Introduction: How to Fry the Perfect Donut
Sure it's easy to run to the donut shop and grab a dozen tasty delights.......unless you are me. Simply because there is only one tiny donut shop in my tiny town and it is awful! Sorry to the shop owner but your donuts taste like nothing but over-used oil.
If you have ever experienced something similar you might be wondering how to make delicious donuts at home. It's not a secret that donuts aren't healthy in any way so I wouldn't recommend making these often but it is definitely necessary once in a while and this is how to do it right!!
Step 1: Prep Work
Before you dive into donut making you will need to do a little prep work. Some of the steps are optional but mashing the blueberries is not.
Cardamom - You can use store bought ground cardamom but if you grind it fresh you will get a much more intense flavor. Break open the green pods and empty the seeds into a mortar and pestle. Crush until finely ground.
Buttermilk - I usually don't have buttermilk on hand but it is very easy to make. Measure out one cup of milk and add one tablespoon of lemon juice. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Milk will begin to curdle. You can use store bought buttermilk if you prefer.
Blueberries - Using a vegetable masher, mash blueberries.
Step 2: Blueberry Cake Donuts
Before you can fry a perfectly delicious donut you need a delicious recipe! My favorite donuts are blueberry so that's what I like to make. Follow along closely!
Blueberry Cake Donuts - makes 15 donuts and lots of donut holes!
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons), melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries, mashed
4 cups flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment mix together sugar, cardamom, baking powder, and salt.
Add in buttermilk, butter, egg, vanilla and blueberries. Mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
Add in three cups of flour (one cup at a time) mixing well between each cup. This is a very critical part of making donuts. If you add too much flour you will get a tough floury tasting donut. I've done this before and it doesn't equal 'good' in any form.
Once the three cups of flour are well incorporated and the dough is still very sticky add in up to one cup more (1/4 cup at a time) until the dough is still sticky but can be worked with. The stickier the better. Trust me!
Transfer dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours. I know this sounds like a long time and I understand it is putting a damper on your snooze button to get these ready by 8am but it is necessary in order to shape the sticky dough. Besides you can go back to bed for those 2-3 hours!!!!
Step 3: Blueberry Glaze
Along with a great dough you need a fantastic glaze for your donuts. In this case blueberry. If you aren't a blueberry fan try substituting strawberry or raspberry in the dough and the glaze. Easy enough, right?!
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon blueberry jam, preserves or jelly
1/4 cup milk
In a medium mixing bowl whisk all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
Step 4: Roll and Fry
Since we have agreed (you did agree right?!) that we don't like donuts that taste like oil we want to avoid that.
If you have a fryer I suggest using it to make the heating process easier. If you don't you will need a deep frying pan or a skillet and a thermometer.
ALWAYS USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN FRYING IN HOT OIL. IT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS IF ONE IS NOT CAREFUL. DO NOT LET CHILDREN HELP.
In the fryer heat approximately two to three inches of CANOLA oil to 360 degrees F. I emphasize canola oil because it will give the donuts a great texture and won't leave you with an oily tasting donut. Please don't use vegetable oil. Again I have tried it and failed horribly!!
While the oil is heating remove the donut dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface roll dough to 3/4 inch thick using a rolling pin. Using a donut cutter (dunked in flour) cut as many rounds and you can. If you don't have a donut cutter you could use a biscuit cutter or a cookie cutter and a smaller cutter of some sort to make the hole - maybe the rim of a small shot glass. They don't need to be perfect circles, frying will change that anyway!! Transfer rounds to a baking sheet.
Once oil is heated to 360 degrees F gently drop rounds into the oil in batches of 3-5 depending on size of your frying pan. Don't crowd the donuts! Crowding will drop the temperature to much and the dough will absorb the oil instead of cooking it instantly.
When placing anything in hot oil always put the front edge (closest to your body) in first and drop the back edge (away from your body) in last. This way if any oil does splatter it will splash away from you so you don't get burned.
Fry donuts approximately two minutes on each side or until a deep golden brown. If you see some cracking in the donut while frying it is perfectly normal and a good sign. This will provide more nooks for the glaze to pool in! Those are my favorite donuts! This also tells you enough baking powder was added to get a good rise from the dough.
Using a spider, tongs or slotted spoon remove donuts from fryer onto a wire rack. The spider is my favorite because it allows the most oil to drain right away.
Step 5: Dunk in Glaze
When the donuts are still hot and they look dry dunk the donuts in glaze using tongs. Press one side in the glaze, flip over and dunk the other side.
Place on wire rack to let excess glaze drip off.
Glaze will harden on the donuts as it cools.
Serve to hungry people who love donuts and save one for yourself!