If I were allowed to eat one thing without limit in this life, I would choose doughnuts. Soft pillows of freshly fried dough, I could eat them every day. Alas, I don’t eat them as often as I would like, but I eat them as often as I should, which is occasionally. Doughnut dreams are the best dreams and we remember them because they are special events.
Honey Dipped Doughnuts are Old Fashioned Treats
My favorite cookbooks are the ones that were written before 1975. We forget how few ingredients supermarkets used to carry – In those days, there were no macaroni and cheese dinners or pre-assembled salad kits. Basics such as flour, butter, sugar and salt were combined in thousands of ways to make something different. And (dramatic pause for emphasis) most of those old recipes were tested over and over again (SO IMPORTANT!) This doughnut recipe is adapted from an old Fleishman’s Yeast bread book. The cover has worn off, so I have no idea when it was printed. Mine is a 25 year-old photocopy of a friend’s beat-up copy. The paper may be falling apart, but the recipes are enduring.
Making yeast raised doughnuts at home isn’t all that difficult. But you have to be experienced with deep frying. A deep-frying thermometer is required, plus a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven as a frying pot. Don’t use a thin metal stock pot as it will be difficult to control the heat. Small electric fryers are ok, but make sure the kids and pets are far away when you use them. Spills would be dangerous.
The Ocassional Doughnut is the Best Doughnut
I recommend a 3” doughnut cutter, which in reality is a 2.75” (6.9cm) doughnut cutter. Once you fry the doughnut, it puffs to 3” (7.6cm). Fry the doughnut holes too as those are excellent little treats. I have a gargantuan 7” (17.7cm) doughnut cutter that I found in a junk shop in the Texas Hill Country. It was hand crafted by a skilled machinist and is absolutely ridiculous. I made a couple of doughnuts with it, as you will see in the photos. But if you only allow yourself one doughnut every now and then, it is the perfect size.Print
- Prep Time: 75 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 minute
- Total Time: 1 hour 16 minutes
- Yield: 16 Doughnuts 1x
3–3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (375g-450g)
3 tbsp. sugar (38g)
1 tsp. salt (4g)
1 pk yeast (7g)
1 cup milk (240ml)
¼ cup water (60ml)
2 tbsp. butter (28g)
2 eggs – room temperature
Vegetable oil for frying*
2/3 cup honey (155g)
2 tbsp. water or orange juice (30ml)
In the bowl of a mixer, combine 1 ½ cups flour (187g), sugar, salt and yeast. Stir to combine well.
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter. Heat until the mixture reaches 120°F – 130°F (48°C – 54°C). Turn the mixer on a slow speed, and gradually add the heated liquid, beating for 2 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and ½ cup of the flour. Turn the mixer on again to combine the added ingredients, about 1 minute. Add more flour ½ cup (62g) at a time until you have a stiff batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape down the sides and stir once or twice. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll out the dough to 1” thickness (2.5cm.) Cut with a 3″ (7.5cm) doughnut cutter, and place on waxed paper until all of the doughnuts have been cut. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Fry the doughnuts in the heated vegetable oil until golden brown, about 20 seconds on each side. Remove the doughnuts to the pan lined with paper towels
When ready to serve, pour the honey mixture over the doughnuts. Serve warm.
*I used about 1 qt. vegetable oil (1L) in a 3 qt. heavy Dutch oven for deep frying.