Doughnuts are the new cupcake – and the latest food fad for those who like to be creative in the kitchen. A homemade doughnut runs circles (pun totally intended) around the store-bought kind; just as a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie is far superior to any bagged kind, freshly made yeast dough fried and dipped in a sweet glaze while still warm makes the calories totally worth it.
Doughnuts from scratch are easier than you might think; a simple rich yeast dough is rolled and cut (if you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a round cookie cutter or glass rim, then cut a hole out of the middle with a shot glass, or poke one through and stretch it with your finger).
Homemade Honey-Dipped Doughnuts
Adapted from AllRecipes
2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
5 cups all-purpose flour
canola or other mild vegetable oil for frying
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup hot water, plus extra if needed
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter and 2 cups of the flour. Mix well, then beat in remaining flour half a cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover and set in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter or round cutter, then cut out a cycle in the middle. Cover with a tea towel on the countertop and let rise again until doubled.
To make the glaze, in a medium bowl stir together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, honey, water and vanilla; add more water if needed until the glaze is thin, but not watery. Set aside.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet until it’s hot, but not smoking. Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula and gently turn over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels or a wire rack set over a rimmed cookie sheet. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Makes about 3 dozen doughnuts.