05 July 2008

Doughnut Workshop

Yay!!! My internet connection is up and running again :D A little digression here. Decided to make a trip to my ISP HQ today and see if I could upgrade my broadband and get the free bundle integrated wireless modem on-the-spot. I did (in just 1/2hr) and with comprehensive step-by-step CD configuration (in less than 1/2hr), I'm back in business! No more frustrations with my faulty old modem and getting it to talk to the router and I've upgraded from 3Mbps to 10Mbps :D
So, the first thing I'm going to blog about is the Doughnut Workshop last Sunday at Shermay Cooking School. It was a demo cum hands-on session by Guest Chef Audrey Tan, Cookbook Author & Pastry Chef-Owner of Freshly Baked by Les Bijoux at Killiney Road. It's been a long time since I last attended a hands-on workshop. Haven't been attending baking/cooking workshop for quite a while, in fact, haven't been baking :(
There was this doughnut craze last year where people literally spent hours queueing for a dozen or 2 of doughnuts of different flavour glazes and filling. I wasn't exactly a fan, found them too sweet with too much filling. But I do love doughnuts, the traditional, nostalgic kind, just a plain old sugar-coated ring or doughnut balls skewered on sticks.
Not familiar with bread making at all since I've been concentrating on cakes and pastries. This would be a good starting point to learn what's proofing, what's 'window test' etc. Chef Audrey started with a demo on the dough. Ingredients are actually quite simple but according to her, bread making is about the 'feel' of the dough. Hmmm, profound indeed.
After the demo, the class broke up in pairs to start our very own dough with Chef Audrey going around to assist us. Most of the kneading was done by the mixer but control of the dough is quite important. Good thing is, we could add more flour anytime if the dough feels too soft.

After kneading for a good 20 mins, we did the 'window test' which is stretching a small lump of dough like a window. If it's translucent and not breaking, it's done. We were supposed to allow the dough to proof at least 10 mins, but to save time, we proceeded to roll the dough and cut the doughnuts.
The raw form of doughnut. Have to leave at least 3cm apart, otherwise the doughnuts will stick together after rising and expanding.
Doughnuts in proofing.
After proofing, it's time to fry the doughnuts.
Aroma of oil and dough filled the room... can't wait to try them. But not exactly healthy huh?

Chef Audrey then showed us the preparation of various glazes, how to colour and flavour them, topped with chopped nuts, sprinkles, drizzles of melted chocolate. Tada! With a little effort, the humble doughnut can turn into an atas-looking pastry too!
We were all excited to go back to the work stations and complete our very own doughnuts. Here's mine :D Besides decorating and packing the doughnuts for takeaway, everyone couldn't resist eating them on-the-spot. They were YUM! Doughnuts are best eaten on the same day instead of overnight.
Still my favourite. The no-frills sugar-coated doughnut balls.
Chef Audrey also taught us how to use the same dough to bake breadrolls - healthier version.
Can't wait to try making this at home, perhaps for a gathering or something. Now, looking forward to Joycelyn's upcoming workshop on Summer Treats: Layer Cakes, Cupcakes & Ice-creams!

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