Yeast Doughnuts with Maple Icing
Published by Knopf
Gina: Light, delicate, and full of flavor, homemade doughnuts are a true indulgence, one that’s worthy of a holiday, a birthday breakfast, or any other special occasion (“Look mom, all A’s!”). This recipe takes a bit of advance work, to prepare the dough and allow it to rise, but it’s a fun project to do with your kids. And the maple icing makes it difficult to eat just one.
Never fry more than four doughnuts at a time, and keep the fat as near to 360°F as possible, without letting it creep too high or fall too low. If the oil is too cool, the doughnuts will absorb too much fat; if it’s too hot, the doughnuts will brown before they cook inside.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Mealbreakfast, brunch, kid snack
Taste and Texturelight, sweet
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water (approximately 115°F)
- 1/3 cup plus ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup scalded milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- About 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- Vegetable shortening or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1 recipe Maple Icing (recipe follows)
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 to 5 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract (available in most grocery stores and specialty baking shops)
Combine the yeast, warm water, and ½ teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside until the mixture becomes foamy, about 20 minutes. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the egg with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the salt until the mixture is thick and light.
Beat in the yeast mixture, the scalded milk, and the butter, and gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 1 minute, just until it is smooth and elastic, and form it into a ball. Put the dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in bulk.
When the dough has risen, punch it down, and on a floured surface roll it out 1/3 inch thick. With a 2½-inch cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds. With a 1-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut out and reserve the centers from the rounds. Gather the scraps gently into a ball, reroll the dough, and cut out doughnuts and holes in the same manner. With a spatula, transfer the doughnuts and holes to a baking sheet sprinkled lightly with flour, and let rise, uncovered, in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until they have doubled in height.
In a large deep fryer, heat 3 inches vegetable shortening or vegetable oil to 360°F. Fry the doughnuts, four at a time, for 1 minute on each side, or until they are golden brown and puffed, then transfer them with a skimmer to paper towels to drain. Fry the doughnut holes separately, turning them to brown evenly.
Dip the doughnuts and holes, one at a time, in the icing, turning them to coat them, and transfer them with tongs to a rack set over waxed paper to dry.
For the icing: In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of the milk; stir well. Add additional milk to reach the desired consistency. Stir in the maple extract. Makes 1 1/2 cups icing.
2009 Patrick Neely and Gina Neely