Monday, May 31, 2010

Homemade donuts

The restriction on the bread bake-off was that the item should be made with a dough. I thought about it for a while, and was tempted to do something excessively complex but voted for a moderately simple recipe, albeit an item I have never made before - donuts! I will admit I was definitely aiming for something sweet - to me that's what the bake-off means, and I know others (like Mr Cake, as a prime example!) will take any opportunity to make their offering as healthy as they can (he even came up with a healthy cheesecake!) so I have to mitigate that as best I'm able. ;-)

Making the dough is very easy - this recipe uses baking powder to leaven, and I suspect that yeast would get a better result but due to our localised powercut I didn't have time to let it rise.

One of the surprises for me about how donuts are made (though I did learn this a couple of years ago) was that they are rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. I always figured they were shaped like buns, since they seem so bun-like.

It's amazing how they puff up when they cook...

The biggest challenge here was definitely keeping the oil up to temperature - I made sure it was good and hot before I started, using my candy thermometer, but the temperature drops quickly, especially when you're churning the donuts through.

I love cinnamon sugar! I split the donuts 50/50 - half in cinnamon sugar and half in icing sugar (though somehow I missed taking photos of the icing sugar ones). Did I mention I love cinnamon sugar?

Easy Donuts (makes about 16 small or 8 regular donuts)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp melted butter, cooled
2 tsp vanilla essence
1.5 L oil, for frying
cinnamon sugar/icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oil to 190 C. Lay our paper towels for draining/blotting.

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix in butter. Lightly beat egg in milk then add wet ingredients, including vanilla. Mix until combined, then turn out onto a well floured surface and roll out. Cut as desired - I used a 7.5cm ring cutter and a 2cm lid to cut the donuts and holes - but improvise; cups can work well for larger donuts. They don't have to be rings, either - we were just being conventional. ;-)

Fry the donuts until golden brown, turning them over midway to cook evenly. Have a test run or two with small bits of dough before progressing to full-size donuts if you're unsure. I overcooked my first few and they were fine hot but got a bit dry when cool.

Toss in cinnamon sugar immediately or wait until cool and toss in powdered sugar. Enjoy!


  1. I am nearly drooling!! They look so good and it's been so long since I had a donut!!

    What sort of oil do you use to fry in? So much conflicting information out that there that I'm never sure which is best...

    Mmmmmmmm........... *drool*.........

  2. I used canola oil - my impression is that so long as you have an oil that is light in flavour (i.e. not olive, which is pretty volatile anyway I think) - I generally would use either canola or sunflower - the main thing is keeping the temperature of the oil up. :-) If a recipe calls for oil (like carrot cake) I usually use sunflower.


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