There are so many different kinds of fancy-pants donuts now… Cronuts, blueberry, bacon donuts! And in every color and flavor imaginable.
This is not that kind of donut.
This is the nostalgic, simple, raised-with-yeast donuts that are covered with a light coating of sugar. Heavenly.
Things to watch out for while making these.
I would recommend using a Dutch oven to heat the oil. Dutch ovens hold the temperature better, resulting in a more consistent temperature range. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use a heavy bottomed pot if you can. The heavier the pot, the better.
Use a high temperature oil to make these. Vegetable oil, shortening (particularly good results), and peanut oil work well. Do not attempt these with olive oil- you’ll end up with a burnt mess.
And lastly, try not to eat them all at once. That said, I rarely take my own advice.
Sugar Yeast Donuts
3- 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
6 TB sugar, plus 1 cup for rolling
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup whole milk, room temp
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 TB unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
6 cups vegetable shortening, for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the yeast, 6 tablespoons sugar, and the salt. Set aside. Place the milk and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 3-4 minutes, or until a ball of dough forms.
Add the softened butter, one piece at a time, waiting about 15 seconds after each addition. Continue mixing for about 3 minutes longer, adding the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until the dough forms a soft ball.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rice at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 2-2 1/2 hours. Place the dough on a floured surface, and using a rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut the dough using a 2 1/2 to 3 inch doughnut cutter, gathering the scraps and rerolling them as necessary. Place the doughnut rings and holes on a floured baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until slightly puffy, 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat shortening in a large dutch oven to 375 degrees. Place the rings in the hot oil, 4-5 at a time. Fry until golden, about 30 seconds per side for the holes and 45-60 seconds for the rings. Remove the doughnuts from the hot oil and drain on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining donuts, returning the fat to temperature between batches. Cool the doughnuts until cool enough to handle, then roll in the remaining 1 cup of sugar.
Enjoy with a glass of cold milk.