Donuts are deep fried pastries made from dough. Some are made with jelly or cream in the middle, but most donuts traditionally have holes in the middle. It is not clear how the hole came to be in the middle of the donut, but there is a theory on its history. Legend has it that in the 18th century, a baker’s apprentice in Maine was tired of pastries coming out of the oven with undercooked centers. To solve the problem, he cut holes in the middle of the pastries, allowing them to cook evenly with no center section to worry about.
Most people eat these delicious treats for breakfast, brunch, or a mid-morning snack, but donuts are delicious at any time! So how are donuts made?
There is certain equipment needed to make donuts.
- A deep-fryer is ideal, however, you can also use a large, deep, pot. The deep fryer is best because it allows you to set the exact frying temperature that you need. If you are using a pot, you will need a frying thermometer.
- A 2 ½ inch donut cutter is ideal. If you do not have one, you can use a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter for the main circle, and a smaller one to cut the hole in the center.
- A slotted spoon with a long handle. Be sure the handle is long enough, because it will be used to gently place the donut in the oil, turn them, and pull them out.
- 4 cups of flour
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of butter, melted
- 2/3 cup of milk
- 1 ¼ teaspoon of vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 ¼ cups of granulated sugar
- Frosting or icing of your choice
Begin by preparing the batter. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Use an electric mixer and mix until thick, for about 3 minutes. Finally, in a small bowl, combine the milk and melted butter. Combine the flour mixture and the milk mixture with the egg mixture and beat on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated. Cover the bowl, and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Flour the counter, and roll the dough into a ½ inch thickness. Next, using a floured donut cutter, cut the dough into rings. Turn the donut cutter over, and cut the hole in the middle of each ring. There should be enough dough to make 16 donuts and 16 donut holes. You can set the holes aside and fry them after you finish the donuts for an additional treat.
Raise the oil temperature to 365 degrees, and slowly dunk the uncooked circles, 2 or 3 at a time, into the oil. Allow them to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown, and pull them out with the slotted spoon. Place the finished products on a paper towel, and allow them to cool. Be sure to use safety precautions when working with hot oil.
Finally, coat the donuts with your choice of sugar, powdered sugar, glaze or frosting.
If making your own donuts seems like too much work, visit Shipley Do-Nuts to find the best donuts around in a variety of flavors. Shipley Do-Nuts will not disappoint!