A while back…. maybe 2 years or so in my typical “I can do anything on the grill” fashion I tossed out the challenge of if we can’t grill it, you shouldn’t be eating it. Which by the way is still our motto. My cousin’s son Logan Grady gave us the challenge of “Can he make doughnuts on the grill”? In principle it sounded easy, except for one small detail… I have NEVER worked with yeast, EVER. In fact it would be safe to say I had a slight fear of working with yeast. Mostly because I just didn’t basically understand it, all the letting it rise, beating it down, exact temperatures, so on and so forth. So I kind of put the little guy and his challenge on the back burner. Today it was “TIME TO MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS”.
What your going to need to make (I laugh even as I type this) doughnuts on the grill.
3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
2 pkgs of active dry yeast
3/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortneing
About 4 or so cups of oil
Begin by, in a large mixer bowel combining 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a sauce pan heat milk, sugar, 1/4 shortening, and salt just till warm (115-120f) and the shortening is almost melted; stir constantly. Add to flour, add eggs. Beat at low speed for about 1/2 a minute, scraping bowl often. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Turn out onto a lightly flourd surface. Knead in enough of the remaiing flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic. (3-5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place into a lightly greased bowl.
Turn once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place till doubled in size (about 1- 1 1/4 hours).
Punch down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half, cover let rest 10 minutes.
Roll each half of dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Luckily I just happened to have one of these that I borrowed from a friend. I’m sure a ball jar lid or glass will work, you just won’t get the “hole”.
Now let rise once again for 45 – 60 minutes.
If your using a charcoal grill, your going to want to time it so that your oil is ready about the same time as your dough is done rising. I found that you’ll want to start your chimney starter soon after you cut your doughnuts. It’s going to take 30 minutes for your coals to get ready and at least another 20 to bring your oil up to temperature. Also once you have your coals hot and on the grill your going to want to start another chimney starter. You’ll need one for bringing the oil up to temperature (375f) and another for cooking.
The trick here is going to be to focus as much heat below the oil as you can, and giving yourself a cool place unless the oil gets too hot. So I would suggest piling all the coals close together in a simple pile. This will concentrate the heat source. Even at this we found it a challenge to hold 375f, but we did.
From here on out it gets a little simpler. Placing the oil directly above the coals, it’s time to wait for it to reach 375f.
Now once it hits our target temperature of 375f it’s time to drop the doughnuts.
The time the recipe gave for frying the doughnuts was 1 minute. I’d just recommend keeping a close eye on them, flipping them when the down side gets a nice little tan and pulling them when both sides look about the same. Yea, I burnt a couple.
Now just let them rest on a paper towel covered plate. Uh… yea it’s healthier that way because the paper towels absorb all the oil from the deep frying.
Now you could eat them all warm and hot off the grill now, but we decided that Logan need a little something extra. We glazed them with a basic power sugar glaze.
1C power sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Just mix your powder sugar, vanilla, and milk until you have the consistency you want. We were looking for a good dipping consistency. Now just dip you doughnuts in the icing or glaze, finish with a few sprinkles and your done. Here they are, all glazed and some with sprinkles and some with out. I’m thinking as I write this blog about maybe next time an apricot glaze.
So after only a short 2 year wait here is Logan’s doughnuts all ready for HIM. Thanks for the challenge Logan. It truly opened up my cooking, and grilling world. And thanks to you I no longer FEAR THE YEAST.