French Pastry Doughnuts
Makes 6-8 doughnuts, depending on size.
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine or shortening
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons hot water
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a doubled up baking sheet with parchment paper.
For the choux base doughnut base, in a medium saucepan, stir the milk, water, salt and sugar together over medium heat. Stir in butter and allow it to melt. Increase heat and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in all the flour at once. Blend well with a wooden spoon, adding in the vanilla and beat briskly until the mixture forms a ball that leaves the sides of the pan. Beat vigorously for a minute or two before removing from the burner and turning out into a mixing bowl. Allow mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
In a food processor or by hand in a large bowl, using a wide whisk or a wooden spoon, add the eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth and glossy. Spoon paste into a large pastry bag fitted with 1/2 inch plain tip and make a concentric circle in each pan. Brush paste with the whipped egg and water. You may also spread the choux paste with a flat metal spatula, or a butter knife.
Bake pastry bases for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 400 F. Bake for another 15 minutes or until pastries are light and medium brown all over. Cool slightly and then dip twice into the glaze.
To make the glaze, whisk everything together well in a medium bowl to a thick glaze consistency. Dip each doughnut once and let set and then one more time.
These are lighter than air and baked, not fried. A batch of these never lasts over an hour.