Total Preparation Time – About 3 Hours
Time Spent Waiting – About 2 Hours
Cooking Time – About 3 Minutes Per Batch
I have always wanted to take a crack at making Yeast Doughnuts. I don’t know of many people who aren’t fond of a good Doughnut. Doughnuts come in many different shapes and sizes. You have traditional rings, holes, twists, ribbons, filled, etc. Then there are the types of toppings (Glaze, Ganache, Icing, Frosting, Cinnamon Sugar, Powdered Sugar, etc.) and fillings (Jams, Nutella, Curd, Cream, Custard, etc.). In reality, you are only limited by your creativity.
As always, I reviewed a number of different recipes. There was one recipe that stood out at christinascucina.com, the Perfect Yeast Doughnut (go check it out). This recipe was intriguing because it used Buttermilk. Buttermilk is interesting because of the flavor it brings to recipes and that it also makes for a lighter texture in baked goods. This seemed promising, since one of the qualities that I feel a Yeast Doughnut should have is being light and airy. I made slight modifications to the original recipe, like using a stand mixer instead of a bread maker.
As with all yeast doughs, you start with the yeast. I highly recommend activating the yeast per the instructions on the yeast package. I use Fleischmann’s Dry Active Yeast, which I use 2 ¼ Teaspoons of Yeast, 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar, and ¼ Cup of Warm Water (between 100 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The advantage of activating the yeast is knowing that its working before you get to far into the recipe. The yeast should be extremely foamy within 5 – 8 minutes. If it isn’t foamy, then something is likely wrong like old yeast, water too hot, something else.
While the yeast is activating, in a medium sized bowl, beat together the Buttermilk (5 Tablespoons), Water (6 Tablespoons), Melted Butter (2 Tablespoons), and Egg (1 Large). In a stand mixer, whisk together the dry ingredients Flour (3 ½ Cups), Sugar (2 Tablespoons), Salt (1 Teaspoon). When the yeast is ready, using a dough hook, mix together the Dry and Wet Ingredients. As the dry ingredients are moistened, add the yeast mixture. Mix the dough for about 8 minutes at a medium speed. The dough should be slightly sticky. If it’s too dry, mix in water one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too wet, mix in flour one tablespoon at a time.
Lightly oil a large bowl. I like to put 1 – 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in the bottom of the bowl. And, using a folded paper towel, swish the oil around until the bowl is well coated. Put a little flour on your hands, to prevent the dough from sticking, and transfer the dough into the oiled bowl. The dough may stick a little to the mixing bowl, which is ok. Just work the dough out with your hands or a dough scraper. Put the dough oil side up in the bowl, and cover with a dish towel. Place the dough in a warm place to raise. Let raise for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Once you are happy with how much the dough has raised, prepare a few baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into two halves and turn half of the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a sheet about ½ inch thick. At this point, you need to commit to what you are making. Because we didn’t have a doughnut cutter, we used a large cup with thin edges and a small shot glass for my cutting. Regardless of having a doughnut cutter or a makeshift cutter, flour the edges of the cutter to prevent the dough from sticking.
We cut disks first and then cut holes in the middle of some. The holes can become doughnut holes. The disks with holes are your traditional doughnuts. The disks without holes are your filled doughnuts. After cutting and transferring the doughnuts to a baking pan, take the left-over dough and form it into a ball. Roll the ball out to ½ inch thickness and cut it into more doughnuts. Repeat this process until you run out of dough to cut doughnuts. We took the last little bit and cut it into more doughnut holes.
Take your cut doughnuts and holes and cover them with a dish towel. Place the baking pans someplace warm to let the doughnuts raise for about an hour.
With about 15 minutes left in your second raising, start to heat your oil. Take about 2 quarts of vegetable or canola oil and pour it into a 6-quart pot. Using medium high heat, start to heat the oil. While the oil is heating, take a candy thermometer or kitchen thermometer capable of measuring over 400 degrees Fahrenheit and put it in the oil. Position the thermometer above the bottom of the pan, so it isn’t touching the pan but submerged in the oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees but try not to go higher than 375 degrees.
When the temperature of the oil reaches 350, take doughnuts, and start placing them gently into the oil, careful not to splash oil. I added the doughnuts 3 – 4 at a time to prevent crowding and to keep the oil from cooling to much. The doughnuts cook for about 90 seconds a side. This is a guideline. However, I watched the doughnuts closely, and when they reached a golden brown (not dark brown), I flipped them. When the doughnuts have reached a nice golden brown on both sides, with a slotted spoon, move the doughnuts to a cooling rack covered in 2 layers of paper towels. Make sure the oil heats back up to 350 degrees before cooking the next batch.
