My kids think that I am the coolest. (Until I make them clean their rooms again, at least.) Today we made donuts together. It’s been a cooking project I’ve wanted to tackle for a while but as much as I love to eat deep fried foods, my experience with making them has always been messy and labor intensive. I can’t tell you how many times my dutch oven has sat on my stovetop full of oil and fried chicken bits for days because I just couldn’t bring myself to deal with it. I need a life hack for cleaning up after frying. Maybe I don’t. We do an appropriate amount of at home frying right now, it probably doesn’t need to increase at all…
So this is where you should just turn back. Stop now. Save yourselves. You do NOT want to know how easy, fast, and totally not at all messy these were. Seriously. Go back and read that pin about training for your first 5k or something. Don’t keep reading about this amazingly simple donut recipe. And for the love of all that is greasy, don’t try it. Whatever you do, don’t make these donuts.
Or do. Because whatever. They’re flippin’ delicious. And so easy that I didn’t shoo my kids out of the kitchen the way that I do when I get in over my head with a complicated recipe. Nope, instead I invited them in and we watched with wonder as our little flat discs of dough puffed up into something wonderful right before our eyes. And we took turns dipping and sprinkling and giggling and tasting and then devouring.
This will not be the last time we make donuts. And if you try it, it won’t be yours either. Don’t let the list of steps fool you into thinking this is a major project. Also, 2 hours of that time is just letting the dough rise. You could let it go longer. In fact when I made these, I mixed the dough at 1:00, thinking we’d go run errands and I’d come back at 3:00 to make them as an afternoon treat. But instead, life happened and I ended up making them at 5:00 and my kids basically had donuts for dinner. (I totally made them eat something later that was less shameful and makes me sound like a better mom, totally.)
So there. You’ve been warned. And also kind of encouraged. Choose wisely.
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
- 3 cups canola oil
- powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, mix lukewarm water with yeast and salt.
- Combine melted butter and sugar, add to the salty, yeasty water.
- Throw the egg in there too.
- Add flour in cup by cup, mixing as you go. Once you have 3 cups of flour mixed in, add flour 1/4 cup at a time until it seems just smooth enough to work with. Too much flour makes for stiff dough and stiff dough makes for sad donuts.
- Throw a towel over the mixing bowl and let dough rise for two hours.
- Place dough on an oiled surface for rolling (cookie sheet, baking mat, parchment paper - just do you, you know?) and press it out with your hands.
- Put a medium saucepan on the stove and heat canola oil over medium high heat.
- If the dough resists, browse Pinterest for 15 minutes and then come back and roll it out to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. (Try not to worry - they puff up to real donuts. Promise.)
- Cut out donuts and holes. (Don't have biscuit cutters? A large plastic cup and the cap of a plastic bottle will do the trick.)
- Mix powdered sugar (a lot!) and milk (barely a dribble!) until you have a smooth, thick glaze. A whisk is tremendously helpful.
- Wait for oil to reach 360 degrees. *
- Fry each donut until golden on each side. 30-60 seconds depending on how closely you watch your oil temp.
- Place on paper towels to absorb the extra oil.
- Dunk donuts into glaze and place on rack to dry.
- Sprinkle with toppings and make someone's day with a homemade donut!
- *Get a thermometer. Don't resist. I skip every possible step in the kitchen and try to make all cooking as free form as possible, but frying anything is made so much better/more consistent by knowing the exact temperature. Too hot and it burns before cooking through, too cold and it absorbs too much oil before fully frying. Any other kind of temperature I judge by touch, but I advise against putting one's hand in a cauldron of hot oil. 🙂