Pas­try chef of­fers tips for treat

Hanukkah

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & LIFE - Con­tin­ued from D 1/3cup­sw­holemilk vanilla bean, slit length­wise, seeds and flesh scraped out and saved Pinch of salt 3 egg yolks 1/4cup­gran­u­lated sugar 1/8 cup all-pur­pose flour 2 1/2tbsp.corn­starch — EX­EC­U­TIVE PAS­TRY CHEF JAN­INA O’LEARY, TRACE RES- TAURA

meno­rah that holds nine can­dles, spin four-sided tops called drei­dels, and eat lots and lots of foods fried in oil to sym­bol­ize the hol­i­day’s mir­a­cle.

Pre­par­ing dough­nuts at home might seem in­tim­i­dat­ing, but it really isn’t. And the re­ward of a warm, fresh, airy dough­nut plump with jam or pas­try cream is just too en­tic­ing. To im­prove my dough­nut-mak­ing skills, I con­sulted with Jan­ina O’Leary, ex­ec­u­tive pas­try chef at Trace Restau­rant. O’Leary’s week­day Drunken Dough­nuts — served with a trio of vodka whipped cream, tequila chile fudge sauce, and bour­bon dulce de leche dip­ping sauces – and week­end Stuffed Dough­nuts — filled with Nutella and vanilla bean pas­try cream — are so pop­u­lar that cus­tomers in­sist they stay on the menu. Even if they aren’t on the menu, O’Leary con­fides, “You can get the dough­nuts any time by re­quest.”

Be­fore her cur­rent gig at Trace, the Del Rio na­tive earned her chops as a grad­u­ate of the French Culi­nary In­sti­tute with a Grand Di­ploma in Pas­try Arts and stints as pas­try chef in fa­mous New York restau­rants such as Daniel, Per Se, Del Posto and her own bak­ery and sand­wich shop, the Vil­lage Tart. O’Leary had more than a few dough­nut-mak­ing tech­niques up her sleeve to share, plus her own amaz­ing recipe for Vanilla Bean Pas­try Cream.

“We’ve ex­per­i­mented

In a saucepan, warm the milk and add scraped vanilla bean and salt over heat un­til it comes to a boil. In a sep­a­rate bowl, whisk to­gether the egg yolks, sugar, flour and corn­starch un­til the mix­ture is com­pletely smooth.

Once the milk is steam­ing, add half of it, whisk­ing con­stantly, to the egg mix­ture. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, con­tinue stir­ring, and heat it for 1-2 min­utes, un­til the cus­tard reaches 170 de­grees on a dig­i­tal ther­mome­ter and is thick. (Pas­try cream will con­tinue to thicken once re­moved from the heat.) Re­move from the heat, chill be­fore fill­ing pas­try. a lot in the kitchen with the dough­nut recipe and tech­nique,” O’Leary says. “We make the dough a day ahead and let it proof (rise). Al­low the dough to rise at least two hours in a nice warm en­vi­ron­ment. But not too warm; in the 80s is about right. It’s great to make the dough a day in ad­vance and re­frig­er­ate overnight.”

This al­lows the glutens to re­lax for the light­est, most ten­der re­sults. The next day, roll out the dough when it is nice and cold. “That way you don’t have to add too much flour, so it doesn’t be­come dry,” she says.

Af­ter ris­ing for an­other hour, the cut-out dough should be at room tem­per­a­ture to fry. “The dough should be really soft and light to the touch and re­quires gen­tle han­dling,” O’Leary says.

Get­ting the right oil tem­per­a­ture is cru­cial. Use a candy or oven ther­mome­ter to mea­sure the oil tem­per­a­ture. “Fry at 350 de­grees. We no­tice that if you fry higher, you get too much of a skin on the out­side and don’t get the fluffy in­side. At 325 de­grees, the dough­nuts are too greasy and too heavy,” O’Leary says.

Even though suf­ganiyot need to be fried right be­fore serv­ing, th­ese de­lec­ta­ble treats can be made part of a Hanukkah party eas­ily. Pre­pare the dough and fill­ings the day be­fore. A few hours be­fore the party, roll out and cut the dough, leav­ing it for the fi­nal rise dur­ing din­ner. Fill dis­pos­able pas­try bags with seed­less jam, Nutella and pas­try cream. To fill and min­i­mize mess, stand each pas­try bag tip down in a tall glass with the plas­tic bag stretched over the lip of the glass. When filled, pull plas­tic off the glass and twist to seal. Set back into the glass be­tween use.

Hot oil and kids aren’t the best com­bi­na­tion. Let the kids spin the drei­del and eat a few pieces of Hanukkah gelt (choco­late coins) while the adults con­verge on the kitchen for the big fry. When the suf­ganiyot are cool enough to han­dle, call your helpers back into the kitchen to squirt in the fill­ings, sprin­kle the sugar, and EAT the warm suf­ganiyot. Plate op­tional. Dis­solve the yeast and 1 ta­ble­spoon of the sugar in the water. Let sit for 10 min­utes. Put 3 cups flour in the bowl of a food pro­ces­sor equipped with a steel blade. Add the dis­solved yeast, milk, whole egg, yolk, salt, lemon zest and the re­main­ing 3 ta­ble­spoons sugar. Process un­til blended. Add the but­ter and process un­til the dough be­comes sticky yet elas­tic. Add some or all of the re­main­ing 1/2 cup flour if needed.

Re­move the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for at least two hours. For best re­sults, pre­pare the dough the day be­fore. Cover the dough tightly with plas­tic wrap sprayed with cook­ing spray or a bit of but­ter. Place the dough in the re­frig­er­a­tor overnight. It will con­tinue to rise.

Dust a pas­try board with flour. Roll out the cold dough to a 1/2-inch thick­ness. Us­ing the top of a glass or a bis­cuit cut­ter, cut into rounds about 2 inches in di­am­e­ter. Place rounds on a bak­ing sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cook­ing spray. Cover tightly with plas­tic wrap that also has been sprayed lightly with cook­ing spray and let rise one hour. Dough should be really soft and light to the touch. Pour 2 inches of oil into a heavy pot and heat to 350 de­grees. Drop the dough­nuts into the oil. Fry a few at a time and don’t over­crowd. Cook about 1-3 min­utes on each side or un­til light golden brown, turn­ing to fry both sides. Drain on pa­per tow­els or a wire rack un­til cool enough to han­dle. Us­ing a pas­try bag filled with the jam, in­sert the tip of the pas­try bag into the mid­dle of the dough­nut. Squeeze out the jam into the dough­nut un­til you feel it about dou­ble in weight. Dust the tops of the suf­ganiyot with con­fec­tion­ers’sugar or roll them in gran­u­lated sugar. Serve im­me­di­ately. Makes about 24 dough­nuts.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL PHO­TOS / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Th­ese tra­di­tional dough­nuts can eas­ily be made at home.

Con­tact An­drea Abel at 4221915. Chef Jan­ina O’Leary is the ex­ec­u­tive pas­try chef for Trace at W Austin and the cre­ator of Drunken Dough­nuts.

The fill­ings can be any type of tasty sweet, in­clud­ing Nutella.

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