Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Alton Brown's Yeast Doughnuts with Glaze

Halloween is so much fun! I think in my mind I have turned it into somewhat of a "Thanksgiving/Feast" holiday, because to me, it is all about the food. :) Our little family has a tradition of homemade chili, doughnuts, and root-beer. This year, I could not find dry-ice anywhere! I went to three different grocery stores hunting for it and no luck. I was pretty bummed, because it is my favorite! But, it did allow me to focus a little more closely on the "homemade doughnuts." I've been looking for a good recipe for a while, and my sister-in-law, Amy from Edible Experiments, just completed a Daring Baker recipe challenge and posted it just in time. I gave this Alton Brown recipe a try and I was delighted with the results. I never would have thought of throwing nutmeg in there! I thought it was a yummy yummy doughnut. It was a tiny bit technical, but worth the TLC!!! Also... I decided I could easily live on the icing/glaze. Whipping Cream and powdered sugar... are you kidding me?! It is so stinking good that I sat there licking my fingers... then licking the bowl... all in front of company. I just couldn't help myself! :)

ALTON BROWN’S YEAST DOUGHNUTS (best doughnuts ever!!!)

These doughnuts are more like the glazed doughnuts you buy at the store. They are so light and fluffy and yummy! They are some of the best doughnuts you will ever eat! Gobble them down fresh! They don’t store very well. If you have to store them, put them in an air tight container. I left mine out on the counter and they got stale really fast. But you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 4 days before rolling it out and cooking it. This makes 20-25 doughnuts and doughnut holes, depending on size. (I just wanted to say that I made my dough the night before to save time. I wasn't sure what point I was supposed to refrigerate, but I put the unrisen dough in the well-oiled bowl and put plastic wrap over the top and hoped for the best. The next day it had doubled in size perfectly just sitting in the fridge, and it saved me time that day! It worked out really well- I did have to give it a little time to get to room temperature though.)


  • 1-1/2 C. milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 C butter
  • 4-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast (2 pkgs.)
  • 1/3 C. warm water
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 C. white sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. grated/ground nutmeg
  • 4-2/3 C. all purpose flour
  • Oil for frying


  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter.Or just melt butter in the microwave in a bowl. (Make sure the butter is melted well so that it incorporates well into the batter.) Place the butter in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk/butter mixture, first making sure the milk/butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  3. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  4. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  5. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky. (The dough will be very sticky, so resist the urge to add flour. It is supposed to be very sticky!)
  6. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I found it easiest to pour the dough into the bowl. It is so sticky and difficult to scoop or pick up.
  7. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
  8. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole ( I used the coupler of a decorating tip). Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 more minutes.
  9. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
  10. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature). You will know if the oil is too hot if it burns the outside, but leaves the inside doughy. It is too cold if the dough absorbs a lot of oil and comes out extremely greasy.
  11. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired. Use the same glaze as on the pumpkin doughnut recipe above. They are also tasty dipped in sugar or with any other kinds or frosting and fillings. Get creative!!!
Powdered Sugar Glaze:
  • 2 C. powdered sugar
  • 4 TBSP whipping cream + more if needed
To make the glaze (can be made up to 3 hours ahead):
  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze.
  2. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat.
  3. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with powdered sugar glaze.
  4. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.
  5. For a yummy variation, sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg into the glaze like I did in this recipe.
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jess and seth said...

You are really making me hungry. And you are invited to my house next Halloween so you can make these for me, because I have such a fear of yeast.

This post made me think of _Homer Price_--do you remember the picture of the doughnut machine on the cover? I remember just wishing I could have doughnuts every time I saw that . . .

AmyJo said...

I am glad yours turned out ok! I had never had homemade doughnuts until this I tried making these, so I was loving them. I liked them better than the ones from the store. I am glad that they rose in the fridge. I never thought about at what point to put them in the fridge. Good to know.