Haha, I flip-flop on whether I spell it “doughnuts” or “donuts”–but I don’t flip-flop on how amazing hot donuts are. If you’ve ever seen 30 Rock, you may remember when Liz Lemon says that a microwaved donut is the best dessert in the world.
And we’re not talking cake donuts. We’re talking fluffy like a cloud, soft, melt-in-your-mouth, hot donuts. These are of course best eaten when warm, but you can always microwave them if they cool down. Because these take so long to make, I generally make them only once every year or two, sometimes for Valentine’s Day or Halloween with festive sprinkles. But they’re amazing. You can even use cookie cutters for other shapes, like we’ve made hearts before with a round hole in the middle. Haha, or if you don’t have a donut cutter, we’ve used round cookie cutters or cups to cut them out. And you can also make filled donuts with these, if you don’t cut a hole and you pipe in some jam in the middle after they’re fried. Then sprinkle on powdered sugar.
If you’re making this one gluten free, I haven’t tried it–but I imagine it won’t translate well with just swapping the flour for the cup for cup gluten free flour. Because this one is so light and airy like a bread, I imagine gluten is integral to its structure. But if I ever try it, I’ll let you know how it goes.
Takes lots of work and flour, but SO delicious.
- 2 pkgs. Yeast (4 1/2 tsp. total)
- 1/4 c. Water
- 1 1/2 c. Lukewarm Milk
- 1/2 c. Sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 c. Shortening (preferably butter flavored)
- 5 c. Flour
- Canola or Vegetable Oil for frying
- 11 Tbsp. Butter
- 4 c. Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
- 1/2 c.+ Hot Water
Chocolate Frosting (if desired)
- Same as regular glaze, plus 8 oz. milk or semisweet chocolate chips, melted
Dissolve yeast in warm water in bowl of stand mixer and let it foam for a few minutes. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 c. flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping constantly. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour (dough is ready when indentation remains when touched). Turn dough onto floured surface, and roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2″ thick with floured rolling pin. (Don’t roll too thick or doughnuts will get very thick and kind of dry like grocery store donuts). Cut with floured donut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, about 30-40 minutes. Heat oil in deep fryer or electric skillet to 350°. Slide donuts into hot oil with wide spatula or using chopstick. Flip donuts with chopstick as they turn golden brown, fry until both sides are golden, then remove and drain on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet.
For glaze, melt butter, then stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk in water until it’s the desired consistency. (For chocolate frosting, melt butter and chocolate together, then add powdered sugar and vanilla.) Drop the donuts in the glaze (ideally when they’ve cooled 2-3 minutes so the glaze doesn’t melt off entirely), cover them well, and place them back on the cooling rack over the cookie sheet.