Updated: Aug 29
Doughnut has been around since 1847 and in fact the ring shaped doughnut was actually invented by a 16 year old American, Hanson Gregory with the idea that having a hole in the centre will prevent the dough from having doughy centre and greasy doughnuts that was twisted in different shapes before that.
The very first type of doughnut invented was actually flavoured with nutmeg, lemon rind and cinnamon. The trend of doughnut was quite crazy probably around a decade ago in Malaysia where you can see chains of doughnut shops opening all around but nevertheless, gourmet doughnuts and inventive glazing comes and goes and is still going.
My parents used to travel a lot interstate for business and the smell of cinnamon doughnuts in plastic boxes reminds me a lot of my time longing for them to come home because that would be one of the thing that my mother will always bring home on their drive back, amongst the many other things are such as coconut hard candy, packets of seaweeds, Ham and Cheese Sandwich (Yupe, that too!), Japanese rice crackers and so much more. I never really find out where they bought the doughnuts from, but it was a simple but reminiscing doughnut for me :)
The things about food with me is that I always fall back to things I remember in all senses (smell, visual and taste) and with anyone's childhood memory, the preference of flavours can be quite personal. So, in this post, I am going to do something a little different from my childhood treat but equally as delicious: My Miso Glazed Doughnuts. This doughnut have a soft interior with the sweetness paired with some saltiness from the miso in the glaze that I just love.
It is recommended that you consume the doughnut the same day that they are made. Overnight doughnuts can still be delicious and all you need to do is pop them into the microwave for a small burst in seconds before consuming.
How to make yeast raised doughnut
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 for interchanging different type of yeast are as follow:
Compressed Fresh Yeast x 0.5 = Active Dry Yeast
Compressed Fresh Yeast x 0.33 = Instant Yeast
Active Dry Yeast x 2 = Compressed Fresh Yeast
Active Dry Yeast x 0.75 = Instant Yeast
Instant Yeast x 3 = Compressed Fresh Yeast
Instant Yeast x 1.33 = Active Dry Yeast
*This formula is taken from On Baking Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals by Eddy Van Damme
Types of oil 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 since they don't impart too much flavour to the doughnut doughs. You can use pretty much any type of vegetable oil for frying and the few examples are such as corn oil or cottonseed oil.
Sustainable use and disposal of cooking 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!
Ideal temperature for frying doughnuts
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 160°C-165°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 160°-165°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 to test if 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 160°C- 165°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.
Yield: 6 Large Doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes.
Tools: 80mm and 30 mm Round Cutter
For the dough
180 g Buttermilk - warm to 32°C
6g Instant Dry Yeast
55 g Castor Sugar/ superfine sugar
300 g Plain flour, plus extra for dusting
40g Egg Yolks
30 g Unsalted Butter, Softened
300 g Vegetable Oil oil , for frying
For the Miso Glaze
200 g Icing Sugar, sifted 40 g Unsalted butter, Melted
30 g Full Cream Milk - Hot 20 g Miso Paste (1 tablespoon)
1. To prepare the dough. Place all the ingredients into the mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook and mix for 3 minutes on low speed until they come together to a rough dough.
2. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix further for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until it pass the window test.
To do the window test : (Pinch a small portion from the dough and stretch it between both your hands white rotating it. If you are able to stretch the dough thin enough to see through like a "window", you have developed enough gluten and the dough is ready from mixing. If the dough breaks apart the moment you try to stretch it, you will need to mix it for longer. Check every two minutes to monitor the gluten development)
3. Transfer the dough on to your work bench and tighten it to a smooth ball. Place the ball of dough into a lightly greased bowl with the seam side underneath then cover with a damp tea towel and leave at room temperature to bulk ferment or until it increases double its original size.
Note: Ensure that the bowl is large enough for the dough to increase in size. This process will take approximately 1 -2 hours depending on the ambient of your kitchen.
4. Once the dough have doubled in size, lightly dust your work bench then transfer the dough on to it. Dust the top of the dough with some flour as well as your rolling pin. Roll the dough to approximately 15mm in thickness. Using a 80mm round cutter, dip the cutter in some flour them cut the dough to individual disc. . Then with a 30mm round cutter, dip in some flour and cut a hole in the centre of each doughnuts.
The first round of cut will give you 4 doughnuts.
Gently lift the doughnut and place them over its individual cut out square piece of non stick parchment paper.
5. Roll the left over dough once again without kneading them too much then cut out two more doughnuts like before.
With the rest of the remainder dough, you can continue to cut to small balls of doughnuts and place them on separate parchment paper.
6. Cover both doughnuts and doughnut holes with tea towel and leave to bulk ferment until they double in size again. This process will take a much shorter time, approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
7. Once the doughnuts have increased in size, proceed to pre heating the oil over the stove until it reaches 165°C - 175°C. Turn off the heat and working with one to two doughnuts at a time, gently drop the doughnuts by dipping the doughnut with the parchment paper into the hot oil to release the doughnut then remove the parchment paper and leave to fry for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until the surface starts to turn light golden in colour, then with a heatproof spatula, turn the doughnut over and fry the opposite side for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes again.
Note: Monitor the temperature throughout the whole frying process and maintain the oil temperature to between 165°C-175°C. If the oil starts to get too hot, turn the heat off and vice versa. Frying at a temperature that is too low will cause the doughnut to soak up too much of the oil and taste greasy while frying at a temperature that is too high will burn the outside of the doughnut before the inside can be cooked through.
The dough should be light golden in colour. With the help of a thong, remove the doughnuts and place them over onto a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
8. Prepare the miso glaze by placing all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and whisk until all the sugar have dissolved and the butter are melted. While the icing is still hot, dip the doughnuts and tap off any excess glaze.
It is recommended to consume the doughnut on the same day that they are made. Any leftover doughnut can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For better eating quality on older doughnuts, place them onto a microwave plate and microwave for 10 - 15 seconds before consuming. :)
Note: Fermentation time may vary depending on the mixing time and the ambient of your kitchen. The following instructions is a guideline. adjustment may be necessary depending on your working environment.