Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Elvis" Yeasted Banana Bread Beer Doughnuts with Creamy Peanut Butter Glaze, Crumbled Bacon, & a Drizzle of Honey

"Elvis" Yeasted Banana Bread Beer Doughnuts with Creamy Peanut Butter Glaze,
Crumbled Bacon, & a Drizzle of Honey
Happy Easter, y'all! I hope that you got to catch up with friends and family, or even better, do an Easter egg hunt. I especially love Easter because of the food. I mean, I guess that goes without saying for any holiday celebration, they each revolve around a certain cuisine, course, or classic food traditions. In my family, we have always done an Easter brunch after attending our church's morning service. I live for brunch, like literally. Some classic recipes that we usually make are quiches, french toast casseroles, cinnamon rolls, eggs benedict, and a honey baked ham. Well, these doughnuts I'm featuring today should most certainly make that beloved list. Now, you're probably a little hesitant to make these, mainly because of the strange flavor combination, but trust me it works. You know how I know that? Elvis "The King" Presley had a fondness for peanut butter, banana, & bacon sandwiches, so much so that he would binge eat, sandwich after sandwich. That's my kinda man, my friends. If you can't trust me, trust Elvis... he's got culinary street cred. Now onto my recipe, I knew I didn't want to make the classic sandwiched treat. I had to rejuvenate it with a little twist and a whole lot of flavor. Enter the Elvis Doughnut. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to make a light + pillowy yeasted doughnut, no heavy or dense cake variations allowed. I scoured the internet looking for a banana flavored yeasted doughnut recipe, but to no avail. So, I had to play around with my favorite recipe, which proved to be quite the task. I kept thinking about what I could add that would banana flavor, but wouldn't compromise the lovely texture that comes from yeast + proofing. The dough includes three elements of banana... mashed ripe bananas, banana extract, and BANANA BREAD BEER. You heard me right, I found a Banana Bread Beer at my local grocery store and it tastes exactly like banana bread (epic). The only thing that you have to do is measuring out the required amount and let it become flat in the refrigerator overnight (or you can whisk the crap out of it to speed up the process). Doughnuts are already delicious, but then you add a flavored beer, and it becomes untouchable. After you fry them up, you've got to dunk n' double dip them into the Creamy Peanut Butter Glaze, so they are nice + covered.  I personally like to submerge the entire doughnut, let the excess glaze drip off, and then allow the thin coating to harden. The next step is just another dunking, but this time, you want a thick layer on the top of the doughnut. This will help to keep the toppings from falling off, and well, it also tastes so much better! Now y'all know me well enough by now that we are bacon-lovin' people. So, we fried up a whole mess of thick-cut bacon until they became extra crispy, and then we finely chopped them into homemade, rustic bacon bits. And these bacon bits cover a lot of real estate, "doughnut real estate" to be exact. All that's left for you to do is drizzling the honey for the final garnish. Who knew that these flavors could work so harmoniously with each other? Well, apparently Elvis did, and boy was he right!! Enjoy :)
Look at that thick & creamy layer of peanut butter glaze...
There's nothing more satisfying than a big 'ole stack of doughnuts!
Homemade Bacon Bits

For the Yeasted Banana Bread Doughnuts:
2 Very Ripe Bananas, Thoroughly Mashed
1C + 2T Banana Bread Beer, Flat (all of the carbonation has to be removed)
2T Milk Powder
¼C Sugar
2 ½t Active Dry Yeast
2 Whole Large eggs, Beaten
1 Stick + 2T Unsalted Butter, Browned & Cooled
1t Vanilla & Banana Flavored Extract (add the banana if you want a really strong flavor)
4 ½C AP Flour
¼t Salt & Cinnamon
A pinch of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1Q Canola, For Frying

For the Peanut Butter Glaze:
1 ½C Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
4T Homemade Peanut Butter
1t Vanilla Extract
4T Whole Milk (or a little more if it is too thick)
Pinch of Salt

For the “Elvis” Doughnuts:
Yeasted Banana Bread Doughnuts, Fried
Prepared Peanut Butter Glaze
Crispy Bacon Pieces, For Topping (we used about 2-3lbs of bacon for 24 doughnuts)
Honey, For Drizzling (optional)

1. To Flatten the Beer:Measure out the banana bread bear and leave open overnight, or pour beer into a bowl and whisk vigorously to remove some carbonation.
2. For the Mashed Bananas Component: Place the ripe bananas into a mixing bowl and mash until only little pieces of bananas remain. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the mashed bananas to the pan. While cooking the bananas, use a rubber spatula to keep the mixture moving, so there will not be any burnt spots. This process will help remove extra liquid from the bananas (it should be thicker).  I cooked my mixture for 10 minutes, but it could require another 5-10 minutes if you have bigger or riper bananas. Remove the reduced banana mash to a mixing bowl and let it cool completely.
3. To Make the Dough: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and spices. Once the beer has rested, whisk in 2T of milk powder (since I substituted beer for milk, I added milk powder for a little creaminess). Warm the beer and milk powder is nice and warm, but not overly hot. Add sugar to milk. Stir to dissolve. Add yeast into a small bowl. Pour beer/milk/sugar mixture over yeast. Stir gently, and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Stir the brown butter and beaten eggs into the cooled bananas, along with the vanilla and banana flavored extract (if you are using it). Add the banana mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour in the yeast mixture. Allow the dough hook to stir this mixture for a couple of minutes, making sure it’s thoroughly combine. With the mixer still going, add ½C increments of the flour mixture until it is all gone. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, and then turn the mixer on the same speed for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the mixer. Turn on the mixer for 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer off and let the dough sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Toss the dough to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and place straight in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
4. To Make the Doughnuts: Remove the bowl from the fridge and turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to ¼inch thickness. Using a 3inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out the remaining dough and once again cut as many as you can (repeat until you can’t anymore). Cut holes out of each round using a 1-½inch cutter. Cover with a large tea towel and place in a warm place in your kitchen. Allow the doughnuts to rise undisturbed for at least one hour. They should be visibly puffier and appear to be airy.
5. To Fry the Doughnuts:Heat the canola oil in your deep fryer to 375 degrees. One to two doughnuts at a time gently grab the doughnuts and ease them into the hot oil. Allow them to cook 1 minute on each side; they will brown very quickly. Remove the doughnut from the oil with a slotted spoon, allowing all the oil to drip off. Place the doughnut immediately on paper towels, for about 5 seconds, and then flip it. Allow the doughnuts to cool slightly.
6. For the Peanut Butter Glaze:Add all of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Once it is ready, immediately glaze the doughnuts, by dipping each doughnut into the glaze until submerged. Remove from the glaze, and then turn right side up on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (to catch extra glaze). Top the glazed doughnuts with a thick coating of crumbled bacon. Just a tip: we like to double dip our doughnuts, so that they have a thick glaze. So, we doubled the glaze recipe. After the second glazing, we immediately dipped them into the crumbled bacon (the technique you use is up to you). 
7. Right before serving, drizzle the tops of the doughnuts with honey. Enjoy... immediately!!

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