Homemade Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

HAPPY NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY! (Question: “doughnut” or “donut”?). I am a little late to the celebration because I’m posting this at the end of the day, but I really don’t see anything wrong with celebrating National Doughnut Day everyday, do you?? I’d be lying if I didn’t say I loved doughnuts — I think I realized while developing this recipe that it is actually my favourite dessert of all time. Making doughnuts is no joke, the classic doughnut is yeast-raised and deep-friend… AKA delicious, but intimidating because it is time-based and temperature-sensitive. I’m going to show you exactly how amazing these doughnuts are and how easily achievable they are.

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I thoroughly believe it is still worth every bit of time and money to make these. I grew up eating Boston Cream doughnuts left and right when I was younger, so now I’ve transitioned to the classic chocolate-dipped doughnuts as my favourite. This recipe can definitely be used to make a filled doughnut — instead of cutting out doughnut holes, just leave it whole, and after it’s fried, use a piping bag with a long thin plain tip to pipe your filling in. As I’m typing this I am definitely considering making a filled doughnut sometime soon… mmmmm.
In case you were wondering, I coated my doughnut holes in cinnamon sugar and called it a day. I have no regrets.

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Anyways, developing this recipe was not easy, so I’ve come up with a couple beginner’s tips and term explanations for making doughnuts.

The sponge is a portion of the recipe that is made ahead of time to develop flavour and gluten, if you want to skip this step because you are rushed for time, add the amounts to the rest of the final dough (add the water where you would add the milk).

Proofing means to let your dough sit in a slightly warm and humid area to allow the yeast to grow and create the rise in the bread. A proofer is an appliance that is especially designed to let you do that, but since most people don’t have proofers in their own homes, a turned off oven with a pan of hot water inside will do just fine.

  1. Make sure you flour your pan to lay your doughnuts on after cutting them out and before proofing. This prevents your doughnuts from sticking to the pan after they’ve proofed and become all fragile/sticky.
  2. Check your doughnuts as they’re proofing. Proofing time is going to differ for everyone. You can check if your dough is done proofing when you poke it and the indentation stays — check my video out for more details and visuals. If your doughnut overproofs, it will still fry, but the dough will taste oily and it will actually deflate.
  3. Use a thermometer to watch your oil and keep it at 350F (unless you’re a deep-fry master and don’t need one).
  4. Keep the dough scraps, rest it, and roll it out. Use it for something like cinnamon buns.
  5. Enjoy the process, top/fill it with anything you like. It’s worth it.

Here is the recipe.

Homemade Doughnuts

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

This recipe makes about 12 large doughnuts.

Ingredients
Sponge

175g (1-1/3 cup) flour
120mL (1/2 cup) warm water
7g (2 tsp) instant yeast

Final Dough (the rest of the dough)

306g (2-1/3 cup) flour
2 eggs
82g (1/4 cup)sugar, divided into two
8g (1-1/2 tsp) salt
3g (1 tsp)instant yeast

100g (1/4 cup) cold butter

Method
Sponge

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed, mix together flour, yeast, and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 min while you get the rest of your ingredients ready.

Final dough

  1. In the stand mixer bowl, with a dough hook, break up the sponge with the milk, eggs, salt, yeast, and half the sugar.
  2. Add the flour, and mix on low speed for 5 min.
  3. Mix on medium speed for 4 min, add the butter in small chunks with the remaining sugar, and mix for another 4 min (a total of 8 min mixing on medium speed) or until the butter is fully incorporated.
  4. Transfer your dough to another bowl lightly dusted with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
  5. After the hour, turn your dough onto a clean floured surface, and roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut your doughnuts out using a 3.5inch & 1.5inch cutter for the center. Re-roll scrap dough one more time to get a few more doughnuts, but don’t roll it out more than once because the gluten will become too tough. Save the scraps and let them rest in the fridge.
  6. Lay doughnuts out onto a heavily floured pan, and place into an empty, turned off oven with a pan of hot water on the bottom shelf. (This is called proofing, and lets the dough rise a final time before frying).
  7. Proof for 30-60 min, mine were ready at 40 min. Check by poking it gently and seeing if the indentation stays, if so, it is ready.
  8. Preheat your oil for frying to 350F, and fry your doughnuts about 1-2 min per side or until golden brown.
  9. Fill or top with anything you like and serve!

Chocolate Glaze

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

150g (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
150g (2/3 cup) heavy whipping cream
20g (1tbsp) golden corn syrup
15g (2 tbsp) icing sugar
5g (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Method

  1. In a microwavable glass or small saucepan, heat cream, syrup, vanilla until almost simmering.
  2. Pour over chocolate, icing sugar, and stir to combine.
  3. Let it cool until slightly thickened in order to dip doughnuts into it without the glaze running off.

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