This is my usual glazed doughnut recipe, and I love it because it’s fairly simple and makes big, fluffy, doughnuts. I call them Make Ahead Doughnuts because the shaped dough can be refrigerated and fried the next morning. But these days I usually just use instant yeast, allow the dough to rise for an hour, shape it, let rise again and fry.
This recipe, which is adapted from the popular Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts from allrecipes.com is a fairly small batch, so if you want more than 8 to 10 you’ll probably want to double. For us, it makes more than enough and I end up freezing a few for later.
Best Fat for Doughnut Frying
One of these days I am going to order some doughnut frying shortening, but I currently use either peanut oil or shortening. They both have high smoking points and won’t stink up the house with oil fumes. I've also tested with lard, but don't care for the smell and flavor it imparts.
Frying Pan or Electric Skillet
I usually use a cast iron skillet. Cast iron gets hot quickly, so once the oil hits around 350 I end up having to turn the heat to low. This will vary depending on what type of pan you use. Another option is to fry the doughnuts in a Le Creuset Dutch oven. With higher sides, there's less spattering.
Random Doughnut Pics
I'll have to add some updates. For now, here are some photos that give you an idea of what the glaze looks like.
Chocolate Glazed Doughnut
I recently added the directions for the chocolate glaze. This is a cocoa powder glaze based that sets nicely.
Make Ahead Doughnuts
- 1 packet active dry yeast 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons warm water 105 to 115 degrees
- ¾ cup warm milk (180 grams)
- ¼ cup sugar (100 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons shortening (or butter) (36 grams or 42 grams butter)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more as needed (330 grams plus more as needed)
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying peanut oil is best!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- ¾ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons hot water or as needed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Put the warm water in mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let stand for 5 minutes to proof. If using instant yeast, skip this step and add the dry yeast with the 1 cup of flour.
- Add the warm milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening, and 1 cup of the flour to the mixing bowl. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour ½ cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. I recommend doing this with the dough hook of a stand mixer.
- Cover the mixing bowl and set in a warm place to rise until double (an hour or slightly less for fast rising yeast). If you wish to transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl,, that's fine too.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to ½ 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 (anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes) or if making overnight doughnuts, put them in a 13x9 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.
- Chocolate Glaze: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and add cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and stir until thick and dirt-like, add the milk and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Keep the glaze over very low heat until ready to use. Try not to make it too early.
- Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (you can use 375 if you prefer). 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.