Gerrit pointed out to me this past weekend that he had not woken up on a weekend day without obligation for two months. Between him having to work some weekends, our going out of town for football games, and various other family happenings, he hasn’t had a completely lazy Saturday or Sunday in months. So this past Sunday, we decided that that was going to happen. And I decided that I was going to make doughnuts.
I mixed up the batter/dough during the Auburn game on Saturday evening. Which was definitely a better way to spend my time than fully paying attention to that game. And I did it without having a stand mixer. I’m not a fan of the way people seem to think you need a stand mixer to do serious baking, and how so many recipes only have instructions custom written for stand mixers. In this case, I did just fine with my bowl and my wooden spoon, even though I did get Gerrit to come hold the bowl for me so that I could stir using both hands.
There is no reason you can’t make doughnuts (or any other kind of bread for that matter) without a stand mixer. The dough came together perfectly fine by my beating it with a wooden spoon. And even though it looks like it’s not going to make it into anything actually substantial (don’t even try to knead it…it only sticks to the counter, trust me), after an overnight chill in the fridge it rolls out beautifully.
And now, some notes about letting your doughnuts rise and fry. Let them rise in a warm place. Mine wouldn’t rise and wouldn’t rise, even inside my oven. So finally I turned my oven on warm for a couple of minutes, turned it back off, and stuck them in there, where they rose perhaps a bit too much. As as frying goes: don’t take your eyes off them. Try your best to keep your oil at a perfect 375. They will brown up quick (I overcooked most off mine). But they’ll still be delicious even slightly overcooked.
I’m not going to lie to you. The whole process was a bit of work. I wouldn’t plan these for actual breakfast. We didn’t eat them until about 11:00. But they were a fun kitchen experiment for our lazy morning (although I suppose most would argue that making doughnuts is not exactly laziness).
from The Pioneer Woman
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Wait Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
For the doughnuts:
1 1/8 cup milk*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast (or instant)
2 large eggs, beaten
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Oil or shortening for frying
For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cold milk (or water)
1. Make the dough the night before. In a measuring cup, heat milk in the microwave until it is warm to the touch (it should be between 105 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit). Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Place the yeast in a small bowl and add the milk mixture to it, stirring slightly. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, melt butter in the microwave until it is almost melted. Then stir it until the rest of it melts (you don’t want the butter to be too warm). Add the eggs, stirring constantly.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.
4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour and salt, stirring to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture stirring (or mixing with a dough hook on a mixer) after each addition, until it is all combined. Mix for a good five minutes, scraping down the bowl to make sure it is all combined.
5. Let the dough sit in the bowl for 10 minutes, and then transfer to an oiled bowl, turning the dough to make sure it is all coated in oil. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight, or at least 8 hours.
6. The next morning, dump the cold dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts using a doughnut cutter (or a 3 inch and a 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter making concentric circles). Place the doughnuts and doughnut holes on a lightly floured baking sheet and repeat the process with the leftover scraps of dough, until you’ve used as much of it as you can.
7. Place the baking sheet of doughnuts in a warm draft-free place and cover them with a kitchen towel. Let rise until light and fluffy, 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
8. While the doughnuts are rising, making the glaze. In a medium-sized bowl, combine powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk. Stir together until smooth.
9. Once the doughnuts have risen, heat vegetable oil or vegetable shortening (or another frying oil like canola) in a large pot until a candy thermometer reads 375 degrees Farhenheit. Line a plate (or two) with lots of paper towels.
10. Gently place one or two doughnuts at a time in the oil. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side, until very lightly brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place immediately on a the paper towel lined plate. Let the oil soak into the paper towel for 5 to 10 seconds on one side, and then flip the doughnuts to the other side (get as much oil off as possible!).
11. Repeat the frying process with the remaining doughnuts and doughnut holes (the doughnut holes will fry faster).
12. Let the doughnuts cool slightly, and then dip them in the glaze (one side or both sides, however you prefer). Place the dipped doughnuts on a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet or paper towels. Serve doughnuts warm or at room temperature.