It's amazing how the best laid plans get tossed quicker than rancid oil. How's the phrase go? Man makes plans and God laughs? I see no place that this is more true than homeownership where the unexpected and the planned are as tangled as a knitting drawer.
Still, I keep trying to save money to re-do the bathrooms and take them gloriously out of 1979 when they were built. For God's sake, the faux marble countertop has gold glitter mixed into the surface because for some reason people in 1979 though gold glitter countertops were cool. Then again, You Don't Bring Me Flowers was in the Top 40, so I don't have a lot of respect for 1979.
Unfortunately, the trees in the front yard were infected with borer beetles and those had to be removed. Then we needed to repair a few shingles. Oh, and the cover for the dilapidated hot tub the previous owners built a platform for and then craned the hell in, but then never hooked up collapsed and became a mosquito cesspool so it needs to be ripped apart. Then there's the fact that the house is four different colors due to reconstruction and the previous owners never deciding on a color. So the front is yellow, the sides are grey, and the back is blue and white.
So yes… plans are askew. I guess that wood burning pizza oven is at the bottom of the list now, as well.
As husband goes at the hot tub with hammer and saw attempting to save us some cash I'm escaping it all. Of course, this means cooking. Normally this would usually involve fresh produce or at least a handle of liquor so cheap and rough it could fuel an engine.
But no. Stress levels are too high for this shit.
We're going straight to doughnuts, motherfuckers.
These are biscuit doughnuts. A rare, if ever seen hybrid between cake and yeast doughnuts as they have both butter and yeast. They're pouffier than a cake doughnut and develop a very crispy exterior much unlike your average doughnut. They also have a very buttery flavor - one so intense that it can be off-putting to some, but if butter is your thing (because if it isn't why are you reading this blog?) then this is totally for you. They're also stupid easy to put together.
It's a project that's stupid easy, and will leave you feeling accomplished even when your bathrooms aren't done and your husband still hasn't finished taking that god damn hot tub apart.
Adapted from Food52
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
Oil, for frying
Mix the yeast into the room-temperature milk, and set it aside while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Mix briefly to combine.
Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until the butter is mostly incorporated into the flour, with some larger flakes of butter still visible.
Add the milk and yeast to the mixer, and mix on a medium speed, just until the mixture starts to cohere and there is no dry flour in the bottom of the bowl.
Dump the mixture out onto a floured surface, and pat and knead it together until it forms a smooth ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Roll the dough out to about 1/2-3/4-inch in thickness, staying thicker than thinner if you can. Cut them out 3-inches in diameter and reform and re-roll the dough as needed.
Place on a rack and allow to rest and rise for 45 minutes in a chill area. Not a warm space as you might normally allow bread to rise as you don't want the butter to melt.
As the doughnuts rise, fill a cooking pot with 2 inches of oil and bring to 350F. If you're not sure what this looks like and don't have a thermometer then take a chopstick or wooden spoon handle and pop it in the oil. When the oil begins to bubble around the wood then your oil is ready. (Look! You learned something today!)
Cook the doughnuts a few at a time so as not to crowd them for about 90 seconds on both sides. Place on a wire rack to drain and cool.
Dredge in sugar or a frosting of some kind. For the maple glaze we used maple syrup and confectioner sugar and mixed the two until we got a thick, but spoonable paste. As for the berry glaze we just blitzed and strained some berries and then took the juice and mixed it with confectioner sugar. The chai-spice sugar mix is simple sugar tossed with ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground fennel, ground star anise, and ground cloves. Easy-peasy!