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In an attempt to stay trendy with my cooking, I’m succumbing to the maple bacon flavor craze.  And really, theres no reason not to.  It’s all the rage for a reason.  It’s bacon!  Come on people!  Mix it into a doughnut, and you’ve created a masterpiece!  I made mine miniature, cause whats cuter than little doughnut?!

I also have a new found respect for those early morning bakers!  Doughnuts just aren’t as good the morning after.  Freshness is key, and in order to achieve maximum morning yumminess, you have to set the alarm for 4:30 am… no snoozing!  I remember (in my younger years) leaving the bar, at closing time, and driving by the local bakery.  Through the window, you would see this cute old woman, working away to make the towns best doughnuts.  I never thought I would be like that old lady… getting up at dark, to sit through 2 dough risings before frying a ton of delectable pastries.  Oh, how life changes you!  And sooner than you think!

You’re going to need a 1/4 cup of solid bacon grease, so I suggest prepping that the night/day before.  Just cook up a package of bacon and strain the grease through a coffee filter. (To separate all those little brown crumby pieces)  Then refrigerate the grease till it becomes solid.  Voila!  Nice, pure bacon grease!  Oh and don’t eat all that delicious bacon!  Chop it up into little pieces and reserve it for the dough.

I adapted the recipe from how sweet it is.  I ended up using 1/2 all purpose flour and 1/2 bread flour.  I think it really helped to keep the doughnuts nice and fluffy.  And I’m not one for a rich icing, so I just whipped up a simple maple vanilla glaze.  Quite tasty and addicting, if I do say so myself!

(Just look at that fluffy inside! ↑  Drool…)

Bacon Doughnuts

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup bacon grease, solid

2 1/4 tsp yeast

1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)

1 egg, beaten

2 1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 1/2 cups flour (1/2 bread & 1/2 all purpose)

8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

Heat the milk to just before boiling.  Pour the warm milk into a bowl with the bacon grease and stir together.  Set aside to cool back down to room temperature.  Mix the warm water (110 degrees) with yeast, in the bowl of a mixer, and allow it to proof till foamy.  With the paddle attachment, mix in the eggs, sugar, salt nutmeg and the cooled milk/bacon grease mixture.  Add the flour a little a time.  When it’s almost all incorporated, pour in the bacon crumbs and replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook.  Add the rest of the flour and mix on medium till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  (You may need to add a couple extra tablespoons of flour to get the dough smooth.)

Transfer to a bowl coated with cooking spray, cover and allow to rise for about an hour, or doubled in size.  Once risen, roll the dough out, on a floured surface, to about a 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into dough nut shapes and allow to rise one more time for about a 1/2 an hour.  (I cut mine with a small glass and used a tabasco cap to punch the holes out in the middle!)

Now your ready to fry ’em!  Drop the doughnuts into a deep fryer, or oil heated in a deep skillet.  Flip the doughnuts after about 30 seconds, or when they turn golden, and cook the other side.  Drain on paper towels before glazing.

Maple Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 tsp maple extract

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup milk

Mix the sugar and extract with a little milk at a time, till you reach your desired consistency.  I didn’t quite use all the milk.  Dip the dough nuts in, or brush the glaze on top.  Let the doughnuts sit on a wire rack till the glaze is hardened.