I try to avoid writing blog posts when I’m in a bad mood because of instead of helping you achieve peak awesomeness, I just complain about somebody stole my lunch and my favorite pen, and now I’m starving and want to cry.
I’d like to pass on a little advice to any young ladies who might be reading. You’ll know you’ve found the right partner if they let you whine like a four year and then order you a cheeseburger and a milkshake because you’re too hungry to even make a decision about what you want to eat. Then they bring you a cup of tea and just tell you they love you without making you feel like a crazy person. That’s true love.
You know that meme with the skinny girl who says, “Don’t reward yourself with food. You’re not a dog.” Remember her? Yeah, she sucks. I had a crap day and I deserve a doughnut. To my delight and astonishment, I recently learned that it’s surprisingly easy to make your own doughnuts from scratch.
This is not a quick process. You definitely have to have some patience, but they are relatively easy, and the results are out of this world. I highly recommend you eat at least one of these within five minutes of cooking. There’s absolutely nothing quite as heavenly as a freshly fried doughnut.
The first time I made these, I added just the right amount of flour and they came out looking beautiful. Of course, this time, the dough was a bit too sticky, so these particular doughnuts are a spiky mess. Honestly, though, the crunchy spikes added great texture, so don’t panic if this happens to you.
Still nervous about deep frying? Remember to use a thermometer, long tongs, and a heavy pan with high sides. Just keep a close eye on the temperature. Everything will be fine.
Is it easier to just go buy doughnuts from the Greg’s directly below your house? Well, yes, but I promise, these will be a hundred times better. And with this simple, basic recipe, you can adapt, glaze, and sprinkle to your heart’s content.
Please, please, please make your own Plainly Awesome Doughnuts. You won’t be sorry.
Plainly Awesome Doughnuts
Plainly Awesome Doughnuts are heavenly. You'll be dancing with joy.
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting
- 1 cup milk
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus some for topping if you like
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast and let it sit for about five minutes. It should be foamy. If it's not, go buy some fresh yeast and start again.
- In a large mixing bowl add your yeast mixture, 3-1/2 cups flour, and all remaining ingredients, and combine using an electric mixer with a dough hook. Beat at a low speed until a soft dough forms, then turn the speed on your mixer up to medium high, and beat for another three minutes. If your dough is still very sticky, slowly add up to another 1/2 cup of flour until it's just dry enough to handle.
- Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl to bring everything together, then sprinkle a light layer of flour over the top of your dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for the dough to rise until doubled for about 2 hours.
- Flour a clean counter or dough mat and dump your dough onto it. Roll the dough out gently until it's about 1/2 an inch thick. Use a 2-1/2 or 3 inch cutter to cut out as many doughnuts as you can. Get your circles close together as you won't really be able to reroll this dough without it getting tough. If you want to be really thrifty, you could cut the remaining dough into "doughnut holes."
- Place your cut doughnuts on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover them with a clean kitchen towel, and leave this to rise again for about 30 minutes.
- Attach a candy thermometer to your high-sided, heavy bottom pot and pour in about 2-1/2 inches of oil. Heat your oil up to 350F. Keep a close eye on the temperature as you go, and do your best to keep steady. Fry your doughtnuts for about two minutes per side or until golden brown and puffy. I could fit two at a time in my pan.
- If you want to have sugar-coated doughnuts, have a plate or bowl with a shallow layer of fine sugar ready to go as you remove each doughnut from the oil. Press the side of the doughnut that's just been in the oil into your sugar, then flip it over to cool on a wire rack. If you're feeling frisky, go ahead and sugar both sides.
- Allow your doughnuts to cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your face off. The best experience will be to eat the doughnuts within ten minutes. They'll still taste good the next day, but the magic happens when they're fresh.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson