Updated: Oct 8, 2021
HOW TO MAKE YEAST RAISED DOUGHNUTS
Doughnut are made with the simplest ingredients as for most soft bread which include ingredients such as flour, yeast, sugar, milk and butter. The ingredients are mixed together until gluten develops and left to bulk ferment or double in volume then rolled and cut out to individual doughnut shapes and left to final proof again. Once they have gone through their final proofing stage, the doughnuts are then fried and often toss in sugar or glazed.
When selecting flour to make doughnuts, I prefer plain flour to baker's flour. I have used both for the same purpose and find that doughnuts made with baker's flour tend to be a lot chewier and tougher in texture. Plain flour has lower gluten forming protein and yields a softer crumb texture in the dough.
You can use any type of yeast for doughnuts with the only significant difference in the amount that each type of yeast is required as their strength differs, and time it takes for the yeast to do its magic. Fresh yeast or naturally leavened takes a much longer fermentation time, whereas instant dry yeast and active dry yeast needs a less fermentation time. Choose the type of yeast or natural leaven to suit your preference and applications.
To interchange between the different type of yeast, just know that you generally need more of fresh yeast or naturally leavened compared to instant or active dry yeast. The simple formula that I have come up with is as follow:
7 g Fresh Yeast = 100 g Naturally leaven
1 g Fresh Yeast = 0.34 g Instant Dry Yeast
1 g Fresh Yeast = 0.4 g Active Dry Yeast
100 g Naturally Leavened = 2.4 g Instant Dry Yeast
100 g Naturally Leavened = 2.8 g Active Dry Yeast
OILS FOR FRYING
The best type of oil for frying anything including doughnuts are oils that have high smoking point, meaning that they do not begin to smoke too soon since the temperature required to fry most stuff sit between 160°C - 180°C. The most common type of oil used for frying commercially are such as lard or vegetable oil. Avocado oil tends to have a higher smoking point as well and is lower cholesterol since it contained a high level of monounsaturated fat and raises only the level of good cholesterol in the body. However, avocado oil imparts some type of flavour to your baked goods which in the case of doughnut would not be ideal. In this recipe, I have opted for Canola oil as they don't impart any flavours to the baked product. You can use pretty much any type of vegetable oil for frying and the few examples are such as corn oil or cottonseed oil.
HOW TO SUSTAINABLY DISPOSE OF OLF FRYING OIL
Once the doughnuts have been fried, you can strain the oil and leave them in a heat proof container to be reused again. You can typically re use frying oil for up to 4 times until it starts to turn dark yellow in colour and begin to odour.
When ready to dispose of old frying oil, you should pour them into a leak safe biodegradable containers and discard of them safely. Alternatively, you can check with your council as some councils will be happy to dispose of your old oils in the right way or to make other fuel.
Never throw oils in to the drain pipe as not only is this not environmentally friendly, the oil can coat the sink pipes and cause clogs and as the oil starts to accumulate and harden it can cause backing up of sewer into your home.
If you are not frying much, after frying, you can use up the leftover oil for cooking until you have used them up. This is usually my option and it saves money as well!
The ideal temperature for most frying is around 180°C-190°C. With doughnuts, I prefer to fry them at a lower temperature that sits between 165°C-175°C but not so low that the dough starts to absorb all of the oil. The reason to this is because the surface starts to turn brown rather quickly at a higher temperature and have a tendency of having a crisp dark outer layer with an undercooked interior.
The purpose of having a range of temperature from 165°-175°C is just so you can maintain the oil at that temperature without going too low or too high. When frying the doughnut, make sure to monitor the temperature of the fryer with the help of a thermometer if you are not using a fryer. If the oil starts to get too hot, simply turn the heat off and let it get to the recommended temperature before placing the doughnuts in and vice versa.
Be mindful as well that every time you put a doughnuts into the oil, the temperature will drop.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THE DOUGHNUTS ARE READY FOR FRYING?
One of the best way to test if your doughnuts are ready for frying is to always safe the doughnut holes, even when you have no plan on utilizing them. When you feel that the doughnuts are ready, simply heat up the oil to between 165°C- 175°C. Once the oil reaches the recommended temperature, drop a doughnut hole in to the oil. The doughnut should start to float above the oil. This is the indication that the doughnut has a lot of air mainly produced by the yeast and is light inside, and the they are ready for frying.
Makes: 10 Doughnuts
375 g Plain Flour
30 g Caster Sugar
30 g Light brown sugar
7 g Instant dry yeast
9 g Salt
50 g Whole egg (1 medium egg)
165 g Milk
40 g Butter-Melted and cooled
400 g Vegetable oil - for frying
100 g Granulated/Superfine Sugar
10 g Cinnamon Powder
2 tbsp. Vanilla Bean Paste
1. Place all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Start by mixing on low speed for 3 minutes until the ingredients start to come together and form in to a shaggy dough.
Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl, looks shiny and is pliable.
To check if the dough it ready, do a window test.
2. Transfer the dough onto your work bench then roll it to a smooth ball. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl with its seam side underneath. Cover the bowl with a tea towel until it increases double its size.
Note: Ensure that you use a bowl large enough for the dough to increase in size. This process is call the bulk fermentation and takes between 1 hour to 2 hours depending on the ambient of your kitchen.
3. Once the dough have risen. Lightly dust your work surface with some flour and transfer the dough over. Dust the top with some flour and rub some flour on the rolling pin. Roll the dough to approximately 15mm in thickness then cut out individual ring with a 80 mm round cutter. Transfer each disc of doughnut on to its own square of parchment paper then cut out the centre of each disc with a 30 mm round cutter. Place the doughnuts onto a tray and cover with a tea towel and leave to final proof at room temperature or until it starts to rise slightly and feels light to touch. This process takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
4. When the doughnuts are almost ready, pre heat the oil until it reaches 165-175°C. working on a few doughnuts at a time, dip the doughnuts while they are still on the parchment paper in the oil (being careful not to burn yourself) and let the doughnut slide in to the hot oil. Fry for 1½ - 2 minutes or until it starts to turn light brown in colour then using a thong, flip the doughnut(s) over and fry for the same amount of time.
Once both sides are fried, pick the doughnuts up with the thong and place them onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
5. Check the temperature of the oil and maintain it at the required temperature before frying the next batch.
If the oil gets too hot, simply turn the heat off and vice versa until it gets to the require temperature.
6. Once all the doughnuts have been fried, toss them in the cinnamon dusting and serve.
It is recommended that you consume the doughnuts as soon as they are fried for best quality. If you are planning to keep them, simply microwave the doughnuts for 10-15 seconds before consuming.
It is not recommended to keep the doughnuts for more than a day.