Homemade Baked Donuts

** Previous Post Updated ** The Lemon Meringue Pie I had posted earlier in November has now won FIRST PLACE in the National Beekman Heirloom Recipe Contest.  Yeah Shirley!  Here is the post in case you missed it so you too can make award winning pie!

It is snowy and very cold here.  The windchill was so low that we stayed in most of the day.  Perfect time to try and make baked donuts!  I had been eyeing a donut pan for a while, but the King Arthur recipe required that plus a few other special ingredients I don’t own.  This recipe is all common ingredients that most of us have in our pantry AND doesn’t require a donut pan!  Though the heart-shaped donut pan at Target was awfully tempting and cute.  You can have your own donuts in as little as 2 hours.

This is simply a sweet yeast dough recipe and you can add any topping you like.  My favorite was powdered sugar.  But you can add cinnamon sugar, chocolate or white frosting, etc.

To get milk or water warm enough for yeast I think most people go by touch.  If you happen to have a fever gun like the Fever Watch I have, you can change it from “body temp” to “surface temp” and use it to take the temperature of your milk.  Cool beans!

I also read after messing up a couple times in previous bread recipes that if you forget the salt, don’t worry especially if it is a sweet bread.  Simply knead it in when you remember (hopefully before the final rise!) and you can still recover your bread.

*****UPDATE*****
I successfully made this dough in the bread maker!!!  I was pressed for time and the ingredients are cheap, so I figured why not try this in the bread machine?  I worked!!  I added my wet ingredients, then dumped 3 and 1/2 cups flour in a heap.  Then, stick your finger in the hill of flour to pour in the yeast.  Hit “dough cycle” and DONE.

I also made these the night before and did not do the 30 minute rise towards the end.  Instead, they sat in the fridge covered overnight and I baked them right from the fridge.  Worked like a charm.  So, you don’t need to make the dough the morning of.

***UPDATE 2016****

These donuts can be made with half AP flour and half white whole wheat.  Feel free to divide it up as much as you like.  I also added 1 Tb. vital wheat gluten to the dough mix with the white whole wheat flour.

Also, this makes about a dozen donuts – too many for our family of 4.  So to keep us from eating them ALL in one day (note to self!), I froze them in the freezer.  Yes, already coated in sugar, cinnamon, etc.  The next morning, just pop your donut into the microwave for 30 seconds. You will need to add more time if you have more donuts to heat up.  But 30 seconds was perfect for our standard size circle donut.

Homemade Baked Doughnuts
yield 14-16 donuts  … or in my case feeds a family of 4 for ONE day  😉

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk, 115 degrees (warm)
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour, divided
1 stick of butter (4 oz.), cut up and room temperature

Coating:
6 Tbs. butter, melted  (or trans fat free margarine)
coating: powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar and 1 Tb. cinnamon)

1.  (See alternative above**)  With the paddle attachment on the mixer, at medium speed mix the egg and sugar together until combined.
2.  Add the milk, yeast, salt and vanilla.
3.  On low speed, add 2 cups of flour and mix.
4.  Change to your dough hook.  Mix and add the stick of butter in little by little.  Make sure it is incorporated.
5.  Slowly add another 1 cup of flour.  You want the dough to be pulling away from the bowl and not sticky.  Adjust your flour accordingly, but mine hit the mark at a total of 3 cups.  One time I made these it took 3.5 cups.  Allow the dough hook to knead for you until smooth – about 3-5 minutes.  (The flour is dependent on your temperature, the humidity in the air
6.   Now cover your bowl and let it rise for 1 hour.  I try to find the warmest place in my house for this part.
7.  Punch the dough down and roll into 1/2 ” or so.  The thickness is up to you and what you want to do with your doughnuts.  For traditional circle hole doughnuts, use a 3″ cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter) and then cut out another 1″ hole in the middle.  I don’t own a 1″ hole cutter, but my melon baller worked just fine.  Pull the dough apart and make the hole a little bigger or the donut will close in on itself.  Feel free to use cookie cutters, etc.  Have fun.  The donut holes are good too so don’t throw those away!  We used snowflakes, circles and gingerbread man cutters.
8.  Put your doughnuts on a greased or lined cookie sheet.  (See alternative above**)  Allow to rise again 25-30 minutes covered.
9.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake normal 3″ donuts for about 8 -10 minutes.  The donut holes took about 5-6 minutes.  My huge donuts took about 10 minutes.  Just watch and when they are light golden brown they are done. They’ll be mostly golden – they don’t need to be completely brown because the bottoms of mine were medium brown while the tops were light to medium golden.
10.  These cool really fast.  Put them on the cooling rack and begin your toppings.
11.  To coat the donuts, brush or dip into melted butter.  Shake or toss in your coating.  Or frost or dip in glaze.  Alton Brown has a few donut glaze recipes here and here.

Topping Ideas:

Into a brown paper bag (or a big bowl):
1.  Powdered sugar
2.  1 cup sugar and 1 Tb. cinnamon

or use frosting or a powdered sugar/milk glaze or anything you like!

Recipe adapted from Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni

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