We continue our donut journey with a foray into classic yeasted ring donuts. These are the donuts we all know in love. They’re breadier than cake donuts, but are nevertheless light and fluffy and covered in sugar. Think Krispy-Kreme, except Krispy-Kreme is overrated (sorry my West Coast folks. Also I’ve never had a Dunkin Donut so sorry East Coast folks too.) I’m sorry but unless you eat a Krispy Kreme when it’s piping hot it’s nothing to write home about. Roth’s donuts all the way (I guess Oregonians are the only ones not mad at this post.)
The recipe I used for these donuts comes from one of my fave cookbooks, my Illustrated Step by Step Baking book by Caroline Bretherton. This is also one of my cookbooks featured in my five fave cookbooks post, linked here: https://www.bimakingpie.com/2019/08/26/5-cookbooks-to-get-you-into-baking/
So obviously I didn’t follow the recipe step-by-step like a normal person. The donuts are a fairly standard enriched dough; they’re made by blooming the yeast into warmed milk and melted butter, then combining it with the eggs and then flour. The recipe then calls for letting the dough rise at room temp for 1-2 hours, but as I’ve learned with most dough, and especially enriched dough, it’s better to let it do a slow cold rise in the fridge overnight for better flavor and an easier texture to work with (enriched dough is STICKY). The mixing process went well, although I realized that I had extra-large eggs instead of REGULAR large eggs so I just had to add more flour than the recipe called for to make it workable. I also kneaded the dough with my stand mixer because enriched dough is an absolute bitch to knead by hand. Don’t do it. Or you can but you’re gonna have a bad, sticky time.
The dough cooperated and rose properly overnight, so in the morning I was able to roll out the dough and cut out my donuts and holes. The recipe called for just dividing the dough into 12 balls and THEN rolling the balls into circles and cutting out the holes, but that seemed backwards and dumb to me, so I just rolled out all the dough together and cut the donuts out from that. After cutting the donuts I let them rise again for another hour.
Once again the frying process was pretty easy, and this time I was better at keeping the temperature consistent by lowering and increasing the heat as needed. Some of the donuts turned out a little darker than I would have liked, but none of them burnt so, a triumph! This time around I glazed them day-of since I was taking them to a friend the same day. I decided on regular glazed and chocolate with sprinkles.
The regular glaze recipe comes from Alton Brown/Food Network. I liked this recipe better than the one I used for the cake donuts. You heat up the milk and sugar so that the glaze sets up harder and more opaque so you get nice crackly glaze with every bite. The chocolate glaze was also very simple and comes from Epicurious. (It was actually one of the few chocolate glaze recipes I could find that doesn’t use corn-syrup. Every blogger seems to think the corn syrup makes it shiny but my glaze was PLENTY shiny so who knows.) Here are the links to both glaze recipes.
Of course I ate one of the wonkier donuts fresh out of the fryer for testing purposes, and they are DELICIOUS. Once again most of the sweetness comes from the glaze, which is good because it makes the flavor more balanced. This might’ve been because I used bigger eggs and more flour, but I wish the dough was just a teeny bit lighter. The donuts were bready, which isn’t a bad thing, but I like a donut that kind of melts in your mouth. I also ate one the day after, and overall I think they hold up better than cake donuts, but are still best eaten day of.
Here are my thoughts from Round 2:
- I continue to be surprised with how easy the whole frying process is. Aside from the rising time it took me less than an hour to fry and glaze these boys
- I really do recommend chilling enriched dough overnight, even though it takes longer. But for a lot of that time you are asleep! And then you get hot donuts for breakfast
- I wish I had added a little nutmeg to the dough recipe, I really liked it in the cake donuts and think it really adds to the “donuty” flavor
- Cleanup was WAY easier with these donuts, mainly because I didn’t have a mountain of flour everywhere and I was also more prepared to have paper towels down to catch the oil and drips from the glaze
For my last round of donuts I will be continuing with the yeasted variety, but this time they’ll be filled donuts! Specifically jelly-filled and boston creme. Fun fact, every time I have tried to make pastry cream/custard I have sucked balls at it, so this should be fuuunnn!