Who isn’t a sucker for a really great donut?! Tender, fluffy, and a little bit chewy, there is almost nothing quite like a sweet glazed donut fresh from the fryer. Making donuts might seem like a daunting task, and they do take a bit of time, but I’ll give you plenty of tips to make it seem like you’ve been frying up donuts for years.
The recipe that follows is for a sinfully simple yeasted, or raised, donut. These are the kinds you find most often (the iconic Krispy Kreme), and the base dough for many variations, from vanilla glazed and chocolate glazed to jelly-filled, custard-filled, maple bars, and apple fritters.
Because this is a yeasted dough, you need to let the dough rise, then shape it and let the donuts proof (or puff up) before frying. Allow yourself a few hours to make these, but if you want to get a head start, make the dough and let it rise overnight in the fridge. Then just pull it out in the morning while you make coffee and let it come to room temperature (about 1 hour). Roll, cut out shapes, let it proof, and bingo, you have a decadent breakfast fit for a queen. Your family will thank you.
Glaze the donuts when they are fresh from the fryer and warm (just make sure to cool them enough so you can actually handle them without burning yourself). If you want to decorate the donuts—with sprinkles, coarse sugar, toasted chopped nuts, crumbled crisp-cooked bacon, or whatever you fancy—be sure to do it right away, before the glaze sets.
This is a great starter recipe, but swap out the glaze (chocolate, salted caramel, maple) or add chopped fresh herbs (thyme, basil) or citrus zest (lemon, lime, grapefruit) to make your own favorite flavor combination.
Vanilla Bean Glazed Raised Donuts
Makes 1 dozen donuts and 1 dozen holes
- 2¾ cups bread flour
- 1 packet (2¼ tsp) rapid rise (instant) yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk, warm (105 to 115˚F)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- Canola oil, for frying
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1/2 to 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out (save the pod for making vanilla sugar)
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the warm milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients along with the butter and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes; it will be slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.