Not what most people would catagorize as “healthy”, however, I hate to say it, but, Donuts can actually be healthier for you then that muffin you gulped down for breakfast today. How is this possible? you ask. Simple, if a donut is made fresh and correctly, meaning the donut maker didn’t “poke” the donuts while frying them off, rather they gently flipped them over in the oil, and the oil is at the right temperature, they actaully don’t take on very much of the frying fat. Therefore they are not as fattening as say a 500 plus calorie muffin, that is laden with hidden sugars and fats. Yes even the “reduced fat muffins” have more calories then you would ever imagine. I even once read an article where they showed and egg McMuffin had fewer calories then a store bought muffin! Crazy but true. Now I am not avocating for everyone to go out and gorge themselves on donuts by any stretch of the imaginagion. What I am saying is ‘everything in moderation including moderation’. Actually that was something my Grandfather Day used to always say, and it’s true. I was about 10 years old when my family started their donut shop, and I worked in the shop during my school breaks. So Donuts are something I know.
Recently there has been this huge trend for homemade donuts. You can find donut pans of all shapes and sizes today in your local kitchen stores. There are prepackaged donut mixes now out on the market, books being written and dedicated to the humble donut, businesses and empires being built around it. Recently I was in Seattle and there was a Donut food truck that garnered a line a mile long starting at 5am. The smell brought me back to my childhood, that sweet dough, with all the unimaginable toppings people have come up with. It was incredible to me watching the faces of each person in line, waiting, salvating, for a taste of the most indulgent mouthwatering bite of either yeasty goodness or sumptuious cakey delight.
There are so many ways in which to make a donut; there are vegan donuts, gluten free donuts, of course your regular yeast and cake donuts. There are a miriade of recipes, theories and studies out there for what makes the perfect donut, and truth be told everyone’s taste are different so what is “perfection” to one may not be to another, but that is what makes it so facinating and what drives such a huge market for these rounded delights.
And is why making them at home can be so much fun for you and your kids. The creativity with ingredients and toppings is endless once you have a solid basic recipe to start from. Below I am giving you a recipes that is a super easy way to make yeast donutes without waiting hours for them to rise.
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract or any flavor extract you like
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
3 cups powdered sugar, for glazing
1) in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine the shortening and sugar together.
2) mix into the sugar/shortening mixture your egg and extract, combine well.
3) sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl, then alternating with the buttermilk add into the sugar mixture.
4) mix all ingredients together until a soft dough forms, then on a floured work surface roll out your dough to about a 1/2 inch thick.
5) using a donut cutter, or a 3 and a 1 inch circle cookie cutters, cut out as many donuts as you can, use the dough from the center of your donut for making donut holes or munchkins as they are sometimes called.
6) place your cut donuts on a lightly floured cookie sheet, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.
7) meanwhile get your oil into a 5.5 quart dutch oven and begin to get it up to temp, you can test for proper temp by using the handle of a wooden spoon, emerge the tip of the handle into the pot of oil, if bubbles surround the handle, the oil is ready, if no bubbles come around the handle it is still too cold, YOU DO NOT WANT THE OIL TO BE BUBBLING OR BOILING AT ANY POINT, you can also test by placeing a small remnant of dough into the pot, if the oil is ready in will sink to the bottom and then quickly rise to the top and start to brown.
8) using a chopstick or long wooden skewer, gently filp your donuts, DO NOT POKE THEM, AS THIS WILL ALLOW THE OIL TO SEEP INTO THE DONUT MAKING THEM HEAVY AND GREASY, NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO EAT.
9) the donuts wil take no time at all to cook 2 minutes tops, do not over crowed your pot 3 to 4 donuts at a time, otherwise you drop the temp of the oil and again you’ll have grease laden donuts.
10) remove donute from oil using a spider, or a slotted spoon, or like me I used my metal fish spatula. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
11) in the bowl of confectioner’s sugar add a little water at a time, to create a glaze, when the donuts are cool enough to touch glaze each one and place them on a cooling rack that has a cookie sheet beneath it, so as to catch all the dripping glaze.
Note: You could also cover the donuts in powdered sugar, or make a chocolate frosting, decorate any which way you like, you can even add citrus zest to the powdered sugar glaze as well as flavored extracts to enhace the flavor profile of your donuts. The point is you and your family can really be creative and have fun with this recipe, make it your own and allow the kids to have fun.