February Funfetti :: Funfetti Doughnuts

One of my children's favorite things are the sprinkles on top of doughnuts.  Which got me wondering, "Why aren't there sprinkles IN doughnuts?"  Now there are.

Recipe adapted from Top Pot Doughnuts.

1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Four 1/4-ounce packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup funfetti sprinkles
3 ½ cups flour
Boiling water
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a small saucepan, warm the milk, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the sugar over moderate heat until the temperature registers 110° on a candy thermometer. Transfer to the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add the shortening, egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat at medium speed just until the shortening is incorporated. Beat in the salt and baking powder. At low speed, add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough is firm but still tacky (you may need to add a little more or a little less than the called for amount of flour).

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times; pat it into a disk and transfer to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a towel and place the baking sheet in the center of a turned-off oven. Set a large roasting pan on the bottom rack and fill it halfway with boiling water. Close the oven door and let the dough stand until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 12-inch round, 1/2 inch thick. Cut out shapes with a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter for “doughnut holes.” Transfer the doughnuts to the baking sheets and return to the oven. Refill the roasting pan with boiling water and close the oven door. Let stand until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Layer several pieces of paper towel on a baking rack and set aside.  In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 365°. Add 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time; adjust the heat to keep the oil between 350° and 360°. Fry the doughnuts until golden brown, 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towels and let cool.