How to Make Homemade Glazed Doughnuts
I’m in a lot of trouble.
Ever since I made these last week, I’ve been craving them every single morning. Somehow they seem just a little more interesting than my typical Greek yogurt/fruit/granola ordeal. SOMEHOW.
I don’t know, I’m sort of getting the feeling that these doughnuts seem a little more interesting than your breakfast as well. I mean, it’s Monday and all. But if your breakfast is better than homemade glazed doughnuts, can I please have what you’re having?
I’ve been wanting to make real, fried, sugary, old-fashioned, comforting, Sunday morning, let me find my fat pants glazed doughnuts for… well… ever. They’re all the rage right now when every other photo on Instagram is a snapshot of a beautiful doughnut from a magical city bakery. And it usually has breakfast cereal, bacon, unicorns, Oreos, or rainbow icing involved.
Back forever ago on my book tour, I joined the masses and stopped in not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 different doughnut shops between Seattle and Portland. It’s like a doughnut wonder world over there. Consider me eternally jealous, you doughnut geniuses! Top Pot doughnuts were easily my favorite, so I went back the next day like a total Top Pot groupie and bought their cookbook. It’s been staring at me forever, so I finally got around to recreating bakery-style glazed doughnuts at home last week. Whaaaat took me this long. The result was only the most perfect soft, yeasty, warm, and sweet confection that ever did grace my countertop.
Like I said, I’m in trouble.
I’m going to walk you through the steps before getting to the recipe just so you can see exactly what’s about to go down. I understand homemade glazed doughnuts seem a little intimidating, but I assure you– they’re really not! I made them last Monday in only about 2 hours– and most of that time was sitting around waiting for the dough to rise/snapchatting every single step/planning on eating super healthy the rest of the day because homemade glazed doughnuts.
FIRST. Start with a basic dough recipe. Ordinary ingredients here, it’s just the ratio that makes this basic dough an all-star: whole milk + yeast + sugar + eggs + salt + vanilla + butter + flour. Not too scary! Whole milk is a must for the most tender dough– or you can try buttermilk. Likewise: the 2 eggs too. And melted butter. You could use softened butter, but melted butter really infuses the dough with its flavor. Try browning it before adding it in. Double trouble.
Another ingredient I add is ground nutmeg. Not too much; just enough to really give these glazed doughnuts a cozy, comforting bakery taste. If all the doughnut pros do it, we’ve gotta do it too!
For the flour, less is more. By that I mean– you’ll be tempted to add more and more flour as you mix the dough. Don’t. You want a very soft, pillowy dough for soft, pillowy doughnuts. The dough can still be slightly sticky. Just work on a floured surface with heavily floured hands when kneading.
Let the dough rise, then roll out to be about 1/2 inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter or circle cookie cutter if you’ve got a large and small. You’ll want something around 3 and 1/2 inches.
Little doughnut hole cuties. ↑ ↑
Line the doughnuts up on a couple baking sheets, then cover with a towel and allow to rest as you get the oil heated. Pour a quart or 2 of oil into a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven. Stress on the heavy bottom because this oil gets HOT!!
Cook a couple doughnuts at a time, only about a minute on each side until they’re golden. And amazing. (Omg the smell of the kitchen right now.)
At this point, you can dip the warm doughnuts into powdered sugar or a blend of cinnamon and sugar. But glaze. Glaze wins today. And always. I don’t need an expensive car, I don’t need roses on Valentine’s Day, I don’t need real diamond earrings… but damn I NEED glaze on my homemade doughnuts.
3 ingredient glaze: milk, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract. You can handle that!
Consider this your master doughnut recipe. From where you can create even bigger, better things. Like pink frosting and sprinkles on top. Or lemon glaze (I’d double it). Or maple glaze. Or brown sugar caramel sauce!!
Trouble, right? We’re all screwed.
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Homemade Glazed Doughnuts
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F1
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast2
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 6 Tablespoons (86g) butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (490g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 - 2 quarts oil3
- 2 cups (240g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream or whole milk (I prefer cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
- If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the remaining sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, 2 cups of flour, salt, and nutmeg. Beat on low speed for 1 minute or until combined. Add remaining flour and beat on medium-high speed until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And slightly sticky. If it is too wet, add 2-3 more Tablespoons of flour. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl-- I usually just use oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 1 and 1/2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
- Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Roll the dough out until it is only 1/2 inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter, cut into 12 doughnuts. If you can't quite fit 12, re-roll the scraps and cut more.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place 6 doughnut and doughnut holes on each. Cover with kitchen towels and allow to rest for about 15-20 minutes as you prepare the oil. Place a cooling rack over a third baking sheet.
- Pour oil into the pot set over medium heat. Heat to 375°F (191°C). Add 2-3 doughnuts at a time and cook for 1 minute on each side. Carefully remove with a metal spatula or metal slotted spoon. Wear kitchen gloves if oil is splashing. Place onto prepared rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts, then turn off heat5. (See note for doughnut holes.)
- Make the glaze: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together. Dip each warm doughnut (don't wait for them to cool!) into the glaze, making sure to coat both sides. Place back onto prepared rack to allow excess glaze drip down. The glaze will eventually set + harden on the doughnuts after about 20 minutes.
- Doughnuts are best enjoyed the same day, though they keep at room temperature for a couple extra days in an airtight container.
Doughnut holes: add holes to hot oil and fry until golden, about 30 seconds, on each side.
Overnight option: complete dough through step 2 and half of step 3. Instead of allowing to rise in a warm environment, place the covered dough into the refrigerator overnight (8-12 hours). The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment until doubled. Continue with step 4.
- Use whole milk or buttermilk for richest tasting, softest dough. Do not use low fat or skim milk.
- If using an instant yeast, your rise time will be a little shorter.
- The amount of oil really depends on how wide or tall your pot is. You want oil to fill about 1/3 of the pot. I use a little more than 1 quart for my 4 and 1/2 quart Dutch oven.
- You can also use 1 large + 1 smaller circle cookie cutter (large should be about 3 and 1/2 inches)
- Do not pour used oil down the sink drain. Allow to cool, then pour into an empty container and discard in the trash. Or reuse it.
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