I would like to say that we made these donuts in honor of National Donut Day on June 7. However, that would be a lie since, up until two days ago, I had no idea that National Donut Day even existed. The fact that we are posting this recipe just after National Donut Day is just one of those happy accidents that remind me that justice and order and good things do exist in this world. And this recipe is DEFINITELY one of those things.
When Nathan and I took our first transcendent bite of these donuts we were truly flabbergasted by the light, fluffy, and delicate sweetness of the fried wonders. I wouldn’t say that Nathan or I are big donut people… we rarely buy them or even eat them but these donuts were such a fun, sprinkle-y, and tasty treat that I’ll be dreaming of them for a while to come. I’m not going to tell you that they’re super quick to make (they require a lot of rising time!) but I will tell you that all the steps are simple and there is nothing fussy about the recipe. These are just good, wholesome, old-fashioned donuts. And yes…I just called a donut wholesome…wholesome for the soul.
Why pair a donut with sparkling wine? My only answer to that question would be “WHY NOT??” I chose a very dry sparkling wine since the donuts are sweet and we didn’t need any more of a sugar high. This sparkling wine is very light and carbonated (and slightly citrusy) so it was a really nice and surprisingly successful balance to the fried donuts. Give it a try!
I wanted to do something a little different than the usual breakfast beer of coffee stout or similar dark beer and instead opted for something a little more similar to Katryn’s Brut. My goal was to have the cider be very dry and fizzy to contrast with the sweet, sugary flavors from the donuts. While this cider is called a ‘traditional dry’ cider, at first sip it was actually still pretty sweet. However, when paired with our donuts the ciders was dry enough to compete with the sugar and was actually a pretty good pairing!
Homemade Glazed Donuts
Makes 24 donuts
For the Donuts:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/8 cups whole milk, warmed
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
For the Glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Special equipment: 1 doughnut cutter, or 2 concentric cutters (if you are using cutters the larger one should be 3-3.5 in. in diameter and the smaller should be around 1.5 inches in diameter); candy thermometer.
1. For the doughnuts: Add the granulated sugar to the warm milk in a medium bowl, and then add the yeast. Allow it to sit until the yeast starts to bubble, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then pour them into a bowl with the melted butter, whisking constantly. Add the butter/egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the milk/sugar/yeast mixture. With the hook attachment, turn the mixer to low speed.
3. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, and then add 1/2 cup at a time to the mixing bowl, allowing it to slowly incorporate into the liquid mixture.
4. Continue mixing for 8 minutes after the flour is combined. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl and then mix about 30 seconds more. Then place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate, 8 to 12 hours.
5. The next morning, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter (or 2 concentric cutters) to cut out the doughnuts. Remove the holes and transfer the doughnuts to 2 lightly-floured baking sheets lined with baking mats or parchment. Then – and this is a very important part – cover the doughnuts lightly with dish towels and place them in a draft-free area, at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It will take that long for them to rise. If they don’t seem to be rising much, move the pan to a warmer place.
6. Heat the oil in a pot over a medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (Or you can drop one of the doughnut holes in the oil, if it sizzles and immediately rises to the surface, the oil is ready.) The doughnuts should immediately float to the top and puff up. Then use a metal spoon or spatula to carefully flip them over to the other side. Remove them from the oil as soon as they’re golden brown on both sides (this should take less than 1 minute in total). At the end, drop in the doughnut holes and fry them until they are golden brown.
7. Place the doughnuts on paper-towel-lined-plates to drain. Don’t worry if they’re a little imperfect; if your fingers leave impressions when you dropped them into the oil, that just means they were extra light and fluffy.
8. For the glaze: To glaze the doughnuts, mix the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cold water, salt and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Drop in the doughnuts one at a time. Quickly turn them over then remove them. Place them on a rack so any excess glaze can drip off.
Chocolate Donut Glaze:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted.
2. Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted.
3. Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture over a bowl of warm water and dip the doughnuts immediately. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.
Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes:
Mix ¼ cup of sugar and a tsp. of cinnamon. Dip glazed donut holes in the sugar mixture and allow to set for 5 minutes.