I’ve posted donut recipes before, but so far, all have been for baked donuts. Hubby has gone to town with the new donut pan we received a few months ago, and so donuts have become familiar around our house.
But baked donuts still aren’t quite the same thing as traditional fried donuts. Yes, fried are probably less healthy. Yes, they take a lot more time to make. But oh, they do taste wonderful as an occasional treat!
This recipe is not for the faint of heart. I made it for hubby (and the kids) for Father’s Day breakfast, and even though I prepped a lot the night before (measured and mixed together the ingredients that wouldn’t have a chemical reaction overnight) it still took me almost three hours to get breakfast on the table Sunday morning. Fortunately, we usually eat late on Sundays.
Normally, this is more work than I’m willing to do for a recipe, but when I discovered it two years ago Zax had never eaten a donut, and the time commitment was worth it to give him that experience.
This recipe calls for shortening, an ingredient I eliminated from our house about a decade ago, when I realized it is pretty much solid trans fat. However, once again I decided that using a bit of it in one recipe was worth the trade-off for Zax to taste donuts. You could try subbing something else, and eventually I will probably try too.
Egg-Free Fried Donuts
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 packet (1/4 oz) Rapid Rise Yeast
- 3 Tbsp shortening
- 1/4 cup yogurt (I used lowfat plain)
- 1 heaping pinch baking soda
- 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
- Oil – to deep fry (I used canola)
- 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar (corn-free, if necessary)
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
Once combined, add shortening and mix in with a pastry blender.
In a smaller bowl, mix the yogurt and baking soda. This will crackle and fizz a little, because just like baking soda and vinegar, it’s an alkaline/acid reaction.
I use these measuring spoons to determine a pinch, and I use a heaping pinch. (I think technically it’s 1/16 tsp.) The first time I made these I literally took a pinch between my fingers and it wasn’t enough, they came out chewy.
Add warm milk to the flour and mix to make a sticky dough. If it isn’t sticky or there’s still flour that won’t mix in, add milk by the spoonful until you get the right consistency.
Knead the dough on the counter for about 10 minutes, until it’s soft, smooth and elastic. If you have a stand mixer with dough attachments, it might be able to do this mundane labor for you.
Don’t worry about flouring the surface or about leaving sticky residue behind. After a few minutes, the dough sticks only to itself and will pick up any stray pieces that might first tarnish your countertops.
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set it aside to rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in volume
I do this in the oven–I turn the oven on for 1 minute, then turn it off, and then add the bowl of dough (on a tray) to rise in the warm, dry oven. I also turn it on again for 1 minute halfway through.
See how big?
After it has risen, deflate the dough, dust the ball with flour, and roll it out to about 1/3″ thick.
Cut out donuts with a donut cutter or use an upturned glass.
If you use a glass, use a 1″ cap or similar item to cut out the holes (I used an old, cleaned Airborne case.) Cut the remaining dough into strips or donut-hole-sized pieces.
Cover with a kitchen towel and keep it aside until the donuts have again risen (30-40 minutes at room temperature, ~25 minutes using the “oven on for 1 minute” method.)
Meanwhile make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the milk and mix well. Set aside.
A few minutes before you expect the donuts to be finished rising, begin heating the oil in a pan over medium heat–I used my wok. Use one of your smaller donut holes to determine when the oil is hot enough. The oil should bubble around the dough immediately upon touching one another–but don’t let your oil get too hot or they will cook too fast.
Fry the donuts two at a time until golden, flipping so both sides will fry. For me, this took a count of 30-45 seconds per side–and less for small strips and holes. Be careful handling your donuts, they will be fragile and could deflate easily.
Place back on the cooling rack to allow excess glaze to drip off.
Serve and enjoy!
They’re very light and cakey on the inside, just like they should be!
I let Hubby have the first bite since it was Father’s Day (much like birthday cake), and this caused much anticipation in the kitchen!
Not much left!