The first time Colin and I visited Dahlia Lounge in Seattle, I fell in love with their donuts, made fresh to order. Quite possibly one of the best desserts of my life. Just recently I decided I'd like to try and make my own version, to see if I could duplicate the magic. The results are what I deem to be the lightest, airiest, most scrumptious little pillow bites of happiness. And better yet, the boys agree. I dare you to try and eat just one.
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
- Please please please don't try and substitute regular flour. Cake flour is a must. Trust me, I learned the hard, not so fluffy and wonderful way.
- Since this is a big batch of dough, make sure your bread machine is capable of mixing the ingredients. In my machine, I need to stir everything together with a wooden spoon, in the machine to help it get started.
- I started out thinking donut holes would be perfect for this recipe but learned that the frying results can be inconsistent, due to the thickness of the dough. By making the thinner dough shapes, you'll experience much better results and no doughy centers.
- Don't overcook the dough. You don't want the donuts to get too dark on the outside as it makes each bite much less tender.
- I realize that finding mascarpone can be a challenge if you live in a small town. Don't worry. Simply substitute 1 cup heavy whipping cream for the mascarpone and whip with the vanilla and powdered sugar until stiff. If you're going to keep the cream on hand for more than one hour, add in 1 teaspoon of honey while whipping, so the cream doesn't separate. Substituting cream for the mascarpone results in a cream that isn't quite as decadent, but still very tasty. I do not recommend substituting cream cheese, as it will overpower the flavors in this dessert.
- Makes about 60 bite-sized donuts.
To make dough by hand:
Warm milk and butter in a saucepan until butter is melted. If milk is hot, let it cool to lukewarm. Add yeast, sugar, eggs, and salt and whisk until combined. Add 1 cup of the cake flour and beat well. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and bubbly, approximately one hour. Add remaining 3 cups of cake flour and stir until smooth and combined. (The dough will be stiff). Cover and let rise in a warm place again for another half an hour.
Continue recipe by following the directions above, starting at the point the dough is removed from the bread machine.
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