Last Day at The Lay

I'd say I'm doing well at keeping up with this blogging stuff, but it's Tuesday, and the last 4ish days have blown past me. If you take into account how much sleep I've gotten in the last 4 days, though, it makes a little more sense.

But I am Done. Finished. Finuto. 

I officially rounded out my last week, and am done with Pretzel Land, for almost-good.

I still have to go back at some point to collect the donation items for Foster the Fuzzies, but I think I can bear returning for a big box of donated items. Seriously, I'm excited that the box that sat empty for so long, will be actually full to the top before I take it to the shelter. I'll share a photo or two once I get it all gathered and ready to drop off. 

To celebrate my last day (and to curb an insane, two-day craving), I made donuts. I vlogged a bit while doing so, but I haven't quite gotten that far in my life to posting, so for now you'll have to be satisfied with what's posted here. If you're interested in the donuts, the recipe is at the bottom of this page. I gotta say, the recipe still needs tweaked a bit--they were a bit heavy for what should be a regular donut, but they definitely hit the spot. Saturday morning donuts aside, after finishing my last day, I came home, plopped on the couch, and the dog and I cuddled for a good couple of hours. He fell asleep, per our normal routine, but I was loaded up on so much caffeine, I eventually got up to start working on the house. I had an appointment with a realtor Friday at 3, but long story short, I cancelled.

I spent this past weekend at home with the family, and returned yesterday for a survey of the home with the movers. After all twenty minutes that that took, I laid down with the dog (surprise), and fell asleep basically until this morning. Early rise at 06:30, and I'm loaded on coffee and a good scramble, and am ready to keep working on the house. 

If I get the trim all finished today, I can load up the truck with stuff to take back to Fostoria. I need to get a truck bed cover and a toolbox put on the bed of my truck, and make a few appointments to get the truck tuned up this week. As the sun thaws out the morning frost, I feel myself getting more and more excited for the day.

I'll keep this post short and sweet (mmm...fried sweet dough...) but I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth, just yet. I think I've started to make up the sleep deficit I've been living in, and wonderful things are happening with the warmer weather, included. It's a wonderful mix of floating on cloud-nine, warm sunshine, cool spring air, and excitement for what every rising sun brings.

 

Glazed Donuts, Round 1

1/4c. Warm Water
1 pouch Dry Active Yeast
3/4 c. Warm Coconut Milk (full of the fatty goodness, i.e. from a can)
1/4c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbs (1/4c.) melted vegan butter (next time, I might use a little less, or omit completely...)
4 tsp. egg replacer mixed with 4 tbs. warm water
3 c. flour
Vegetable/Canola Oil

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Mix together water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar, until yeast blooms. Incorporate coconut milk, the rest of the sugar, salt, butter, and half of the flour into a stand mixer. Add in egg replacer. Add in the remaining flour and using the dough hook, give it a good knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is pulling free from the side. Once the dough is a solid, soft consistency, remove the hook and cover the bowl with either plastic wrap or a towel. If the dough is too dry while mixing, add a little water; if it's too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Place the dough somewhere warm to rise, until it's doubled in size.

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Roll out the dough until it's anywhere between 1/4"-3/4" thick, depending on personal preference. Using a glass or a cookie cutter, cut out your donuts and move them to a baking sheet for a second rise. Again, place them somewhere warm until they've doubled in size. Once they've puffed, get the oil going.  

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Fill a pot/deep pan about 2" deep with oil and get it nice and hot. You can test if the oil is ready by either dropping in a scrap of dough, or by sticking a wooden chopstick (spoon, anything made of actual wood) into the oil. If it immediately starts to bubble around it, it's good to go. Drop them in, about 30sec per side, or until they're the desired shade of brown. Flip, and once they're done, remove from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined tray or plate to drain.

 

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If you're making these to look pretty, it's actually very important you let these fully cool before glazing. If you're like me and want them while they're still hot (right NOW), you'll get a sweet drippy mess of deliciousness when you mix:

1.5-2c. confectioner's sugar

2+ tbs water

 

Start with the above ratio and add your liquid in small amounts until the glaze is the desired consistency. You'll want it a bit on the thinner side so it will fully coat the donuts. Dip the donuts into the glaze and let them drip dry completely on a wire rack. I dipped some in while they were warm and sprinkled cinnamon on top (tasted like a cinnamon dusted cake donut), and for a pop of color, I added 1tbs beet root powder to my glaze to make it a vibrant, deep rose-red.

These were perfect to cure my donut craving, but they were a bit dense for the family's liking. Of course, they ate every last one, but some feedback was to make them lighter. Next time, I might do a single rise, or I might just turn up the heat in my house. They didn't puff nearly as much as I would have liked them to. The one's where I didn't punch a hole out of the center, I thought about rolling in granulated sugar. My brother said they reminded him of fried fair food, but I thought those ones in particular reminded me off the sugar buns you can get at a Chinese buffet. Those were also made from the reworked dough, so they were destined to be tougher and more glutinous...

Anyways, the dough itself is a delicious sweet dough, so even without the glaze, I think they're pretty solid. The recipe could use a little more work, but if you're like me and find yourself craving a donut without eggs or milk (so no Dunkin' Donuts or Mary Anne's...), then give these guys a whirl. If you know how to make them lighter and more fluffy, well, I'm all ears! Leave me a comment with some fried food advice!