I love doughnuts. There is something wonderfully fun about fried dough smothered in a sweet glaze. Doughnuts are perfect for parties, meetings, brunches, and breakfasts with a hot cup of coffee.
If you have never had a homemade doughnut you really must try one. They are pretty easy to make, you can even make the dough the night before and then cut and proof the dough the next morning to save time, and freshly glazed they are the stuff of family legends.
I decided to take my favorite doughnut, the apple fritter, and combine it with my other deep and abiding love. Bacon. The result is a sweet apple doughnut with nuggets of crunchy bacon scattered throughout. You could add more bacon if you wanted, but I wanted the bacon to be a random surprise to tease the taste buds. Glazed with maple and bourbon, this is what I consider the perfect doughnut.
Apple Bacon Fritters Yield 1 dozen
4 ounces water, heated to 110F
1/4 ounce dry active yeast
1 cup diced tart apple
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
3/4 ounce vegetable shortening
1 ounce sugar
1/8 ounce salt
1/8 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
1/2 ounce non-fat dry milk
8 1/2 ounces bread flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Maple Bourbon Glaze Enough to glaze 12 fritters or doughnuts
1/4 teaspoon gelatin
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
In the bowl of a mixer combine the yeast and the water. Allow to sit for ten minutes.
While the yeast activates mix the apples, bacon, two tablespoons of sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the same bowl as the yeast mixture mix the shortening, one ounce of sugar, salt, mace or nutmeg, dry milk, egg, and bread flour. Mix with the dough hook on low speed for three minutes. Check the hydration of the dough by touching it – if it is sticky but does not stick it is ready. Mix on medium speed for six minutes.
Add the apples mixture to the bowl and mix on low speed for three minutes, until the apples and bacon are well combined.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to ferment for two hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has fermented turn out onto a well floured board and with the palm of your hand press out the dough into a large rectangle. Cut the dough into the desired shapes, I find squares work well for me, and cover with plastic for thirty minutes.
While the fritters proof heat at least three inches of oil in a deep pot, allowing for two inches of space at the top of the pan to prevent overflow, to 375 F.
Once proofed, fry the fritters in the hot oil for one minute per side. Once fried drain on paper towels while you fry the remaining fritters.
Let the fritters cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.
In a small bowl mix the gelatin with the water. Allow to bloom for ten minutes. Once bloomed heat in the microwave for 10 seconds until it is melted.
In a large bowl mix the gelatin with the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
Dip the warm fritters into the glaze and turn to coat. Let the excess drip off before transferring to a rack to dry.
Enjoy warm, or at room temperature.