Buttermilk Bar Doughnuts

Photo by Gayle H.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2

    cups cake flour

  • 2 3/4

    tsp baking powder

  • 1/4

    tsp baking soda

  • 1 1/2

    tsp salt

  • 1

    cup granulated sugar

  • 2

    tbsp vanilla paste (or extract)

  • 2

    tbsp shortening

  • 2

    tbsp unsalted butter, melted

  • 4

    egg yolks, room temperature

  • 3/4

    cup buttermilk, room temperature

  • vanilla bean glaze

  • 2

    cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 2

    tbsp vanilla paste (or extract)

  • 1/4

    cup boiling water

Directions

To Make the Doughnuts: Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. sift again and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, vanilla, shortening and melted butter, on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl of the mixer. With the mixer on low, add the room temp yolks, one at a time, stopping and scraping down the bowl as necessary (I am usually not a stickler about room temp ingredients, but in this recipe room temp yolks and buttermilk help to blend the ingredients together immeasurably). Add the room temp buttermilk and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients all at once. When only streaks of flour remain, remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, incorporate the remaining flour. Transfer the dough (which will be very sticky - somewhere between a cookie dough and a cake batter) to a clean bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heavily flour a work surface and your hands. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on your work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1/2" thick (ie: the height of the rectangle) and 3 1/2" wide (ie: the short side of the rectangle). I am not sure the measurement for the length, or long side, of the rectangle, but it is inconsequential. Add more flour to your work surface if your rectangle begins sticking. The dough is extremely soft, so be gentle and do not be afraid of using extra flour. Flour a bench scraper or small offset spatula, and cut the rectangle into 3 1/2" by 1 1/2" by 1/2" bars, flouring underneath the bars, the work surface, and the bench scraper as you work. Once you have cut all of your bars, dip the bench scraper in flour yet again, and VERY gently press the bench scraper down the center of each bar, making a light indentation (this indentation will give your doughnut the quintessential buttermilk bar look). Using a pastry brush, lightly brush your bars to remove excess flour. Meanwhile fill a large, heavy pot with 6 cups of shortening (once melted, this should be at least 2" of oil, if it is not, add more shortening), attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the shortening on medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees, or a bit above (the temperature will drop when you add your doughnuts, but while frying, you want your temperature to stay at 350). Line a cooling rack with a thick layer of paper towels, about 4 thick, and place it near your pot. Once the oil is at temp, flour a very thin (preferably metal) spatula (an offset works well, or even a fish spatula) and use it to carefully transfer a bar to the hot oil. Fry the bar for 1 to 2 minutes and using wooden chopsticks or any two thin utensils, gently flip the doughnut over and continue to fry for 1 to 2 minutes more. When both sides are done (you will know by the color - use my photos as a guide), carefully transfer the doughnut to the prepared cooling rack with the spatula. To prevent the doughnut from absorbing extra oil, gently pat it with additional paper towels. depending on the size of your pot and your patience level, you may fry one bar at a time, or many. I fried one at a time to avoid crowding, but this takes a while. Let the bars come to room temp before glazing. To Make the Glaze: Sift the confectioners' sugar in to a large shallow bowl. Add the vanilla paste and boiling water, and whisk until shiny and smooth. To Glaze the Doughnuts: Holding a bar from the bottom (the side w/o the indentation) carefully lower the top of the bar into the glaze. lift it up, and allow the glaze to drip off. Transfer right side up to a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet (to catch excess glaze) and repeat. I recommend only glazing the tops of the bars, otherwise they are just a tad too sweet. I also recommend leaving some unglazed for immediate consumption.

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