Let’s talk about the big elephant in the room for a second. I don’t know if you noticed at all, but my site just got a complete and total makeover! It’s all brand new and exciting, and it’s all for you. Yes you. This makeover has been a long time coming. The old site just felt a bit outdated to me, and it could’ve just been because it’s looked the same way for forever. Not to mention the fact that a lot of you guys really hated, and I mean HATED, the yellow. Not so much the color itself, but rather, you hated the fact that the yellow was really hard to read. I received many emails about the yellow being hard on the eyes and asking if I could change it to a more web friendly color. It wasn’t that I didn’t care enough to change it, I did care believe me I did, but the fact was that I didn’t have any great ideas for a new design and layout and also I don’t know the first thing about website design. I needed a plan before I could switch my whole site around. It’s a scary venture. As daunting as it was though, I kept planning and scheming for several months and searched the interwebs and watched countless youtube videos to learn how about web design and html codes. After many frustrated days and nights, and with the help of my incredibly talented friend who designed all of the artwork for the new site, it was finally ready. So here we are on the launch of my fresh out the oven site.
I think I might’ve mentioned once or twice (okay maybe like a million times) how much I really love doughnuts. It seemed fitting to make them the theme of the site. I wanted you to visit and think, “Yeah, this is totally Jonathan.” Plus, who doesn’t like doughnuts?! To commemorate the new site, I thought it would be fitting to make doughnuts for the first post. It just felt like the right thing to do. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite doughnut. I believe in equal opportunity among each, except maybe jelly and custard filled doughnuts, I can’t get behind those sorry. But if I had to choose a favorite, like someone put a gun to my head and was like “Pick your favorite doughnut right now!” (Although why anyone would put a gun to my head just for that answer, is besides me) I would probably have to go with a classic cake doughnut with sprinkles. It brings me back to my child each and every time.
The thing that I love about doughnuts is that they’re perfect for a quick breakfast when you’re running late or when you don’t feel like eating something extravagant first thing in the morning or if you just want a treat when you wake up. You should treat yourself. You deserve it. They’re also great as a midday snack because hello we need a pick-me-up during the end of the workday. It just needs to happen. And they’re even better as a dessert after dinner. So what have we learned about doughnuts? They’re basically the greatest invention ever made and who invented them should have a monument erected and a observed holiday immediately. In the meantime, let’s do our own celebrating by making some doughnuts. Lucky for us all, this post is here to save the day.
As far as doughnuts go, these aren’t that complicated. Okay, so maybe you have to make a dough from scratch and then go through the trouble of rolling out the dough. And okay okay you have to cut the doughnuts out and then fry them. But you know what, it’s worth the effort. Doughnuts are always worth the effort. Let’s start by making the dough. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and pale in color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract until well incorporated.
**Tip: Make sure you start and end with the dry ingredients. It’s easier if you divide it by 3. So start with the dry, then the milk, then the dry, then the milk and once more with the dry.**
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, making sure to mix just until combined after each addition. DO NOT over-mix the dough because it’ll become tough and dense if you do and there’s nothing worse than tough and dense doughnuts, except maybe running out of doughnuts. That’s really sad.
Stir until the dough comes together. It’ll be slightly sticky, but don’t worry we’re going to knead it in a little bit until smooth.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for a minute or two just to make the dough smooth. Then roll out into a large rectangle and cut out with round doughnut cutters.
**Tip: If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, just use a plain round cookie cutter and then punch out the center with a piping tip, or anything else that is a tiny round. I don’t have doughnut cutters, so I did what any other cheap kitchen cook would do. I MacGyver’d the situation. **
Transfer the doughnuts and the doughnut holes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow the dough to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
**Note: This resting stage may be a small amount of time, but I promise it’s a crucial step. It allows them to get slightly puffy and mellow out a bit, if that makes sense. Doughnuts can relax as well. I’m not discriminating.**
While the dough rests, heat up the oil in a large pot. Fill about halfway up with either vegetable or canola oil. I used vegetable. Heat to about 375ºF, using a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pot.
**Note: I know it can be a hassle to grab a thermometer and monitor the temperature of the oil, but believe me the day you buy a candy thermometer you’re frying experience is going to change drastically!**
Fry the dough in batches for about 2 to 3 minutes, flipping them over halfway to ensure both sides brown evenly.
Transfer the fried doughnuts to a platter or plate lined with paper towels or paper bags to soak up the excess oil. Then place the doughnuts on a wire rack, set over a baking sheet.
Make the glaze for the doughnuts by mixing together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and a splash of milk.
**Note: You want the glaze to be somewhat thin. Not too thick that but also not too thin that it’s like water. You have to find a nice medium. If it’s too thick, add more milk and if it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. You can keep it natural or dye the glaze any color you like!**
Dip the doughnuts upside down into the glaze and then dunk into a big plate of sprinkles. You can never have too many sprinkles, so just go to town. Live a little and forget about an inhibitions you might have about making doughnuts. Return the dipped doughnuts to the wire rack. Continue dipping and dunking until all the doughnuts and holes are done.
The hardest part of this recipe ISN’T the dough making, and it ISN’T the rolling, cutting and frying. You would think it was, but it isn’t. The hardest part is this very moment. Debating about whether or not to dive in a eat one now or wait the appropriate amount of time for the glaze to set.
Once the doughnuts have set, you can forget all about your morals and manners and just let loose. Forget about everything I said earlier. When it comes to doughnuts, there is no wrong way. There’s only one way and it’s the right way and that’s taking the road down a path that leads you to an endless supple of fried doughnuts.
As with most homemade doughnuts that have just come out of the fryer, they’re best eaten immediately and as fast as you can gobble them down. I know that we can’t always finish them all off, though, I’m no monster, so if you do have any leftovers (what are leftovers?) then make sure you wrap them up really well and store them at room temperature.. You don’t want them to get stale. That would be bad.
I’ve eaten many a doughnut in my 26 years of life and although I’m determined to try them all before I pick a “favorite,” I do have the biggest soft spot for a classic sprinkled cake doughnut. There’s just something about them that is so nostalgic to me. If you feel like taking a trip down memory lane with me, straight through to my childhood, you know where I’ll be…right here eating doughnuts by myself, but only because I wouldn’t want to share them. Get in that kitchen of yours and make a batch this week. Enjy!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
- food coloring (if using)
- sprinkles, lots of sprinkles
- In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and pale in color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Make sure to stir only until just combined after each addition. Do not over mix. The dough will be slightly sticky and soft. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to make it smooth. Roll out into a large rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick. Cut the dough using a 3-inch round doughnut cutter and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue rerolling and cutting until all the dough is used.
- Fill a large pot just about halfway with vegetable oil. Attach a candy thermometer and heat the oil to about 375 degrees F. Once hot, carefully add a few doughnuts at a time. Fry each doughnut until golden brown, about 1 minute per side, flipping them over once browned. The doughnut holes will take about 30 seconds on both sides. Drain and transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet. Continue frying the rest.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk until desired consistency is reached. Dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze and then into the sprinkles and return to the wire rack to set. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.
- yields: about 12 doughnuts