It's official, cinnamon sugar is my favorite smell in the whole world. I loved it when I made this, then this and now these doughnuts. There's something about the earthy smell of cinnamon in the air that never fails to make me feel warm and somewhat cosy. I feel happy.
Thinking back, it's one of the flavors I grew up with. As a kid, family trips to Disneyland meant only one thing (besides the rides and the fun and the rides and more fun). Snacking on Churros. I still remember walking around this magical place, having no care in the world, eating a Churro and having my shirt covered with cinnamon sugar. I was happy. I miss those days. That's what I love about food. It can take you back to your best and favorite memories.
I have to mention how much I love this blog, where I found this recipe. Hannah takes amazing photographs and makes the tastiest things.
These doughnuts were an absolute treat. It was my first time working with yeast and although the recipe says the dough would rise in about an hour, mine took a little longer than that. Okay a lot longer, 3 hours to be exact. I spent my whole day baking these, I didn't mind. So if yours don't rise in an hour or so, don't lose hope. Let the dough be, it'll rise eventually.
P.S- I don't have a doughnut or a cookie cutter so I used a mason jar lid to shape the doughnuts and a small spice jar lid for the holes (if you have them). Hannah used a shot glass to shape her doughnut holes.
Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
from Doughnuts by Lara Feroni
1/4 cup superfine (caster) sugar
1 stick (113g) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup whole milk, heated to 115F
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for kneading
1 stick (113g) butter, melted
1 cup superfine (caster) sugar + 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (more or less, depending on your taste), mixed together
With an electric mixer, beat egg and sugar on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add the milk, yeast, salt and vanilla, and stir to blend. With the machine on low speed, add the 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until the dough is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Switch to the dough hook, with the machine on medium speed, add the butter, one at a time and beat until no large chunks of butter are left on the bottom of the bowl, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the remaining flour until the dough gathers around the hooks and leaves the sides of the bowl clean. It will be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp tea towel and let it rise in a warm spot (I placed mine next to the window on a warm sunny day), until doubled in volume, about an hour or more.
Punch down the dough and roll out into 1/2 inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3 inch diameter rounds with 1 inch diameter holes.
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the doughnuts an inch apart from each other. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 20 minutes more, in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size.
Bake until the doughnuts are light brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to over bake them. I had a batch of over baked doughnuts and they weren't pleasant.
Immediately from the oven, dip each one in butter and coat (liberally, in my case) with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Best eaten fresh and warm.