In honor of National Donut Day… I decided to make donuts. Mind you I have never ever made donuts and so I thought today would be the perfect day to start. I needed a partner so, I reached out to Talia and she said, “I’m game!”
Talia and I have been partners in the hunt for the perfect donut for a long time. We have tried donuts from all of our local haunts…Dunkin Donuts, Crispy Cream, Duck Donuts and then we had the best of the best when we traveled to Asheville, NC, last summer. The shop was called HOLE Doughnuts. These donuts are made-to-order and each is shaped and fried so that the exterior of the donut is crispy and the interior is billowy. There are four different types of donuts on the menu of which three are their regular fare and one is a seasonal favorite that changes weekly. Neither of us will ever forget the taste of those donuts. Beyond delicious!
Anyway, back to my story of making donuts from scratch. Let this experiment begin! And it truly was an experiment.
Mixing the flour with the sugar and the baking powder, then adding in the cold butter and milk, and gently kneading the dough wasn’t the problem. The issue came when I made the individual donut holes. I was following the recipe, Donut Holes (Fried, No Yeast) posted in 2016 on the blog Sugar Spun Run. I followed the directions provided but found when I rolled the dough into to the 1½ tablespoon-sized donut holes and fried them… they were ginormous. The initial frying of the first four donuts led to a major modification in size. I pinched off half of the dough from each of the waiting donut holes and then fried the next four… this time around the size of the fried donut holes was more human-like. So here’s to experimenting in the world of making donuts!
This is what you will need…
- Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
- ¾ cup whole milk
For the topping…
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and mix.
- Using a pastry cutter cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add milk and mix until all ingredients are combined.
- Transfer dough onto a well-floured surface, and knead gently until it forms a cohesive ball. If dough is too sticky to manage, continue to work in flour until it is smooth and manageable.
- Break off approximately 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized pieces of dough and roll into smooth, tight balls. Set aside.
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan 2-inches deep with oil and heat to 350 degrees. Use a candy thermometer (make sure it isn’t touching the bottom of the pot) to monitor your temperature.
- While the oil is heating, prepare the cinnamon/sugar mix. Set aside.
- Prepare two plates for the cooked donut holes by lining them generously with paper towels.
- Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, very carefully fry donut holes, about 4 at a time, by transferring them to the oil with a slotted spoon (don’t drop them in or the oil may splash, lower them into the oil instead).
- Fry donut holes for approximately 3.5 minutes, remove carefully with a slotted spoon, and place them on the plate covered with paper towels. Allow them to sit for about 30 seconds and then use another spoon to transfer them to the cinnamon/sugar dish, roll them in the topping until fully covered, and then transfer to the other paper towel lined plate.
- Repeat until all donut holes are cooked and have been rolled in cinnamon sugar.
- These donuts are best-enjoyed warm/hot, and do not carry over well to the next day.
In the end, I would say the donuts were good… good enough to make again. Next time I would definitely make them smaller and consider using a different oil to avoid any aftertaste. This experimentation into the donut making world was one for the books… here’s to donuts and my future endeavors in attempting this tasty treat!