After refusing to make donuts for a few years, because I did not like the taste of "home made" donuts, I stumbled across this perfect donut recipe. And I haven't looked back since!Note: For the chocolate glaze, I use this recipe: http://cantstopbaking.blogspot.com/2010/05/basic-chocolate-glaze.html and for the custard, I used this one: http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dianas/recipeID/3989/Recipe.cfm. Store bought is fine too!
4½ tsp dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1½ cup lukewarm milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
⅓ cup shortening
4½ cup flour
4 cup oil,for frying
Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water plus 1 tablespoon sugar, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl.
Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. The dough will still be slightly sticky. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double.
( A quick rising trick is to preheat the oven to 300 and then turn it off about 10 minutes before you put the dough in. Then you put the bowl of dough in the warm oven, and voila- warm rising spot! ) Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or an 8 quart pot to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown.
It's really best to use a candy thermometer for the temperature of the oil, but if you don't have one, here's a good trick. It should take about 2 minutes for each side of the donut to get a nice golden color. If it takes quicker than 2 minutes, your oil is too hot.
If it takes quicker than 2 minutes, your oil is too hot. If it takes longer than 2 minutes, the oil is not hot enough.
Dip in basic chocolate glaze.(See intro) For a plain white glaze, mix together 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and about 2-3 tablespoons hot water, or enough hot water to make the glaze the consistency of Elmer's glue.
If it gets too thin, add more powder sugar, if it gets too thick as you dip, add more hot water. For a quick topping, toss hot donuts in plain powder sugar, or cinnamon and sugar.
For the daring amongst you, here is a great custard recipe. (See intro) I replaced the whole milk with 1 1/2 cups soy milk+ 1/2 cup Rich's whip. For a more authentic custard taste, I would also add 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract next time.