I know I despise going to a donut store and having to go through ten different icing options and five different types of sprinkles just to get the right doughnut. Homemade doughnuts are a bit of a task, but they’re not as difficult as they appear, and the end product is a delicious, hot, crisp doughnut. You can do just much anything with glazes, toppings, and fillings once you’ve mastered this basic recipe for a fluffy, yeasted doughnut.
Total Time: About 3 hours
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 8 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 quarts of oil, for frying.
- Heat the milk to a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is warm but not hot. In a large mixing basin, combine it with the yeast. After a light stirring, allow 5 minutes for the liquid to bubble up.
- Toss the eggs, butter, sugar, and salt into the yeast mixture with an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Half of the flour should be mixed before adding the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- If the dough is too wet, add 2 teaspoons of flour at a time. Move the dough to a floured board and gently knead it until smooth when it gets too thick to beat with an electric mixer. Using a small amount of oil, grease a large mixing bowl. Cover the dough and place it in the bowl. Allow it to rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- On a well-floured board, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Use a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters, or a drinking glass and a shot glass to cut out the doughnuts, flouring the cutters as needed. Set aside the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t chop the middle. Knead any scraps together gently but thoroughly, then set aside to rest for a few minutes before continuing.
- Place the doughnuts on two floured baking pans with plenty of space between them. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm area to rise for 45 minutes or until somewhat puffy and delicate. If your kitchen isn’t warm, start by preheating the oven to 200°F, then switch it off, place the baking sheets in the oven, and leave the door ajar.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until it reaches 375 degrees 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising. In the meantime, line cooling racks, baking sheets, or plates with paper towels.
- Carefully drop a few doughnuts into the oil at a time. If they’re too fragile to pick up with your fingers, use a metal spatula to pick them up and slip them into the oil. It’s fine if they deflate a little; as they fry, they’ll puff back up.
- When the bottoms are deep golden, about 45 seconddeeply a minute, turn using a slotted spoon. Cook until all sides are golden brown. Regular doughnuts take longer to fry than doughnut holes. Continue with the remaining doughnuts, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a 375-degree temperature in the oil. After glazing or filling as specified, serve immediately.