Happy New Year! Did you know that circular foods are good luck for the new year? A couple years ago my sister and I decided we needed all the luck we could get on New Year’s Eve so we compiled everyone’s good-fortune traditions. If you feel you need an extra bit of mojo in 2014, I’m sure it’s not too late: eat lots of noodles, black-eyed peas, circular foods, and you can try eating grapes at midnight tonight. That last one is not lucky if you choke, keep in mind.
Apparently it also brings good luck if a tall, dark and handsome man knocks on your door on New Year’s Eve. But I feel like that’s a bit of a catch-22 since you need luck to begin with for that one.
I’m sure you will feel lucky after you make these and have soft and tender donuts all sticky and warm and coated in meyer lemon-satsuma mandarin glaze in your kitchen. For extra tang, skip the meyer lemon and use a regular lemon. Or for less, use all mandarin juice. There is lemon and mandarin zest in the donuts, too, which makes them extra bright and flavorful.
The problem with baking donuts rather than frying them is that they can become dried out and crunchy, rather than light, fluffy, and crispy. I’ve cut down on this problem by hydrating the oven with a shallow dish of water as well as using Vegan Dad’s technique of double-insulating the donuts by using stacked baking sheets. So these donuts are tender and light, but not so troublesome or bad for you as their fried alternative.
January can be a kinda long and crummy month, but at least citrus is in season – donuts too.
- 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons soymilk, warmed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening or margarine
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon satsuma mandarin zest
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons satsuma mandarin juice
- 1 teaspoon each of lemon and mandarin zest
- Place the warmed soymilk in a medium-sized bowl and mix in the 1/2 cup sugar. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes to bloom.
- Add in the flour, shortening, salt, and zest and mix until dough comes together. On a floured surface, knead by hand until the dough is smooth.
- Oil the bowl and turn the dough in it until coated. Cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for an hour, or until the dough has doubled.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Stack another baking sheet under each of these (this will better insulate the donuts so they do not brown). Gently roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick. With a donut or cookie cutter or a large, thin-walled glass, cut out large circles and transfer to the baking sheets and then cut out the centers with a smaller cookie cutter or glass (alternatively, don't cut out the centers at all). Continue until there is not enough dough, and cut out smaller circles with the remaining dough (combining and rerolling the dough will lead to piecey, tough donuts).
- When all the donuts and donut holes have been transferred to the baking sheets, cover them with a clean tea towel or loose plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes.
- Fill a bread tin or pie tin halfway up with water and put on the lowest rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the double-stacked baking sheets in the middle rack and bake for 4 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for another 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack with a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper underneath.
- While the donuts are cooking, prepare the glaze. Sift the confectioner's sugar into a medium-sized bowl and then add remaining ingredients and mix well. When the donuts have cooled enough to handle but are still warm, dip the donuts flat-side into the glaze, turn over, and again dip them into the glaze until fully glazed. Again arrange them on the wire rack and let the excess glaze drip onto the parchment paper underneath. Double glaze if desired.
- Eat warm or within the day, although they will keep in a well-sealed container for another day.
- Makes about 6 full-sized donuts and lots of donut holes.