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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Old Fashioned Yeast Doughnuts

Early this morning I had a craving for doughnuts. The Circle K convenience store on the corner usually has good doughnuts between 4a.m. and 6a.m. each morning. But I didn't want to go out to the Circle K. Finally, I decided that I'd just make some doughnuts of my own. This is a fairly easy yeast doughnut recipe which gives nice results. While these are yeast doughnuts they're a little more akin to cake doughnuts or ones you'd find at Dunkin' Donuts rather than the super light Krispy Kreme variety. In short, these are just good old fashioned make-at-home doughnuts like your grandmother might have made.

I decided to use a simple cinnamon-sugar topping for these. You just mix some granulated sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and drop in the warm doughnut and shake it around on both sides. Nothing could be simpler. If you're looking for a glazed or frosted doughnut the recipe includes both a vanilla glaze and chocolate glaze. You could even do my favorite maple flavored doughnuts by substituting maple flavoring or maple syrup in the vanilla glaze recipe for the vanilla extract.

Even better than the doughnuts themselves are the real doughnut holes these make. In fact, I thought about making an entire batch of just doughnut holes! They're simply scrumptious and turn out a little lighter than the doughnuts themselves so are a real taste treat.

You don't want to let these doughnuts sit for too long, though - no more than 12-24 hours. Like most fried breads they'll eventually get heavy and greasy. They're best served slightly warm!

Recipe: Old Fashioned Yeast Doughnuts

Traditional yeast doughnut recipe with cinnamon-sugar topping.


  • 2 packages rapid rise dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water, 105-115
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, 105-115
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable Oil, for frying
For Cinnamon Sugar Coating
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbs. ground cinnamon


  1. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 200° and immediately turn off.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, dissolve yeast in water and milk with 1 tbs. of the sugar.
  3. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together shortening and remainder of sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add yeast mixture and switch to dough hook.
  4. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix with dough hook until combined. Scrape sides of bowl and add remaining flour and knead dough on medium speed until it comes away from sides of the bowl and is smooth (about 5-7 minutes).
  5. Transfer dough to prepared greased bowl and place in slightly warm oven until dough has risen and doubled in size (about 50-60 minutes). When risen, punch down dough and transfer to a well floured work surface. Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut out doughnuts with floured doughnut cutter (Two round cookie cutters that are slightly different in size will also work.) Place doughnuts on sheet pans all cover with plastic wrap. Place back into warm oven for 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, place enough vegetable oil in a dutch oven to create a depth of 2-3 inches. Heat oil to 350°. When doughnuts are risen use a large spatula to gently lower 1 to 2 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. (Don't forget the holes!) Allow to brown on each side about 1 minute. Carefully remove from oil and drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and topped with a wire rack. Repeat with remainder of doughnuts and holes.
  7. While doughnuts are still warm, dip into cinnamon sugar mixture in a small bowl.


Vanilla Glaze:
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4-6 tbs. hot water

Melt butter in sauce pan. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Chocolate Glaze:
1/3 cup butter
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4-6 tbs. hot water

Heat butter and chocolate in saucepan over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Stir in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Total time: 1 hour 20 min
Number of servings (yield): 24 doughnuts
Meal type: snack
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)
Copyright © Buck Bannister and Sugar Pies.
Recipe Adapted by Buck Bannister.

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