Updated: Apr 7, 2021
Warm fried pieces of dough covered in cinnamon sugar... what else is needed to say? These sweet treats are such a fun way to spend your Sunday morning! Because donuts are a MUST with your nice cup of morning coffee.
When I was growing up, donuts were always a Sunday treat, and of course we would always go to the same shop (Keny's Donuts) that is run by a sweet lady named Sophie. For all of my fellow Petalumans you know who I'm talking about!
Anyways here's what you need to get started to make your OWN donuts at home if you're feeling like making something a little extra special. But honestly, there isn't much required! Mostly just some patience.
3 & 1/3 cup Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 & 1/2 Packets of Fast-Action Yeast (10.5 grams)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Whole Milk
5 &1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Eggs beaten
2 tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Cinnamon
Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
Heavy-Bottom pot for frying (can be cast iron, stainless steel, or cast iron/enamel) just make sure it is a HEAVY BOTTOM.
Thermometer for oil temperature regulation
2 half-sheet pans
Put your flour, sugar, salt and yeast into your mixer. Mix until combined.
Gently heat your milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm. (*you don't want this to be too hot because it can kill the yeast, you want this to be warm)
Add your warm milk and butter mixture into your mixing bowl.
Add your 2 beaten eggs and vanilla. Then start your mixer on low to get everything going.
Turn your mixer up to medium speed to start the kneading process of your dough. If your dry ingredients need some help getting mixed in- Stop the mixer and lift out your dough hook and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of your bowl to help incorporate the dry ingredients.
Continue mixing your dough on medium speed and knead for about 5 minutes or until your dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl.
Your dough should be soft, pillowy, still slightly sticky and will smell of fresh yeast. A good way to test to make sure your dough is ready is by touching it to feel it's texture. You can also pinch and grab a piece and try to stretch it. If your dough doesn't have any elasticity- it needs some more kneading.
Once your dough is ready, place it in a well buttered bowl, cover with a light tea towel, and leave it in a nice warm place for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
After your dough has doubled, punch out all of the air from your dough and put it on a lightly floured surface. Take your rolling pin, lightly floured as well, and roll out your dough to be about 1 inch thick.
Use your cutters to cut out your donuts and then place them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart from one another. Re-roll your dough scraps and get as many donuts as you can from your dough. Cover with a light tea towel and let the donuts do a second rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the dough has doubled.
While the dough is getting its second proof, start heating your oil. Fill your heavy-bottomed pan with about 3 inches of oil. Place your thermometer in your pan, and turn on the heat to medium/high. The oil can take some time to get up to temperature, which is 350 for these donuts, so I recommend starting this right when you're done cutting out your donuts.
Set up your cooling station by getting a sheet-tray, lining it with a few layers of paper towels, and putting it next to your frying pot. I like to have an assembly line going from right to left. I have my proofed donuts on the right, the frying pot in the middle, and the cooling station on the left.
Once your donuts are looking nice and pillow-y, it's time to fry!
Gently place one of your donuts in the oil and fry for about 2 minutes on each side OR until they're a deep golden. Do one donut first to just get the hang of it and also test out your frying technique.
When you feel more comfortable doing multiple donuts as a time, only put 3 in at once to make sure you don't bring the oil temperature down too much. Also keep an eye on your temperature- in between batches of donuts let your oil re-heat for a few minutes to make sure you're back up at 350 degrees. If the oil is too cool what will happen is the dough will just start to absorb oil- and no one wants an oily donut!!
Once you've flipped your donuts and they've been out on the drying station for a few minutes- grab a bowl and fill it with sugar and cinnamon. Mix it until everything is combined, and toss your warm donuts in the sugar mixture.
Thats it! Donuts are such an amazing treat and really the ingredients are so simple. It just takes a little time and patience!