Oven-Baked Carnival Donuts

donut

 

Today is Altweiber (carnivals Thursday) and it is so much fun to look at all the Fasching and carnival pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Our friends in Germany are busy celebrating: Dressed up as giraffes, mermaids, cowboys, burglars and consorts, they are really enjoying the carnivals balls and parties. We do have Mardi Gras here in Tennessee, unfortunately nobody really celebrates it. We went out with some German friends on the weekend and everyone of us was a bit wistful. Nevertheless, I have already celebrated the fifth season in the past years more than enough, and to be honest, my celebration probably accounts for some additional people. During our studies we started carnival-like on Fettdonnerstag (the Aachen counterpart to Altweiber) and on Friday we drove to Aschaffenburg, to celebrate the rest of carnival over there with everything that goes with it. On Ash Wednesday, I was usually so tired that I welcomed Lent, with which I actually have nothing to do, and pulled a blanket over my head for the whole day.

This kind of extended celebration is not possible right now, however, that is absolutely fine with me. I am sure I have more chances to go to Fasching or carnival. Until then, I am just glad to have little things that I can enjoy here as well and which remind me of the wonderfully crazy party shaking up (southern and western) Germany for a few days. I am talking about Faschingskrapfen, a kind of German carnival donuts. They are not only called Krapfen, in Lower Franconia we say Kreppel, in Aachen you can find them as Berliner and some people even say Pfannkuchen (pancakes). This special pastry brings a bit of home and a bit of carnival feeling to our kitchen in East Tennessee.

 

donut

 

This German treat is, if you prepare it in the classic way, a sweet, fried yeast dough, topped with icing sugar and filled with jam. Kreppel in Germany are the closest you can get to the American donut and are in no way inferior to the US classic. Even the owner of Makers Donuts in North Knoxville, Sara and Sean, who are the donut masters in town, were quite excited about them and really enjoyed my Kreppels.

In my very own version I used a homemade crème pâtissière instead of jam for the filling. The recipe for this delicious vanilla cream will be on the blog next week, so stay tuned for this! I did not deep-fry the lemon zest flavored dough, instead I decided to bake it. Deep frying is not my favorite technique so I used the oven to make the Kreppel. I am not sure if this is healthier, nevertheless it is much easier. Baking really has some advantages which make it more than interesting for me: you do not have to heat half a gallon of oil and keep it to temperature and you do not have to open all the windows in your flat after the frying action at freezing temperatures. Just place your Kreppel in the oven and the wonderfully sweet, delicately lemony fragrance, which I personally would like to bottle, will fill your kitchen within minutes.

So, put some of those little carnival gems in the oven and bring the aroma of the fifth season to your home. You will see, the crème pâtissière filled and with icing sugar topped treats are Fasching and carnival for your taste buds!

 

donut

 

INGREDIENTS (for 10 donuts)

½ cup milk

0.15 oz active dry yeast

8.8 oz bread flour

1.4 oz icing sugar

0.15 oz vanilla sugar

¼ tsp salt

zest of ½ lemon

2 eggs

2.1 oz unsalted butter

filling (jam or crème pâtissière)

 

PREPARATION

Cut 1.8 oz of butter into 0.2” x 0.2” cubes and put aside. For the Starter, warm the milk in a saucepan. Remove it from the heat when it is lukewarm. Mix with 1.4 oz of flour and stir in the yeast and sugar. Cover and allow to rest for about 30 minutes until the volume has doubled.

Sift remaining flour in a bowl. Add the butter cubes and knead with the flour. You can use a hand mixer or your food processor. I like to work the mixture with my hands. It is easy and this way you can make sure that everything is mixed well.

Finely grate the peel of your lemon. Be sure to use only the outer, yellow part. The delicious flavors are here. The white skin beneath it is very healthy, however, it is bitter and therefore not suitable for our purposes. Add the zest to another bowl and mix it with vanilla sugar and 1.1 oz sifted icing sugar. Beat two eggs and stir well with the lemon-sugar mixture.

Subsequently, blend the remaining flour, the starter and the egg-lemon-sugar mixture into a smooth dough which should rise in a warm place for at least an hour.

 

donut

 

After the rise, put the very airy and slightly sticky dough with a floured spatula on a floured work surface. Now sprinkle some flour over the dough and form it into a roll. Cut the roll into 10 pieces of 1.8 oz each. It is really handy to use a scale, to create uniform and (almost) the same looking pieces.

