Homemade doughnut recipes

Aug 13, 2008 at 11:29 a.m. ET

One of the simplest Sunday morning pleasures is biting into a warm, freshly fried doughnut while sipping a hot cup of coffee and reading the morning paper. Good news is, you don't even need to leave the house to sink your teeth into a delicious doughnut - you can easily make your own. This weekend, instead of running out to get a baker's dozen, stay in and prepare your own.

Doughnut history

Doughnut history

Doughnuts have been around forever – just not in the shape we know them now. Believe it or not, archeologists have made discoveries of prehistoric fried cakes with holes in the middle.

However, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that the first doughnut recipes, then called olykoeks or oily cakes, appeared in print in the Dutch language.

Pilgrims from Holland were responsible for introducing doughnuts to the American people – but with no holes in the center.

Then how did the hole get in the center?

There are a few legends to explain how the hole was poked into the center of a doughnut, but we may never know the real truth.

According to one story, Elizabeth Gregory, a New England housewife made the best olykoeks around, often filled with nuts or jams (she called them dough-nuts). One day, she sent her son off to sea with several dough-nuts, but while eating one, he lost control of the steering wheel and poked the dough-nuts onto the spokes of the wheel. Thus the doughnut as we know it was born.

Doughnuts weren't always a breakfast food

Doughnuts continued to gain popularity as snack foods, but were not associated with breakfast until the 1940s when Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Dunkin' Donuts were opened. These bakeries often sold coffee in the morning accompanied by a freshly prepared doughnut. And, as you know, the rest is history.

Ready to make your own doughnuts at home? Here are three sticky sweet recipes to try!

Doughnut Recipes

Sugar-glazed Doughnuts

Makes 48 doughnuts

1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
2 cups scalded milk
2/3 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
7 cups sifted flour
Oil for deep frying

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold water

1. In a large bowl, melt butter in hot milk. Let cool slightly then stir in yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt. Beat in eggs and set aside.

2. In a medium-sized large bowl, whisk together nutmeg, remaining sugar, and 3 cups flour. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and beat to combine. Add the rest of the flour to form a sticky dough.

3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes then put dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

4. Roll dough out and cut into circles with a hole in the middle using one large and one small biscuit or cookie cutter or use a doughnut cutter. Save the doughnut holes. Place doughnuts and doughnut holes on a large baking sheet, cover with a damp (but not wet) dish towel and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Heat a pot or deep skillet of oil to 365 degrees F. Fry doughnuts on each side for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Fry holes in the same manner. Let doughnuts cool on a paper towel.

6. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the glaze. When doughnuts are cooled, dip them in glaze. Serve warm.

Chocolate Doughnuts

Makes 30 to 36 doughnuts

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup cooked mashed potatoes
2/3 cup milk
3-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for deep frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Melt chocolate and shortening together over a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Stir into sugar mixture. Add in potatoes and milk.

3. In a second large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture into chocolate mixture, adding just enough to make a dough.

4. Chill dough then roll out on a floured surface. Cut doughnuts with one large and one small biscuit or cookie cutter or use a doughnut cutter. Save the doughnut holes. Place doughnuts and doughnut holes on large baking sheets.

5. Heat oil in a large pot or deep skillet to 370 degrees F. Fry doughnuts and holes 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden. Let cool on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Jelly-filled Doughnuts

Makes 12 to 15 doughnuts

1/2 cup scalded milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 egg yolks
3-3/4 cups sifted flour (sift before measuring)
Raspberry or strawberry jam or jelly
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Oil for deep frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a small bowl, combine scalded milk, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and butter, stirring to melt butter. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

2. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the milk mixture, egg yolks and 2 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add in the rest of the flour and mix until a dough forms.

3. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise 1-1/2 hours or until dough is doubled in size. Use your fist to punch dough down. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. Divide dough in half and roll out each half to 1/4-inch thickness.

4. Cut dough into 3-inch circles using a biscuit or cookie cutter. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam onto the centers of half of the rounds. Brush egg white on outer edges of dough and top with the other half of the dough circles. Press edges to seal. Place on a large baking sheet, cover with a damp (but not wet) towel and let rise for 1 hour.

5. Heat oil in a large pot or deep skillet to 350 degrees F. Fry doughnuts 2 minutes per side or until golden. Remove doughnuts to paper towels with a slotted spoon. Let cool slightly and top with powdered sugar.

For more DIY breakfasts and other dishes, check out the SheKnows.com Food and Recipes Channel.

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