After looking at doughnut recipes on the Internet last week, I very impulsively clicked over to a cooking website and bought a deep fryer — the Emerilware T-Fal model with the selling point being that it filters the oil automatically so you can use it again a few times before changing it. Hmm, not really. While the Emeril fryer does filter the oil, the oil still tastes like whatever you fried previously meaning if you make doughnuts the day after you make French fries and use the filtered oil, you get French fry flavored doughnuts. But I’m going off topic here because what I really want to tell you about is the doughnut recipe I used and how I made them on Day 1 and fried them on Day 2 using the overnight method.
Since I’m new too doughnut making, I immediately went for the most highly rated recipe on Allrecipes.com which was supposed to be a clone of Krispy Kreme. Because there are only 3 of us, I halved the recipe; and because a lot of reviewers said the doughnuts had “no flavor”, I added a teaspoon of vanilla. Finally, I tried making the doughnut using the overnight method which really comes in handy on a Sunday morning when you feel like doughnuts but don’t feel like waking 3 hours early to get started.
The process is to mix the dough the day before, let it rise once at room temperature, punch down and cut into doughnuts, then cover the formed doughnuts and chill overnight. The dough will rise a little in the refrigerator, then finish rising when you take them out in the morning before frying. So you still have to wake up a little bit early, but you can sit around and drink coffee, play with the dog or watch the sunrise because all the real work has been done. Here’s one I coated in ganache, btw.
I liked these a lot, especially the second round when my doughnuts didn’t taste like French fries. While I didn’t find them very much like Krispy Kreme, they did live up to their allrecipes name of “Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts” with a creamy interior and crisp exterior. They were a very good first doughnut. Now I think I’ll try some other recipes for comparison.
Make Ahead Doughnuts
1 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3/4 cups lukewarm milk, scaled first then cool to room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 scant tablespoons shortening
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting pans and work surfaces
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water or as needed
Put the warm water in mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let stand for 5 minutes to proof.
Add the milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, egg, shortening, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double (an hour).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter or use the top of a drinking glass for the doughnut and an apple corer for the hole. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double or if making overnight doughnuts, put them in a 13×9 inch metal pan dusted with flour, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to make the doughnuts, remove the formed doughnuts from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Prepare the glaze: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula greased with oil or a little shortening. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown – mine took about 2 minutes per side. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up. Depending on how big you cut your doughnuts, you should get about 7 or 8.