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Maple Bars

Serves Makes 12 doughnuts.     adjust servings

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup very warm (105 degree) water
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace (optional; I didn't use it)
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 cups bread flour*
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Peanut oil for frying (I used two 24-ounce bottles)**

For the Maple Icing

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/3 cup (plus more if needed) hot water

Instructions

  1. Combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 cup very warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow it to proof for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
  2. While the yeast is proofing, combine the sugar, mace (if using), salt, baking powder, and 4 cups of flour in a large bowl. When the yeast is ready, add the shortening, egg yolks, and vanilla and mix with the paddle attachment for 1 minute to break down the shortening. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients and mix on low until blended. Repeat with the next 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Switch to the hook attachment and add the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until no white spots remain and then turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for 2 minutes. Add more flour a little bit at a time if necessary. (You don't want the dough sticking to the bowl too much.)
  3. While the dough is kneading, bring a large pot of water to a boil (a little more than 2 quarts of water). Lightly flour a baking sheet.
  4. When the dough is done kneading, transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Form a 6×6? square and cover it with a clean cloth. (Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour too, so the cloth doesn't stick to it. Not that that happened to me.) Place the pan in the oven and place a 9×13? pan on the rack beneath the baking sheet. Pour the boiling water into the 9×13? pan and close the door to the oven. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
  5. When the dough is done rising, remove it from the oven and place it on a lightly floured surface. Bring another pot of water to a boil. Punch down the dough and roll it into an 11×12? rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to trim 1/2? off all the edges of the dough. (so that you have even rectangles. I used the scraps to make a 13th gimp-doughnut.) Cut the dough into 12 rectangles about 5×2?. Use a flexible scraper or large spatula to carefully transfer the dough rectangles back to a floured baking sheet, spaced about 1 1/2? apart. Place the baking sheet uncovered back into the oven and pour the boiling water back into the 9×13? dish. Rise for 30-45 minutes (or more), until the dough is doubled.
  6. When the dough is almost done rising, heat 2+ inches of peanut oil in a large, high-sided pot with a candy thermometer attached to it. Heat it to 350 degrees. When the oil is hot enough, in batches of 2-3, use the rubber scraper to carefully transfer the rectangles to the hot oil and fry for 30-40 seconds and then flip and cook for another 20 seconds or until golden brown. Remove doughnuts from the hot oil, allow to drain on paper towels, and repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. While the dough is cooling, whisk together the icing ingredients. Dip the dome-iest side of the bars into the icing and spread it out if necessary. Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving. (Yeah right!!)

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