 

Shape your pieces into tiny buns. You can use a special technique that is easy to learn. First flattened the dough pieces slightly, then fold one third inwards and the opposite third over it. Pick up the piece and shape it into a small bag. Turn it over and set it, folded side down, on the floured work surface. Put your hand like a claw over it and, with a bit of pressure, shape the dough into a ball in a circular motion. Do this with all dough pieces.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper, flour it slightly and place the shaped dough pieces on the tray. Lightly squeeze them with a second tray or a large chopping board, remove and let rise again for 30 minutes.

 

Preheat the oven to 390 °F. Bake your carnival donuts using the middle rack for 12 to 13 minutes until golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pot and prepare your filling material. I used Crème Patissière, a homemade vanilla pastry cream (the recipe will be available on the blog next week!). If you prefer jam, combine it with a little water, heat the mixture and sieve it before filling. Take an icing bag and pour in the cream or jam. For the lack of such a tool, I made DIY piping bags according to the instructions of the wonderful Kuchenfee Lisa (German for cake fairy). It is handy to punch a hole into the cooled carnival donuts before you fill them. You can use a chopstick or the handle of your cooking spoon. Push the tip of your icing or piping bag into the premade opening and fill the carnival donuts until the cream or jam spills out a bit.

 

donut

 

Put the filled carnival donuts back on the tray, brush them with melted butter and top them with icing sugar. Helau, Alaaf and enjoy, you Narren and Jecken!

OVEN-BAKED CARNIVAL DONUTS

02/08/2018
: for 10 donuts

By:

Ingredients
  • ½ cup milk
  • 0.15 oz active dry yeast
  • 8.8 oz bread flour
  • 1.4 oz icing sugar
  • 0.15 oz vanilla sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.1 oz unsalted butter
  • filling (jam or crème pâtissière)
Directions
  • Step 1 Cut 1.8 oz of butter into 0.2” x 0.2” cubes and put aside.
  • Step 2 For the Starter, warm the milk in a saucepan. Remove it from the heat when it is lukewarm. Mix with 1.4 oz of flour and stir in the yeast and sugar. Cover and allow to rest for about 30 minutes until the volume has doubled.
  • Step 3 Sift remaining flour in a bowl. Add the butter cubes and knead with the flour. You can use a hand mixer or your food processor. I like to work the mixture with my hands. It is easy and this way you can make sure that everything is mixed well.
  • Step 4 Finely grate the peel of your lemon. Be sure to use only the outer, yellow part. The delicious flavors are here. The white skin beneath it is very healthy, however, it is bitter and therefore not suitable for our purposes. Add the zest to another bowl and mix it with vanilla sugar and 1.1 oz sifted icing sugar. Beat two eggs and stir well with the lemon-sugar mixture.
  • Step 5 Subsequently, blend the remaining flour, the starter and the egg-lemon-sugar mixture into a smooth dough which should rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
  • Step 6 After the rise, put the very airy and slightly sticky dough with a floured spatula on a floured work surface. Now sprinkle some flour over the dough and form it into a roll. Cut the roll into 10 pieces of 1.8 oz each. It is really handy to use a scale, to create uniform and (almost) the same looking pieces.
  • Step 7 Shape your pieces into tiny buns. You can use a special technique that is easy to learn. First flattened the dough pieces slightly, then fold one third inwards and the opposite third over it. Pick up the piece and shape it into a small bag. Turn it over and set it, folded side down, on the floured work surface. Put your hand like a claw over it and, with a bit of pressure, shape the dough into a ball in a circular motion. Do this with all dough pieces.
  • Step 8 Line a baking tray with parchment paper, flour it slightly and place the shaped dough pieces on the tray. Lightly squeeze them with a second tray or a large chopping board, remove and let rise again for 30 minutes.
  • Step 9 Preheat the oven to 390 °F. Bake your carnival donuts using the middle rack for 12 to 13 minutes until golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  • Step 10 Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pot and prepare your filling material. I used Crème Patissière, a homemade vanilla pastry cream (the recipe will be available on the blog next week!). If you prefer jam, combine it with a little water, heat the mixture and sieve it before filling. Take an icing bag and pour in the cream or jam. For the lack of such a tool, I made DIY piping bags according to the instructions of the wonderful Kuchenfee Lisa (German for cake fairy). It is handy to punch a hole into the cooled carnival donuts before you fill them. You can use a chopstick or the handle of your cooking spoon. Push the tip of your icing or piping bag into the premade opening and fill the carnival donuts until the cream or jam spills out a bit.
  • Step 11 Put the filled carnival donuts back on the tray, brush them with melted butter and top them with icing sugar. Helau, Alaaf and enjoy, you Narren and Jecken!

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