Time to get creative in the kitchen again. We haven’t found any really down home style donuts since we moved south, so I’m experimenting to find out how to make them myself. Nothing against Krispy Kreme, which is a southern based outfit, but they just don’t have what I’m looking for in a donut.
So I looked online to find a basic yeast raised dough, and researched the best way to make it. My biggest surprise is that the dough should be mixed, kneaded, and then let rise overnight in the refrigerator overnight to do it right. This means my afternoon project turned into a two day affair.
The rolling out of the dough the next day and cutting out the donuts is just basic. Roll it out to about 3/8″ and cut them out with anything round that’s about 3 inches in diameter, then take the center out with a 1″ round. I put them on lightly floured parchment paper on baking trays, covered them with a towel, then into the oven which I preheated to 100 degrees, checked with the thermometer so it isn’t too hot or too cool. This is to make sure it’s warm and draft free while they raise.
That’s what they look like when they are ready to cook, about an hour later.
Next detail is to make sure the oil you cook them in is the right temperature. I found that peanut oil does well for these, heated to between 340 and 350 degrees. Some recipes tell you to cook at 360 and even higher, but I found the donuts get too dark at those temperatures.
The oil needs to stay hot, so cooking 3 or 4 at a time works out well. This also gives you room to turn them after the first side browns, a minute or two on each side works out well.
Out of the hot oil and onto a rack so any excess oil drips off.
After they cool for about 5 minutes you have to either coat them in sugar, shake the donuts in a bag with some sugar, or glaze them, which I prefer. The glaze is some powdered sugar, a touch of pure vanilla, and some milk. Experimenting with the thickness so the glaze coats the donuts just right. A drop of water to thin it or some more powdered sugar to thicken it.
The glaze firms up as the excess drips off on a cooling rack. I put some foil under the rack to catch the drips. If the consistency of the glaze is right, it coats and doesn’t drip all that much.
I resisted trying one only until it was just cool enough to eat. They taste best warm!
Good, homemade donuts. Yum, yum, yum!