Donuts are just one of those things that rarely come out of the home kitchen. Yet they are only slightly more involved than cinnamon buns. Make a yeast bread, heat up some oil and make a nice glaze. Plus it’s super fun to cut out donut holes with your friends or kids. They’ll eat it up. Really.
Doughnuts and Holes
Makes 8 to 14 doughnuts
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, divided
1 cup whole milk, heated to 110˚F, divided
2 to 21/2 cups (320 to 400 grams) bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons (30 grams) superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks (or 2 eggs)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter or vegetable shortening
Vegetable oil for frying
In a medium bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of the yeast into 3/4 cup of the milk. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and stir to create a smooth paste. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the rested flour mixture along with the vanilla and egg yolks. Mix until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add 1 cup of the remaining flour and top with the sugar and salt. Mix on low for about 30 seconds or until the dough starts to come together.
Add the butter and mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds. Switch to a dough hook and add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time with the mixer turned off, kneading the dough at medium speed between additions, until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky.
You may have flour left over. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 30 minutes. Gently degass the dough, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 12 hours).
Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured non-terry dish towel. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch-diameter rounds with 1-inch-diameter holes (for filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the holes).
Place the doughnuts on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, about 30 to 40 minutes, testing at five-minute intervals. To test whether the dough is ready, touch lightly with a fingertip. If it springs back immediately, it needs more time. If it springs back slowly, it is ready. If it doesn’t spring back at all, it has overproofed; you can punch it down and reroll it once.
While the doughnuts are proofing, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 360˚F. With a metal spatula, carefully place the doughnuts in the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool slightly before glazing.
1 1/2 cups /150 g confectioners sugar, sifted
2-3 TB water
2 tsp vanilla
Place the sugar in a med bowl and stir the water and vanilla, a little at a time to make a smooth, pourable glaze.
¼ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz confectioners sugar
Combine milk and vanilla in medium mixing bowl and heat over low until warm.
Sift sugar over mixture and whisk slowly until well combined.
Remove from heat and set over bowl of warm water. Dip donut one by one and set to cool over rack.