I feel myself to be somewhat of a donut snob. I’m not a fan of cake donuts and grocery store donuts are usually too dry and boring. My all-time favorite donut shop is in Estes Park, but since that it is a bit of a trek from my house, I finally bit the bullet and tried my hand at making them homemade. The recipe is a combination of Pioneer Woman’s and a glaze I found online. The key to success with these donuts is to dip them basically as soon as you have pulled them out of the fryer. This will give you the Krispy Kreme-esque glaze on the top and if you eat it warm it will just melt in your mouth. I know since this is a yeasted dough it takes some pre-planning on your part, but the results were worth it.
For the Dough:
- 1 1/8 cup whole milk, warm
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (one package) Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), melted
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Shortening/oil for frying
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Enough cream or milk to thin, about 3 tablespoons (you want a consistency of school glue)
- Dash of salt
Warm the milk until it is getting nice and warm when you dip your finger in it, about 105 degrees. I did this by microwaving my milk in 30 sec increments, testing it after each time. It took about 1:15 sec. Add the milk to a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let the yeast rest for 5 minutes. Add the beaten eggs and melted butter to the bowl and stir to combine. While the mixer is running slowly, add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Mix for a whole five minutes to work the dough well. Turn off the bowl and let the dough sit in the bowl of the mixer for 10 minutes. After the rest period turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours up to overnight.
To make the donuts, take the dough out of the fridge and roll out to 1/4″-1/3″ thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use a donut cutter or the largest round cutter you have, and use the smallest round cutter you can to cut the whole in the middle. I also just used a star shape because one of my sons really wanted to. Place them on baking sheets lined parchment or wax paper, cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm spot to rise for about 1.5 hours.
When the donuts look like they have about doubled in size, heat up vegetable or canola oil in a sauce pan to 375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer you can test the temperature with one of your donut holes. It should immediately rise to the surface when introduced to the oil. While the oil is heating up, combine your glaze ingredients in a medium size bowl so it’s ready for your donuts when they come out of the oil.
Fry the donuts in small batches, keeping a close eye on them. When you see they have browned on the bottom, flip them with a fork or spatula and cook on the other side. My donuts cooked extremely quickly here at altitude, so it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes, just watch them closely. After they are browned on both sides, take them out of the fryer and put them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Then, immediately dip them on both sides in the glaze. This will give them that nice shine. Let them drain on a rack so the excess glaze can drip down. Enjoy immediately and try not to eat them all at once.