Making donuts at home can be a breeze. They’re simple to make, require minimal hands-on time, and taste amazing! The key to a great homemade donut is the right ingredients. Milk and yeast tenderize the dough, eggs provide structure, and melted butter adds flavor.
1. Ingredients for this masterpiece
The basic ingredients needed to make donuts at home include:
- oil for deep-frying
There are a few other essentials, including baking powder and baking soda, but these basics will give you a good start. Yeast helps dough rise, which is the key to fluffy, light-as-air donuts. Yeast also helps create air pockets that trap the dough and keep it fluffy.
To speed up the first rise of the dough, place it in a warm environment like a fireplace or oven. This will ensure it rises much faster than if left alone. You can also cover the bowl containing the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let it sit for about 2 hours before frying. This will make the dough less sticky.
When you’re ready to fry the donuts, pour about 3 inches of oil into a large, deep pan or pot. Heat it over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Once the temperature is correct, transfer the donuts to the lined baking sheet and cover them with a towel.
Repeat the process for each batch until all of the dough has been used. Then, refrigerate the remaining dough until you’re ready to make more.
The Easiest Way To Make Donuts At Home
The easiest way to make donuts at home is to use pre-made dough, but you can also make it from scratch. It’s not difficult and can be done as a family project. You can even prep the dough the night before, letting it rest in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make them. Then all you need to do is cut out the shapes and fry them in the morning!
A fun way to decorate donuts is by dipping them in cinnamon sugar before frying. This can be done on both sides of the donuts. You can also try making doughnut holes with the leftover dough pieces. This will save you a ton of time frying, and the donut holes can be dipped in the icing as well!
2. Preparation is key
If you love donuts, there is no better way to get your fix than by making them at home. The process is easy, the results are delicious and it’s a fun experience.
The first step is to prepare the dough. You will need a few ingredients, including flour, milk, sugar, yeast, and eggs. The flour is mixed with the other ingredients to form a dough and then it’s proofed. This dough is very flexible and can be shaped into a variety of different donuts, depending on your preferences.
You can also use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour to make donuts that have more nutrients and a more nutritious flavor. You can even use a combination of flours, like oat and barley.
Once your dough is ready, let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This can take about an hour.
After it has risen, you can either bake the donuts or fry them. If you are going to fry them, you need to have a large pot with oil. You can use a thermometer to ensure the temperature is correct and you can add your donuts when the oil is hot enough.
Can I use an air fryer?
Alternatively, you can use an air fryer to fry donuts. This method is easier than the traditional way because it allows you to control the heat so your donuts won’t burn and will be crispier. To prevent the dough from sticking, be sure to keep it very well-combined while you are working with it and to roll it into tight balls before frying it. If you have problems with the dough, try adding a little more flour to the mixture before you start frying it.
If you are making these donuts in an air fryer, it’s important to time the frying so they don’t overcook or become too dark. To help you with this, it’s best to fry only one donut at a time and check how it turns out before frying the rest of the batch. After frying, you can choose to roll the donuts in cinnamon sugar or glaze them. If you decide to dip them in the cinnamon sugar, be sure to roll the donuts in it until they are fully covered, and then place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
3. Proofing is very crucial
The proofing process is crucial for donuts and other yeast-risen foods. It ensures that the dough rises properly and develops flavor without over or under-rising.
The key to proper proofing is temperature, humidity, and airflow. It’s also the secret behind that flakey croissant you love so much. Luckily, you can get the same result at home with a little extra attention to these factors.
Temperature is key
For this recipe, you’ll need a warm environment that’s at least 75 to 78 F (23 to 25 C). You can create that environment by setting the dough in a covered bowl or by using a 2-quart clear plastic food storage container with a lid.
Once your dough is at the right temperature, you’ll need to let it rest for a few minutes before punching it down. This allows the flour to absorb some of the liquid in the dough and slacken the gluten, which gives it more structure. After the dough is rested, it should be about double in size. You’ll know when it’s done proofing if you can easily trace an outline with your finger on the surface of the dough. Alternatively, you can use a piece of plastic wrap and trace around the outline to see if the dough stretches beyond that mark.
Beginners need to pay attention
If you’re a beginner baker, it can be difficult to know when your dough has proofed enough. This is why it’s important to check it often and use your recipe as a guide. It’s also helpful to use a proofing basket during the first proof. These can be found online and at specialty food stores like Sur La Table. You can buy one of these for as low as $15 or $35 depending on the size and material of the basket. They can be a huge help in ensuring that your dough proofs evenly, and they’re an excellent investment for a serious bread or sourdough baker.
Once the donuts have been proofed, they should be placed in a greased baking dish and let them rise once more before being fried. This will allow the donuts to double in size and add some extra volume before frying.
4. Fry, as if there is no tomorrow
If you are looking to make fried donuts at home, you have two options: frying them with oil in a pot or air frying them in an electric fryer. The latter is our preferred method for these donuts because it’s easy, cheap, and yields beautiful results. To fry these donuts in oil, you need a heavy-bottomed pot that can hold at least 2 quarts of oil (with a few extra inches to spare). It also helps to have a food thermometer if you want to be sure your temperature stays high enough to produce good results.
Before you start, remember this:
Before you start frying the dough, you need to let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This will help slacken the gluten in the dough and allow it to rise more easily during frying. You can even prepare the dough the day before, if you like, to make your life easier.
- Once you have the dough ready, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Cover the basket with parchment paper and spray lightly with olive or coconut oil (do not use a nonstick cooking spray like Pam, which can damage the coating on the basket).
- Heat the donuts in the air fryer for 7 to 8 minutes or until browned and puffed.
- Remove from the fryer and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool.
- When they are cool, you can add any type of coating, glaze, or icing that you desire.
We love a simple powdered sugar glaze but you could also top them with sprinkles or other toppings.
You can also fill your donuts with a variety of fillings, such as pudding or jelly. Just be sure to insert the filling in the side of the donut, not through the hole in the center of the donut.
After frying the donuts, you need to double-drain them before adding any kind of coating, glaze, or icing. This will prevent them from cooling down too much and forming too many holes in the dough. This will also make them crispier and more evenly cooked.