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Author Notes: This is the go-to doughnut recipe that I make and sell at farmers' markets. Included is a glaze recipe, although the doughnuts are just as delicious simply tossed in sugar as well. The dough for the recipe comes together easily - you can even do all the work beforehand and let the pastries complete their final rise in the fridge overnight, making tomorrow morning's breakfast a breeze. The texture of homemade doughnuts once fried is incredibly tender and airy. One bite of these flavorful breakfast favorites and you will never turn to a store-bought doughnut again. (Adapted from Mark Bittman) —Sam
Makes 1 dozen ring doughnuts
For the doughnuts
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl oz) whole milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (1.75 oz, 50 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups (19 1/8 oz, 540 g) bread flour
- Neutral oil, for frying
- 2 cups (8 oz, 227 g) confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 - 1/3 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinches salt
- Lightly grease a large bowl for the dough to rest and rise in and set it aside.
- Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Warm the milk and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with the yeast, sugar and salt. Whisk in the melted butter and eggs. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy, sticky dough forms.
- Attach a dough hook to a stand mixer, then knead the doughnut dough on medium low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be sticky. Every couple of minutes, scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and the hook, dust with a bit of flour and continue to knead until the dough is supple and bounces back when you press into it with a floured finger.
- Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface. Shape it into a ball and set it seam side up into the greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rest for about 1 hour in a warm, draft free place.
- Lightly flour a work surface and gently turn the dough out onto it. The dough will have risen and be very soft with a slight tack to it. Flour the top of the dough lightly and roll it out no more than about 1/2" thick. Using a 3" round cookie cutter, cut as many doughnut rounds as possible. Using a small, 1" round cookie cutter, cut out the center parts of the rounds. Transfer the doughnut rings (and doughnut holes!) to sheet tray lined with parchment.
- Re-roll the dough once more and continue to cut out rings. I do not advise re-rolling the dough any more than this, as it tends to get tough.
- When all the doughnut rings are cut, cover the tray with plastic wrap so they can rest. If you plan an frying right away, let them rest for about an hour. If you want to fry the next day, wrap the tray with plastic wrap and let them rise slowly in the fridge overnight.
- When you are ready to fry the doughnuts, heat a pot of oil to 350 F. If you refrigerated the doughnuts, let them sit at room temperature while the oil heats. Fry no more than three or four at a time. Add the doughnut rings gently to the oil and let them fry for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side. After one batch is fried, transfer them to a paper-towel lined tray and continue with the remaining rings. Let them cool while you make the glaze.
- Start with adding 1/4 cup of milk to the powdered sugar and whisk to combine. If you want a thinner glaze, add a touch more milk. Whisk in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
- Dip each doughnut into the glaze. Gently turn them to coat the entire doughnut, or just dip the tops. Transfer the glazed doughnuts to a wire rack on a tray to let the glaze drip and harden. Best eaten on the first day!