At the beginning of the week I learned that today is National Doughnut Day! Apparently, this holiday falls on the first Friday in June every year. Yes, a random and obscure holiday likely unknown to a vast majority of the country but to me it’s the perfect occasion to try my hand at making something entirely new to me. I’ve never made homemade doughnuts before but I’ve never met a variety of deep-fried dough that I didn’t like so I decided to give it a go.
Due to my history of having an inability to fry things without setting off smoke detectors and having to open all the windows in my home, a project like this always makes Mike a little nervous. However, after my success with the sopaipillas as well as the spiced candied walnuts, I figured I had a good chance of having a positive outcome. In fact, I had such a positive deep-frying experience I’ve been dubbed a “Fry Master” in my household now. With the achievement of that prestigious title, this means Mike will no longer automatically ask if he should go get the exhaust fan. Whoo hoo!!
So back to the task at hand, I was making doughnuts. I’ve never had, let alone made, homemade doughnuts. I was pleasantly surprised that despite making the dough (and anyone who’s stopped by here in the past knows, I’m really not a fan of working with dough at all despite my love of baked goods), chilling, cutting, rising and frying these doughnuts were an absolute cinch to make! The dough comes together easily… especially with the help of my new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. (Oooo!! …Ahhhh!!!)
The rest of the process is mostly inactive time that requires zero effort. Lastly, the doughnuts fry up in a minute or less so you’re not going to spend a lot of time even actually cooking these.
Oh… Then there’s the finished product. The process yields a light, airy, slightly sweet glazed doughnut that you will not be able to resist sinking your teeth into while it’s still warm. I assure you, these are good at room temperature however, they are pure ecstasy when eaten warm. I’m not a huge fan of doughnuts, I like them but I can easily resist them. However, these were unlike any doughnut I’ve had before. These were no bready gobs of fried dough. Also, despite being deep-fried they weren’t at all oily. We couldn’t believe how very delicate and airy they were. You could easily fire down five of them in no time at all.
Homemade Glazed Doughnuts via Ree Drummond “The Pioneer Woman”
1 1/8 c. whole milk, warmed to 105 degrees
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant or active dry yeast
2 whole large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, melted
4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. cold milk
Make the Dough
– Measure the dry yeast into a small bowl.
– Warm the milk to 105 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, just make sure the milk is warm but not overly hot.
– Stir the sugar into the warm milk and stir until dissolved.
– Pour the milk/sugar mixture over the yeast. Stir gently and then let it stand for 10 minutes.
– Melt the butter in a small bowl until almost melted, then stir until fully melted. Ensure that your butter is not hot. Cool slightly, if necessary.
– Place eggs into a small bowl and beat.
– Add the beaten eggs to the melted butter, stirring constantly to ensure the butter is not too hot for the eggs.
– Add the egg/butter mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
– With the mixer on medium-low, add the yeast mixture to the bowl of the mixer.
– Allow the dough hook to stir for a few minutes until thoroughly combined.
– Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt with the flour. With the mixer running, add the flour in 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup increments until all the flour has been incorporated.
– Stop the mixer, scrap down the sides of the bowl and then allow the mixer to run on medium-low for 5 minutes.
– After 5 minutes, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn on the mixer for 30 seconds. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to rest in the bowl undisturbed for 10 minutes.
– After 10 minutes, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Toss the dough to coat then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Make the Doughnuts
– Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.
– Roll out to 1/4″ or 1/3″ thickness.
– Using a 3″ cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Then reroll the scraps and repeat the process. Repeat this process until all the dough has been used. (I was able to make just over 4 dozen doughnuts)
– Cut holes in the doughnuts using 1 1/2″ cutter. You can also save the centers to make “doughnut holes.”
– Place the doughnuts and holes on a floured baking sheet.
– Cover the doughnuts with a large, light tea towel. Place the doughnuts in a warm, draft-free place. Allow the doughnuts to rise, undisturbed for 1 hour or 1 hour 15 minutes if necessary. Doughnuts should be visibly puffier.
Fry the Doughnuts
– Add plenty of canola oil to a large pot and heat to 375 degrees. Continue to monitor the temperature of the oil throughout the frying process. (It is important to have a deep-fry thermometer. Now that I bear the title of “Fry Master” I can tell you this is the only way to ensure your oil remains at a consistent temperature and therefore, you get consistently unburned doughnuts.)
– Gently ease one or two doughnuts into the hot oil. Fry for 30 seconds-1 minute per side until lightly golden then flip. (Holes only took about 30 seconds total)
– Removed the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and allow all the oil to drip off. Then place the doughnuts on a stack of paper towels, flipping several times to remove as much oil as possible from the doughnuts.
– Allow the doughnuts to cool just slightly then dip them in the glaze.
– Mix all the remaining ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. (powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and cold milk)
– One by one, dip each doughnut into the glaze submerging halfway. Fully submerge each doughnut hole and then remove with a slotted spoon. (I tried a double glaze on some of the doughnuts. I personally liked the single dipped doughnuts but give double dip a go, if you like. If desired, dip doughnut into the glaze. Allow it to set for a few minutes then dip halfway again. Set on cooling rack.)
– Remove the doughnut and place it upright on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet or paper towels to catch dripping glaze.
– Serve warm or room temperature.