Yummy, Pillowy Donuts

IMG_6688I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me so long to try making my own donuts when it’s essentially deep fried bread. As much as I love the glazed krispy kremes, it’s really too sweet, as are most donuts, so making them myself allows me to control the sweetness. It is surprisingly easy to do, it takes time, but not that difficult, especially if you bake breads.

I found a recipe on Epicurious, but thought the steps are overly complicated. So I pared down the steps and it worked out fine for me. Here’s my adapted recipe using the same ingredients. I’ve made 2 batches so far and according to my colleagues, these were pretty darn good.

Some notes:

  • I find these donuts really not too sweet at all without the icing sugar. If you like your donuts sweet, add more sugar
  • For the 2nd batch, I forgot to let it proof before dumping it in the fridge and while it turned out ok, one colleague commented that the flavour was slightly lacking in the 2nd batch
  • Letting it sit longer in the fridge gave me a fluffier donut, but perhaps, do not let it sit more than 12 hours
  • I just dusted these with icing sugar, but you can get all fancy and dip them in chocolate or even fill them with pastry cream
  • Do read the original recipe on Epicurious as it does have some pretty good tips



  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated to 110°F
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups (320 to 400 grams) bread flour (all purpose flour will work too)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Mix yeast and sugar together with the warm milk and let sit until frothy.

Add in egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined using the dough hook.

Mix in 1 3/4 cups of bread flour and salt on medium until dough starts to come together.

Add the butter and mix until well incorporated.

Add the remaining flour slowly, using 1/4 cup at a time, until dough starts to pull away from the sides. It can take as little as 1/4 cup or as much as a full cup. The end result will be a soft and slightly sticky dough.

Cover the dough with cling film and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, expel any air bubbles then wrap in cling film and place in a refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 12 hours.

When ready to fry, roll out the dough into small balls. These expand quite a bit so if you want bite-sized pieces, make them smaller. Place dough balls on a floured tray and place in a warm place to proof until double in size, about 30 minutes or so.

Prepare plates or trays lined with paper towels while dough balls are proofing.

Once dough balls are ready, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottom pot.

Fry a few pieces at a time, 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden in colour. Because these are round in shape, there will be some pieces which will refuse to turn over, in such cases, use your spatula to press them down!

Transfer the donuts onto the paper-lined trays and let cool.

Repeat with rest of dough balls.

Once cool, dust a layer of icing sugar on top of the donuts.

Serve and enjoy!


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