How to make perfect homemade doughnuts


There’s nothing lượt thích a fresh, warm donut.

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Pillowy và soft, they are one of the great achievements of the bready arts.

It is a shame, though, that donuts (we’ll talk names in a minute) seem forever stuck in the province of the diner & the specialty shop. Rows of coffee pots, counter-hops in short aprons slinging Java & sinkers, paper bags, brown boxes & racks và racks of fried creations are all images that the popular mind associates with the donut. Seldom, if ever, bởi we think of the trang chủ counter, the kitchen flour sack, or the stove with an oil pot on it.

To get donuts with that crispy on the outside, pillowy soft on the inside perfection, you have to lớn hope you get lớn the donut cửa hàng at just the right time. Unless, of course, you make your donuts at home. Yes, friend, homemade donuts are possible, và they’re not even that hard khổng lồ make.


First things first: donut vs doughnut

There is a bit of a debate about the “correct” spelling for a fried bready pastry with a hole in the center of it. The origin of the word doughnut seems lớn come from an old usage of the word nut, meaning a small cookie or cake. A dough-nut, then, would just be a doughy cookie, or a cake made from dough. 3 But the term donut has been in play since at least 1900. Both doughnut và donut are used widely in America, & I tend toward the simpler spelling. The food itself has moved beyond a dough-nut, why shouldn’t the word, as well?

As a matter of historical interest, there is great debate about the origin of the donut with a hole in the center. There are many claims of origination that seem as spurious as they are entertaining. Still, it is certain that sweet, rich fried doughs—with or without holes—have no one point of origin in American or world cultural history. Convergent evolution has yielded a panoply of variations on the delicious theme of deep-fired và sugar-coated dough, và I couldn’t be happier about it.

How lớn make donuts

There are a few factors that will affect your donut outcome. Using the right tools and the right oil are key to lớn the process, but so are the temperatures you encounter along the way.

Rest your dough

For donuts lớn get the structure we need, they need some gluten development. But that same gluten development makes them dang hard to roll out. After you make the dough, let it rest. The best thing would be khổng lồ let them rest in the fridge overnight. This has two advantages. First, longer, cooler fermentation yields better flavor in the final product. Second, making the dough last night so you can fry more quickly this morning is a great idea.

If you can’t give it that much time, give it an hour or so at least for the gluten to slacken. You’ll be much happier when rolling things out.

Let your donuts rise

Light, fluffy donuts just bởi not happen without a proper proof. If you try to fry before they’ve risen, you’ll end up with fried bread, sure, but there will be nothing light & delightful about it. Allowing the donuts to proof imbues them with thousands of tiny pockets of air that, when heated, expand, giving the donuts loft & lightness.

To proof them, they are first cut to shape, then allowed khổng lồ sit at about 85°F (29°C) until they are larger, puffy, & tender-feeling. (The springiness of the dough should be slackened by the time the proof is done. They will not spring back when pressed with your finger.) If you’re not sure about the air temperature where you’re proofing, you can set up your ChefAalrm khổng lồ monitor it.

These donuts aren’t baking, they’re rising in the oven on the proof setting

Use an appropriate frying vessel

To fry donuts safely, you need a pot large enough to lớn accommodate a couple of quarts of oil và a few donuts. Something deep, heavy, and wide is best.

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A Dutch oven or a very large saucepan are both good, but J. Kenji Lopéz-Alt uses a wok, a solution that makes a lot of thermal sense.


Use the right oil

Frying donuts is like deep-frying anything else: you should choose a fat or oil with neutral flavor so the food you’re cooking isn’t overwhelmed by the flavor imparted during cooking. Peanut và corn oils are examples of neutral oils. You’ll also need to lớn use an oil that can withstand high temperatures—something with a high “smoke point.” 4 (Serious Eats has a great article that delves into the details of smoke points of cooking fats with an index of more than twenty different fats.)

We have found that peanut oil or vegetable shortening yield the best texture for donuts, with shortening producing the crispest exteriors. However, frying in shortening can result in a somewhat waxy/fatty mouthfeel, but not everyone finds that to be the case. High-quality shortening will help avoid the problem.

Use the right thermometer and fry at the right temperature

Hands down, the best thermometer for deep frying is the ChefAlarm. The high & low alarms on the ChefAlarm allow you to lớn set a temperature window in which you want khổng lồ stay while you’re cooking the donuts.

Set your high-temp alarmto 375°F (190°C) & your low-temp alarm for 350°F (177°C) to lớn keep your donuts from cooking lớn quickly or too slowly.

Temping the oil is vitally important

Don’t crowd the pan

Look, we all want donuts, & we all want them now. But if you put too many in the pot at once, you’re not going khổng lồ get any donuts that you want khổng lồ eat. Patience is the watchword when it comes to lớn donut cookery. Cooking only two lớn four donuts at a time will keep the oil temp from dropping too far during cooking. If you put six donuts in at once, there’s a good chance your oil temp will plummet, and you’ll get greasy, soggy donuts.

The donuts cook for about 2 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Flip them with tongs, chopsticks, a long fork…it doesn’t matter. Just be safe! If you want to check a donut on the first batch through the cook, you can stick it with a Thermapen và look for a reading in the range of 185–190°F (85–88°C).


After you cook one set of donuts, give the oil time khổng lồ come back up khổng lồ temp before cooking more. Be patient, và watch your thermometer!

Drain the donuts properly

Draining the donuts on a bed of paper towels will keep them from getting greasy. A cooling rack seems lượt thích a good idea, but paper towels actually pull the oil out of the donut and wick it away. A cooling rack lets the oil pool in the bottom of the donut, and that’s just no good.

A cảnh báo on how khổng lồ glaze donuts & donut toppings

Donuts are best when hot, so you’ll want to lớn serve them as soon as you can, But donuts are also best when glazed, or otherwise frosted. A simple glaze can be made with powdered sugar, vanilla, và some milk, but you can bởi just about anything you want to lớn make the glaze, from a flavor perspective. The chocolate frosting you see on our donuts simply incorporated a heavy dose of cocoa powder in with the powdered sugar (and a corresponding change in the required hydration). địa chỉ some cinnamon khổng lồ your glaze. Showroom some tart sour cherry juice. Or cranberry juice. Or horchata! And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with plain sugar. But no matter how you choose to đứng đầu your donut, you want to vì chưng it as soon as it’s cool enough to handle.


The world of donuts need not be confined to the diner or the baker. There’s no reason why we can’t enjoy the glory of fresh, hot donuts in our own homes any time we want, as long as we understand how to lớn make them. This recipe can be your guide in learning these techniques, but the thermal principles that we’ve discussed in the post go well beyond this one recipe. Try making them with different hydrations, different sugar ratios, or even try making spud-nuts using mashed potatoes as part of the dough. The thermal principles are the same, và the results, if you follow those principles, will be delicious.