Note: I had some problems with the doughnut holes. For some reason a couple of the holes would not flip over. So, I ended up having to hold them under with my slotted spoon. I’ll have to research a better way to cook doughnut holes.
Before you do any glazing or filling, let the doughnuts cool until they are slightly warm to the touch. While the doughnuts are cooling, you can prep your topping and fillings.
We used a basic glaze recipe. Take a cup of powdered sugar and add a 1 ½ tablespoons of water. Stir with a spoon until the sugar is dissolved. It should be fairly thick, about the consistency of molasses. If the sugar is not dissolving completely, add water a ¼ teaspoon at a time. Like most things in the kitchen, there is a fine balance between too much, too little, and just right. You can make more as needed.
For fillings, we used a raspberry jam and Nutella. For the jam, measure about a ½ cup of jam and stir in ½ teaspoon of water. This will thin the jam enough so that it can be piped into the filled doughnuts. For the Nutella, measure about a ½ cup of Nutella into a bowl. Microwave the Nutella for about 25 seconds to loosen it up and make it free flowing.
Now, here’s a small trick that I learned in a cake decorating class. Cut a square of Parchment Paper (8 – 12 inches to a side), then cut the square across the diagonal. Take one of the triangles (two small corners and one big corner). Take the two small corners and bring them together to form a cone. Take one of the corners and align it with the big corner on the inside. Take the other corner and align it with the big corner on the outside. This should have made the cone smaller. Make sure the tip of the cone is tight, so the hole is very small. On the backside of the cone, apply a piece of tape along the seam, to hold the cone together. You have created a piping bag! Make two piping bags and fill one with Jam and the other with Nutella. Fold the cones closed. When you are ready to pipe, take a pair of scissors and cut the tip so that it creates a 1/8 inch hole.
By now, the doughnuts should have cooled enough to work. I would start with filling the doughnuts without holes. To do this, get a pairing knife. Holding the doughnut, insert the knife into the middle of the edge, with the blade parallel to the top and bottom of the doughnut. Be careful not to pierce all the way through the doughnut. Take the blade, and with a slicing motion, create a pocket in the middle of the doughnut, without making the hole bigger. Create a hole in each of the filled doughnuts. Now with the filled piping bag, cut the tip of the bag so that the jam or Nutella can flow out. Insert the tip just inside the hole of the doughnut and gently squeeze the bag from the top. When the filling starts to ooze out, you are done.
With the glaze, simply spoon the glaze over the doughnuts. Using the back of the spoon, spread the glaze evenly over the doughnut. For doughnut holes, we dipped them in the glaze.
If you want to do Sugar and Cinnamon, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon, about 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle generously over the tops of the doughnut.
Voila. There you have yeast doughnuts.
Now, I need to figure out the best way to store baked goods to keep them fresh. The doughnuts, when put into a plastic container, lost a lot of the texture and crispness from being fresh cooked. I have tried a few things like putting paper towels in the containers, etc. Let me get back to you on that.
Hope you enjoy,
Kappy & Lady Di
6 Quart Pot
Cooking Thermometer (rated for over 400 degrees)
Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
Mixing Bowls (Small and Large)
Slotted Spoon (rated for over 400 degrees)
Baking Mat (optional)
1 Package of Yeast
3 ½ Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons of Water
5 Tablespoons of Butter Milk
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
1 Small Jar of Nutella
1 Small Jar of Raspberry Jam
1 Cup of Powdered Sugar
1 ½ Tablespoon of Water
2 Quarts of Vegetable or Canola Oil
1. Active Yeast
2. Mix Dry Ingredients (Flour, Salt, Sugar) in Stand Mixer Bowl
3. Whisk together Wet Ingredients (Water, Buttermilk, Egg, Butter)
4. In Stand Mixer with Dough Hook, Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients
5. Let Mix for at least 8 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky. Adjust with water or flour accordingly.
6. Place dough in oiled bowl, with oiled side up.
7. Cover bowl and let dough raise for 1 hour (or until doubled) in warm place
8. Divide dough into two
9. Roll out dough to ½ inch thickness and cut doughnuts
10. Place cut doughnuts and holes on parchment lined baking pans
11. Cover doughnuts and let raise for 1 hour in a warm place
12. With 15 minutes left in second raising, heat oil to 350 degrees in cooking pot over medium high heat
13. Place doughnuts (3 at a time) in hot oil. Flip when golden brown (about 90 seconds)
14. Remove doughnuts and place on paper towel lined cooling rack, when doughnuts are golden brown
15. Let cool before filling and topping