Saturday, August 11, 2012

Overnight Yeast Doughnuts - Best Recipe I Have Tried!

Last weekend, I found my favorite waffle recipe to date, and this weekend I found the best doughnut recipe that I have tried so far.  The doughnuts turned out light and fluffy and really tasty.  It is a two-day process and does take some work, but I was in the mood to cook last night and the prep work this morning wasn't too bad.

First, make a sponge from warm water, yeast, and flour.

When you mix the yeast and water and let it sit, be sure that it blooms before you add the flour.  For me, this always happens at the very last part of the allotted time.  Please note that the pictures of the yeast blooming are taken just seconds apart.  Just in case you have not worked with yeast before, I wanted to show what the process looks like.

Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt.

Add the sponge mixture and flour, and switch to the dough hook on the mixer.  Mix until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and clings to the hook.

Butter the sides of a large bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place for an hour and a half to two hours.  It should be double in size.  I keep my house pretty cold during the summer months, so I have found that I have to set my oven on the "Warm and Hold" setting and leave it on for about 15 minutes.  Then I turn it off and put my dough in to rise.  This method seems to make the dough rise perfectly.

I deviated from the original recipe a bit here.  I punched the dough down, but left it in my large bowl because the bowl had a lid.  I covered the top of the dough in plastic wrap, put the lid on, and left it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, roll out the dough to about 1/2" thickness on a floured surface and cut with a doughnut cutter.  I found that thickness is important.  My first try was too thin and my next try was too thick.  Once I found a happy middle, they rose and cooked perfectly.

I put the doughnuts and doughnut holes on parchment paper on cookie sheets, and put in the oven to rise for another 30 minutes.

While they were in the oven, I prepared my glazes.  These are the same glazes that I use every time I make doughnuts.

Plain Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
4-5 tablespoons of milk (more or less, depending on preferred consistency)

Cinnamon Sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
4-5 tablespoons of milk (more or less, depending on preferred consistency)

Of course, these can be adjusted to taste.  This is just what I have found works for my family.  A couple of side notes... The pictures will indicate a really dark-colored cinnamon.  This is because I was working before my second cup of coffee and started pouring the cocoa powder into the granulated sugar.  Once I realized what I was doing, I scooped as much of it out as I could, but there were some leftover bits of cocoa powder in the mixture.  It wasn't bad, even though it was a total accident.  Also, I decided to experiment this morning and use cooled brewed coffee in place of milk for my chocolate glaze.  It was pretty tasty as well.

Heat the oil to between 350-375 degrees.  Once the doughnuts are risen, fry the doughnuts in the oil for 1-2 minutes on each side (until they are golden brown).  Be sure and turn them quickly.  If they fry too long on one side, they get heavy and tend to keep flipping onto the heavy side.  This is especially important for the doughnut holes.

Once the doughnuts are fried, I let them cool on a cooling rack sitting on a cookie sheet.  Then, I dip them into the glaze of choice and put them back on the cooling rack.

Deputy D and Little Man agreed that this is the best recipe I have tried so far.  Deputy D would like the dough itself a little sweeter, so if anyone has any ideas on how to tweak this recipe to make it a sweeter dough, please let me know!


  1. Add more sugar--or I add honey !Yummmmm.

  2. Can I just add additional without messing up the recipe? I was worried that if I just started adding, the recipe wouldn't come out right.

    1. Yes-the honey will not mess it up at all.I do it with my sourdough cimm. rolls.

  3. I add Malt powder. The flavor is amazing & it doesn't appear to effect the yeast.

  4. Oh I need to try your chocolate glaze recipe! Aren't these the yummiest donuts ever? :)