The only thing warmer than the bread coming out of Jackie's oven was the welcome she gave me while I spent the morning with her last week. She mentioned on facebook that she was making pumpkin spice lattés, and I teased her that my beverage of choice was a salted caramel mocha. Of course she had one waiting for me. She also made homemade apple doughnuts. Yes. In addition to baking 3 loaves of rustic white, 6 loaves of sourdough, 6 loaves of pumpkin raisin, 6 loaves of cinnamon raisin swirl and a batch of buttermilk biscuits, she made doughnuts. And apple cider and caramel glazes for them. All I did was take pictures.
We talked a lot. I think that's the thing about food, and why I like taking pictures of it so much. It's about connection. Sitting in Jackie's kitchen, dogs and cats underfoot, we chatted as she kneaded and I snapped away. The people who came to get the bread needed that connection too. They came for the bread, but they wanted to stay and talk a bit. To spend some time. Jackie talked about it too, that connection. You don't get it from the bread that you buy from a store, she pointed out. Machine-made loaves. They're fine, but with this? Her hands have been on this bread. It connects us, the food we share. The bread we break together.
Baked Apple Doughnuts with Caramel Drizzle (from Bakers Royale and adapted from Artisan Bread in Five)
For the doughnuts
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 small apples (skin off or on, depending on your preference), diced
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks!) butter
For the Apple Cider Glaze, Jackie combined confectioners sugar and apple cider. Perhaps she can give us approximate ratios in the comments? :)
For the Caramel Drizzle, go here.
Heat oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the water, yeast, salt, eggs, apples, flour and butter in a bowl and stir until mixed.
Let dough rest, covered, at room temperature for two hours. Transfer to a refrigerator and chill for three hours.
Remove from refrigerator and transfer to a pastry bag with a round tip. Jackie used a ziploc with the tip cut off, and, failing that, spooned the batter into the rounds of a doughnut pan. The doughnuts could also be spooned free-form on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 18 minutes, remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack before applying glaze. Makes 18 doughnuts. (Or less. Or more.)
Best when enjoyed fresh from the oven.