then a pastry wheel is your tool.
• A looser batter can be piped. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. If you do not have a tip, just cut about 1/2-inch opening from the end of the bag.
• If you plan on using a dough-nut pan or mold for baking, scoop the batter into the prepared pan. When scooping, be sure to firmly tap your pans on your work surface to reduce any major air pockets that could ruin the top of your dough-nut come glazing time.
Baking or frying: Cake dough-nuts can be either baked or fried. The difference between the two is minimal: Frying will produce a crisper and usually more golden exterior, while baking will give you an even product with a lovely crumb structure and often a glossy sheen on the surface.
• To coat baked dough-nuts in confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon-sugar, or any other sweet blanket, allow them to cool for 10 minutes before coating. Wait for more than 10 minutes and the sugar will not stick to the dough-nut. Also remember that confectioners’ sugar will eventually absorb into the dough-nuts, so serve immediately.
• For a thin, all-over glaze, let the baked dough-nuts cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and cool for few more minutes. Pour the glaze evenly over, fully coating the dough-nuts, and let set.
• For a thicker glaze, let the baked dough-nuts cool for a full 10 minutes outside the pan, on a rack and then dip in the glaze. The thinner the glaze, the more it will run. The thicker the glaze, the more precise it will be. Apply any garnishes to the top of the glaze before it sets, which can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the glaze.
• In case of fried dough-nuts, for a thin, all-over glaze, let them cool for four to five minutes. And for a ticker, top-only glaze, let them cool for at least ten minutes.
Fresh is best: The best dough-nuts are fresh dough-nuts. Eat them when warm, minutes after being removed from the oven or fryer.