We got to have our grandkids stay with us for ten days, earlier this summer, and one morning one of them said that they sure wished that we had some doughnuts. Grandma was still running around in her pj’s, at that time, and pretty comfortable staying that way, so I said, “Let’s make some!” Never mind that I had no idea what I was doing. The grandkids wanted doughnuts and doughnuts we would have. lol After looks of disbelief and wondering if I was actually some sort of magical doughnut fairy, the kids were pretty excited to hear we could make doughnuts in our kitchen.
When they saw me pulling ingredients from the cupboard they realized this was going to take a little longer than they expected, but any time you are making dough, it’s pretty easy to keep kids busy. They love getting their hands in it. And then watching it grow is another magical experience that they won’t soon forget, even if they need to invest a little time in the process. It’s well worth the effort to bake bread (or any dough product) with kids. They learn a lot and you all have great fun!
The recipe comes from this treasured old family cookbook. I learned a couple of things in the process of making them, that will make my doughnuts even better, next time. (Yes, I do believe there is going to be a next time!) First off, I rolled the dough way too thick. I rolled mine out to about 1-inch in thickness, when I was cutting the doughnuts. Because I started too thick, I didn’t wait long enough for them to raise, because they “looked raised enough”. Next time I will roll them to 1/2-inch thickness and allow them to rise to fully double in size before frying them. That will result in a lighter, airier texture to my doughnut. The second thing is to simply be patient and allow them to fully rise. My doughnuts were delicious, in flavor, but heavy in texture. Next time, I will remember that the best doughnuts come to those who wait…patiently. 🙂 An animation of the steps I took to make this yummy pastry, is posted below the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup butter or coconut oil, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- oil for frying (I use coconut oil, but any vegetable oil should work)
- Mix the warm milk, flour and yeast and set the bowl aside to "proof".
- In another bowl, beat the egg, sugar, butter and salt until thoroughly combined. (The butter needs to be melted, but cool enough that it won't cook the eggs when they mix.)
- Beat the butter and yeast mixtures together, until it is light and all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Add the final 2 cups of flour and knead to form a soft dough. (you can add a little more flour, if necessary, but while the dough should not be sticky, it WILL be very soft.)
- Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size.
- Roll out on lightly floured counter or Silpat to about ½" thickness.
- Cut doughnuts and allow them to rise, again, until doubled in size.
- Heat oil in a pot with deep sides, to 375 degrees.
- Once the oil has reached the correct temperature, gently add a raised doughnut to the pan and allow it to brown on one side, gently turn it and brown it on the other.
- Remove the doughnut form the oil, drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag.
- Warm doughnuts can be tossed in sugar, or after cooled, glazed with a powdered sugar glaze.