Your eyes do not deceive you, my darlings. Your prayers have been answered.
Today, I present the most sinfully gratifying breakfast fare to ever hold the honor of being stuffed in my face: homemade maple apple bacon donuts.
Dripping with a luscious maple glaze, coated in crisp crumbles of bacon, and laced with soft and creamy hints of apple, these donuts are sure to tickle your palate in all the right places. Guaranteed.
The first time I heard the myth of maple apple bacon donuts was two years ago. I was getting my MBA and planning a spring break trip to San Francisco with my hubby-to-be. So like any normal dieting bride, I insisted that our itinerary center around sampling every piece of food that had ever been featured on Food Network.
We generally walked around the city (to work off all the food), but the donut shop I was hell-bent on visiting was miles away. Not to be discouraged, I set aside my hatred of public transportation and we took the bus to the Mission District. This proved to be the most expensive bus ride ever, as my idiotic fiance fell for the “guess-which-cup-the-ball-is-under” trick that a homeless person played on him, and we lost $100. In retrospect, there may have been a few red flags I missed before marring myself off to a halfwit.
In any case, we arrived at Dynamo Donut - the mothership of the maple apple bacon donut featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” And once we ordered a couple of these babies, plus a salted caramel one, the $100 stupidity fee we paid on the bus didn’t seem so terrible anymore. We also got a steaming cup of coffee to go with them – but just for me, since dimwit hated coffee. And chocolate. And I wonder why our marriage didn’t work.
Making these is super simple and easy and should take very little time.
And that sentence is an example of a total and complete lie.
It actually took me the entire morning to make these. Probably because I spilled bacon grease on my thumb and had to wrap it in cool tea bags to soothe my wound. And for some reason, frying things is a lot more difficult when your thumb is wrapped in tea bags. Interestingly enough, my burn mark turned into something that looks like a Batman symbol. So overall, I’m not that upset. In fact, I kind of hope it stays. Then I can more easily fool children into thinking I’m a superhero. Which is only half a lie.
By now, I know you are all dying to get into those kitchens and burn your thumb so that you, too, can eat lots of donuts and get a Batman-shaped scar.
And you know what? You should. Because it was totally worth it.
So here is the recipe that I used (not tweaked much since this is the first time I ever made donuts). Knock yourselves out.
For the donuts:
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 2.5 oz shortening
- 2 packages instant yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 23 oz all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 medium apples (gala, fuji, braeburn, honeycrisp) peeled and diced
- 1 lb bacon, cooked until crisp and diced, fat reserved,
- 1/2 – 1 gallons peanut oil
For the glaze:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 1/4 c milk
Warm milk in sauce pan until hot enough to melt shortening. Pour milk over shortening and stir until combined. Place yeast in warm water for 5 minutes.
Place 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat into a frying pan and saute apples over medium heat. Keep diced apples moving constantly until they give up some liquid and pick up a hint of color, about 5 minutes. Remove apples and any remaining bacon fat from pan and add to milk/shortening mixture along with 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon fat.
Lightly beat eggs. Combine water/yeast, apple juice, eggs, nutmeg, milk/shortening/apple mixture, nutmeg, sugar, salt, half the bacon, and half the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on slow speed until flour is incorporated, then increase speed to medium. When well mixed, stop mixer and add remaining flour. Again, slowly increase speed until well mixed. It will be very sticky.
Switch to dough hook and mix on medium until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a shiny ball. Move the sticky, elastic dough to a bowl and allow it to rise for one hour, until it has doubled in size.
Dump dough out onto well floured surface. Flour your hand and gently flatten dough until 3/4″ thick. Flour a 2″ and 1″ biscuit cutter. Carefully cut out 2″ disks and move to wax paper, the use the smaller cutter to cut out the holes. When done, cover with more wax paper and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
In a heavy stock pot, add enough peanut oil to fill to 2-3″ deep and heat to 365 degrees.
Prepare the glaze by whisking together ingredients.
Working in batches of 4-6 donuts, fry dough until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. When done, transfer to cooling rack and let cool for about a minute before dipping in glaze. Return to cooling rack and sprinkle with bacon from the other half you reserved.
(This works best with two people, one frying, one glazing.)
Give the glaze about 5 minutes to set, then enjoy!