I was thrilled when doughnuts took over as the “hot dessert trend” from the fanciful cupcake. I do like cupcakes, but they don’t excite me like a freshly made doughnut. These days you can find gourmet doughnut shops popping up all over the USA. They offer the classic flavors along with some very exotic, even esoteric combinations. I’ve seen everything from bacon to rose petals on a doughnut. I’ve tried every combination I can find and for me it all comes down to the dough. I like soft, airy yeast dough and it should be slightly sweet, but not overly so. The gourmet shops use great ingredients and treat their dough with TLC, so they often cost a small fortune. Truth is, homemade doughnuts are super easy and quick to make, especially with our five minute dough. You can make them as fancy or simple as you like and they only cost about 20 cents each, add a few cents for the bacon and rose petals!
1 1/2 cups Water
1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum, Quick Rise or Active Dry Yeast
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
8 large Eggs
1/2 cup Honey
3 sticks Unsalted Butter
7 1/2 cups All-Purpose Gold Medal Flour
– Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter with the water in a 6-quart lidded container. Add the flour and combine with a Danish Dough Whisk or 5-Quart Stand Mixer (with paddle) until a smooth dough forms. Cover, but not airtight, and allow to rest on the counter for 2 hours. It will be quite wet and can’t be used until thoroughly chilled. Refrigerate and use over the next 5 days. For more detailed instructions please refer to page 301 of The New ABin5.
To fry the doughnuts:
Vegetable Oil – 3 to 4 inches deep, use a pot that is large enough that your oil is not sitting too high in the pot.
Cinnamon sugar (one cup sugar + 2 tablespoons cinnamon)
My 13 year-old son and his friend make doughnuts for themselves. Mine are old enough to use the stove, but you may need to be on hand to help with that portion of the process.
Pull out a 1-pound piece of dough and roll it out to a 1/2-inch thick. Use a Doughnut Cutter or round cookie or biscuit cutters.
Use a small cutter to use up all of the scraps. Allow the dough to sit for at least 20 minutes while the oil heats up. I got distracted before heating the oil and the dough sat out for about an hour. The doughnuts were amazingly light and airy. It isn’t necessary, but if you have the time and patience to let the dough sit longer, give it a try.
Once your oil reads 360-370°F on a Candy Thermometer you are ready to fry. I used a smallish pot, so I was only able to fry two doughnuts at a time. The amount will depend on the size of your doughnuts and pots, but be sure not to over crowd them.
Use a slotted spoon or Basket Strainer to flip the doughnuts over after about 2 minutes and then to take them out of the oil once they are golden brown on both sides. Lay them out on paper towel to allow some of the oil to drain off.
Whisk together the cinnamon sugar in a large bowl and dip the doughnuts in it or dust them with powdered sugar. You can get fancier with the toppings if you like. Here are some that we filled with jam.
Eat them slightly warm. The texture is magic.
All you need is a cup of coffee and you have morning perfection, or evening or afternoon.