15 December 2009

My First Blog & the Wagon is in the Barn

It's Winter in Salt Lake City evidenced by the accumulation of snow on the ground. The wagon is in the barn although the barn is in the form a a 20' enclosed trailer. But, that hasn't kept me from trying to figure out how to keep the heat under a Dutch oven in 8" of snow. Answer? Wear gloves that won't melt and have plenty of briquettes or dry firewood on hand. First of all, on a nice day, the heat is usually good to go for about 45 minutes to an hour. Today? 30 minutes at best (there was a very slight breeze but it sure made a difference).

So, I was a tad lazy today and didn't want to try anything that required baking so I thought I would give doughnuts a try. Just required bottom heat so I didn't really have to worry about top and bottom formulas for baking in a DO. Just needed to get in tune with the heat required to get a good deep fry for the doughnuts.

You want the oil to just be at a nice roll but not more than a steady, active bubble. Uh, a thermometer for deep frying helps. The secret isn't in the flame but in the white heat from the coals. If I average out what I've seen on several web pages 365 degrees seems to be the recommended temperature.

Well, the bottom line is that when you're cooking out-of-doors there will be some learning curve and experimentation. Here ya go with the recipe. I used a 12" standard DO:

Disclaimer: Be careful, use common sense, and wear protective gear when working with hot oil - at least gloves and eye protection.

Dutch Oven Doughnuts
3 c Flour
1 tb Cooking oil
3/4 c Milk
2 ts Cream of tarter
1 c Sugar
1/2 ts Powdered ginger
2 Eggs
1/2 ts Powdered cinnamon
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Nutmeg
1 ts Baking soda

Combine all ingredients into a smooth dough, rolled flat to 1/2" thickness. Using can covers (or what you have) cut into doughnut shape, using additional flour to keep dough from sticking. If no suitable doughnut cutters are available, cut into 2" squares. Fry in hot fat (OK, cooking oil - but back in the day donuts tasted pretty good fried in fat) until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. While frying, keep the fat hot enough to actively bubble.