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Fried, sweetened pastries, known as donuts, are frequent additions to breakfast and snack menus. Donuts are generally topped with some sort of topping, such as frosting, powdered sugar, or a glaze made from combinations of milk, sugar, and vanilla or cocoa powder. Other flavors may be mixed into the glaze for a specialty donut. Most bakeries include a glazed donut on the menu, as it is a favorite among donut connoisseurs.
Donuts are light, sweet baked goods made by mixing flour, yeast, egg, sugar, and butter into a dough. The batter is shaped into an open circle, or rolled into a ball, and fried in vegetable oil. Once the pastries have cooled, they can be dipped into the glaze. Many bakers add sprinkles or sugar over the glazed donut while it is still wet, since the glaze will bind the toppings to the confection.
A glaze typically begins with heating milk in a saucepan. Vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or other flavorings may be stirred into the milk, but these should either be in liquid form or easily melted into a liquid. Once the milk mixture is smooth, confectioners sugar is whisked in until the glaze thickens slightly, but is still runny enough for donuts to be easily dipped. When making many donuts, the glaze can be kept warm and liquified without burning by pouring it into a bowl, which is placed over another bowl full of hot water.
Each glazed donut will take about five minutes to cool after being coated. Once the confection has cooled, the glaze will form a hard shell around the soft dough, which helps keep the donut from drying out, and adds a desirable texture. While cooling, a glazed donut should be placed on an elevated rack, as the coating may drip.
Ideally, a glazed donut should be eaten the same day it has been baked, since the glaze can absorb into the dough over time, affecting its texture. If more donuts are baked than what will be eaten the same day, the pastries may be frozen in zipper bags prior to glazing. Once they are to be consumed, the baker can warm them in the oven, and prepare fresh glaze in which to dip them. If donuts that have already been glazed cannot be eaten the same day, they should not be stored in sealed containers, since these will lock moisture in and make them soggy. Loosely covering them with paper towel, or placing them in a cardboard box, should keep them fresh enough to be served the following day.