03 January 2010


I love doughnuts. Sweet, soft, almost chewy puffs of dough. Lovely. I know all the good places around to buy them, but I've never made them. I was afraid. Homemade doughnuts were my biggest baking obstacle.

You see, I'm afraid of yeast. The only thing I ever make with yeast is pizza dough, and I leave all the work for that to my bread machine. So when I found a doughnut recipe for bread machines, I thought I had it made. But after reading the recipe I saw that the dough had to rise one more time after removing the dough from the bread machine.

I'm afraid of rising dough. My kitchen isn't warm. Who has a warm kitchen? My house stays at 68° for most of the year, and that is not warm enough for dough to rise. I almost gave up on the doughnuts. But then I saw a comment in which someone heated an oven to 200°, turned it off, and then put the dough in. For any other recipe, I would blow that off as too much work, but not this time. This time, it's for doughnuts.

So I did it. New Year's Day. And it was awesome. (And messy and demanding of counter space.) It took all my willpower to not eat each and every doughnut while still warm. No, I shared them. I'm glad I did, but now I feel I need to make more. :)
Bread Machine Doughnuts
Recipe based on one from Dine and Dish, via RecipeZaar 
1 1/4 cups milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • Place ingredients into bread machine pan, in order.
  • Select dough setting and start machine.
  • Roll finished dough, on floured surface, to 1/2" thick.**
  • Cut with floured 2 1/2" doughnut cutter.  
Or use a close-enough cup, like I did. Or hearts, stars, or whatever simple shape you like. For the hole in my round doughnuts, I searched for something 7/8" in diameter (doughnut cutter size). The closest I found was the stem of my baster--3/4" diameter. It worked.
  •  Let rise in a warm place, covered, 30 minutes or until doubled. I preheated my oven to 200°, turned it off, and placed the pan of doughnuts inside to rise. This could take up to an hour.
  • Deep fry in vegetable or peanut oil at 375° for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Dough should be lightly golden. I used an electric wok so I could easily maintain the oil temperature.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Roll in sugar or cinnamon sugar while warm, or allow to cool and make up some glaze (see below).

Doughnut Glaze***
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons hot water
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)
  • In a microwave safe bowl or small saucepan, melt butter. 
  • While still warm, but not on direct heat, add vanilla and stir. 
  • Add powdered sugar and hot water.
  • Mix thoroughly. Glaze should be thin, but not watery.
  • *For chocolate glaze, add chocolate chips and stir vigorously until smooth. Taste; add more chocolate chips if it's not chocolatey enough.
  • Dip tops of cooled doughnuts into warm glaze.
  • Place on wire racks.
  • Sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired.
  • Leave doughnuts on racks until glaze is set (about 10-20 mins).
**Be sure to fry up the scraps and holes (don't re-roll, or they'll be too tough!) so you have something to eat when they're warm and you just can't wait.
***I made one batch of vanilla glaze, poured half of it into another bowl, and added 1/2 cup chocolate chips. That way I could have some of each kind. I had plenty of glaze leftover.