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Homemade donuts

Homemade donuts

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Introduction

I love donuts, but I’m always hesitant to make them at home. They can be intimidating! But once you get the process down and try your hand at a few different recipes, you’ll be whipping up delicious homemade donuts in no time.

Homemade donuts

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs

1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

In a small bowl, combine the water and yeast. Let it stand until foamy (about 10 minutes). In a large bowl or mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine 1 cup flour with the salt, sugar and remaining 2 cups flour. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients along with 1/4 cup more of water if needed to make a soft but not sticky dough (it should be slightly tacky). Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled in volume (about 45 minutes). Punch down; divide into 12 pieces using floured hands or bench scraper dipped in flour; roll each piece into an 8-inch rope about 3/4 inch thick by rolling between palms of hands or on countertop sprinkled liberally with cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon salt

Salt is used to add flavor and reduce the sweetness of your donuts. It’s also important in helping with the rising process of your dough, so if you’re using self-rising flour (which contains baking powder) then you won’t need any additional leavening agents like yeast or baking soda.

2 tablespoons sugar

Sugar is a sweetener that can be used to add flavor and texture to food. It’s used in baking, cooking and drinks (like coffee). Sugar can also be used to make candy, caramel or honey.

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • In a large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the flour and the water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until bubbly (1 hour).
  • Stir in salt and sugar; set aside to cool completely (about 15 minutes). Add remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, yeast and 2 tablespoons butter; beat on medium speed until combined well enough to knead by hand or use dough hook attachment on mixer if you have one available (about 5 minutes). Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth but still slightly sticky (about 3-5 more minutes). Shape into ball; place in greased bowl turning once to coat surface completely with oil then cover loosely with plastic wrap or towel for about 1 hour until doubled in size again before shaping into donuts or whatever shape you like best!

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

Active dry yeast is different from instant yeast. It’s not as active, but it can be used in the same way as instant yeast. Active dry yeast must be activated in warm water before adding it to a dough or batter (it will proof).

To activate the dried yeast:

  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in a small amount of lukewarm (not hot) water and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy; if this does not happen, discard mixture and start over with new ingredients.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces, divided

  • In a large bowl, use a fork to mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of butter to the dry ingredients; stir until just combined (the dough will be crumbly). Add more water if needed to form a rough-looking ball of dough that holds together when pressed between your fingers; add more flour if too wet or sticky looking. Turn out onto a clean surface dusted with flour; knead lightly until smooth but slightly sticky (you’ll need to use some elbow grease here) about 5 minutes total time).

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature, whisked together in a small bowl

  • Whisk the eggs and egg yolk together in a small bowl.
  • The eggs should be at room temperature, so let them sit out for about 30 minutes before you start making your donuts. If you forget to do this and need to speed up the process, place them in warm water for 5 minutes (but don’t let them get too hot).

Vegetable oil or shortening for frying the donuts and glazing them; you’ll need about 4 cups in total. I used vegetable oil.

To make the donuts, you’ll need:

  • about 4 cups vegetable oil (or shortening) for frying the donuts and glazing them; I used vegetable oil.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (1/4 cup if you’re using dark brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Mix all of these ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Then add:

  • 3 cups flour (or more if needed–I used 4)

Conclusion

The donuts are best when eaten fresh, but they can be reheated in the oven or microwave. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month if you want to make a big batch at once!

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