Yeast Doughnuts

Total Time:
2 hr 27 min
25 min
1 hr 50 min
12 min

20 to 25 doughnuts


Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment, combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. 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. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 degrees F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

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    My first attempt at raised doughnuts. What a hit. My husband was thrilled with results. I followed recipe and they were light and fluffy. I didn't have " packets" of yeast just a jar so I used four and a half teaspoons of yeast and it was dead on. Yes dough is sticky but I used the weight of flour specified and it was fine. Try these you will be pleased with the results!
    This was my first attempt at fried yeast donuts and I followed the recipe as posted (did not add any extra flour) but used just a few pinches of nutmeg. I only used one 48 oz. container of vegetable oil in an iron skillet and the donuts cooked perfectly in about 30 seconds per side- very soft and fluffy . My family enjoyed Alton's powdered sugar glaze on the still warm donuts!! VERY, VERY GOOD!! 
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    Did not raise as much as I wanted. Too heavy
    Great! We tripled the recipe, took about 3- 1/2 hours, turned out AWESOME! I was thrown by the measurement for the flour, it needed almost a cup and a half more flour, (doubled recipe) because the dough was way too sticky. I added it in slowly by hand & it turned out fine. The doughnuts are light & fluffy, heavenly... glad I tripled the batch so we can freeze half for a cold morning. Defrosting is easy, just place in microwave for 30 seconds & then roll in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar. Make sure to have time to enjoy each bite!
    These were the first yeast donuts I've made so I was impressed with myself. Overall they taste good but a little too much nutmeg for my taste. I would make them again, however.
    So yummy! I host doughnut days with a bunch of fresh donuts and a number of glazes and toppings to choose from.  
    These turned out DIVINE! Followed the recipe, yes dough is sticky, Don't add extra flour. I let dough rise in refrigerator, it was a lot easier to work with (Dough rises slower in fridge, so it was about 3 hours. Then sprinkle work surface with flour as needed. Dipped in sugar, cinnamon sugar or maple glaze and they were delish! Devoured promptly. Thanks Alton!!
    Made this yesterday. I LOVED it and had a ball! It was work but not so much as you'd think. The doughnuts turned out lovely and perfect! The recipe made 2 dozen, even with 6 dozen dougnut holes on the side. the holes were wonderfully crunchy! When glazing, I dunked all the doughnuts in the dunk and swirl method, then, to glaze the doughnut holes, I just tossed them into the bowl, stirred them around and they picked up just enough glaze. as it happens, the amount of glaze I made was PERFECT! Each Doughnut had just eh right amount and the last of the glaze was picked up by the last of the little crunchy holes. The Finished Doughnuts might have been even more soft if using cake flour rather than AP. I may try that next time. DON'T expect Krispy Kreme, since they use a much thinner batter and the dough is formed with forced CO2. these are simply raised yeast doughnets and SO wonderful in their own right!
    I'm giving this four stars because the recipe required quite a bit more flour than was indicated but the doughnuts turned out incredible. This was my first time making doughnuts and probably the last (kind of a hassle and I don't crave doughnuts often but the work is definitely worthwhile at least once!
    I have tried many different recipes, none tasted like real donuts. I have been a fan of Alton for years for the "education" of proper cooking with ingredients. The only change I made from his recipe is the milk, I substituted Butter Milk. I mentally see him either shaking his head no or giving me an explanation why I shouldn't but I did and the donuts were excellent. I have also found in a majority of donut recipes Nutmeg is called for, believe me, if you want a donut to taste like a donut, add the Nutmeg, it truly makes a difference. I love this recipe, I've printed the first copy to do the recipe and of course I spilled on it, but I will now permanently add this to my recipe collection. You will need glaze even though Alton gives you an option, I made my own with 2 C. Powdered Sugar 1/4 C. Milk and 2T of Butter melted and it was perfect on these donuts. Honestly, the best tasting "real" donut taste above all recipes I've seen on the internet.
    I LOVE this recipe! My dough was sticky when I took it out of the bowl, but I let it rise and it rolled out without any problems. The only confusion I have is that I used the recipe from the Good Eats 2 book and the ingredient measures differ slightly from this online recipe. Also, the book states the recipe makes 50 doughnuts, so i cut it in half. I only got 15. Otherwise, awesome recipe!! Alton Brown is the master!!!
    The dough was really sticky and had to add a lot of flour. Also the donuts weren't sweet without the glaze.
    These were great. Nice and light, with a tender crust and soft inside. These are as good as my favorite doughnut shop and now I don't have to purchase them any longer. Made them just as the recipe said, except cut them in half -- made 18 doughnuts. Shared with some of my neighbors and they thought they were good also. 
    Thanks Alton for sharing the recipe with us. 
    these were great!! My family (and neighbors loved them. I did put in a little bit more flour, but overall, no complaints. Alton Brown is amazing!
    Seriously, I dont know what the other reviewers did but I followed the recipe almost identically. Instead of shortening I used salted butter. Also converted ounces into lbs because my weight is in lbs, used roughly 1 7/8lbs of flours plus 4 more tablespoons. The dough was still a little sticky but I let it rise. then rolled it out (I saw all the air pockets/bubbles while rolling so I KNEW these doughnuts would be SUPER fluffy and light. They ARE super fluffy & light! 5 stars! I will most definitely do these again!!
    If you are searching for a great donut recipe,look no farther,this is it.These are a little crispy outside and light and tender inside.I halved the recipe and came out with 18 donuts and 9 holes using a standard donut cutter.Also by cutting in half I used 3 cups flour.This was so easy using my processor and fun to make.I did them all with chocolate glaze.
    Made for 3rd NYD in a row.The best result. Per comments made a few adjustments. Half butter/shortening. 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup sugar. My son suggested the salt should be at the listed 1 1/2 tsp. Half nutmeg/cinnamon. Whole milk.Two packages of rapid rise. One extra tablespoon of flour--no more. Did make sure I beat the half flour stage for a full five minutes--made it very smooth. A couple of minutes more paddle beating with the rest of flour before going to the hook. Still was a little clingee to the bowl but stopped after about five minutes with the bread hook. Rolled it through the very oil bowl coating the whole lump of dough. Rise exactly an hour. Second rise after cutting about 40 minutes at start. Ended up 50 seconds a side with oil just over 360 most of the time. We made a "glaze" almost the consistency of icing so that we could stick finely chopped nuts to some of them. After the rise the oiled dough did very well on my well floured marble counter top for the rolling out.
    This is the second time I do this recipe and is just the best. The doughnuts are super fluffy and delicious. Thank you Alton!!
    Amazing amazing amazing! I can't stop making these! Alton, you've done it again! I can always trust Alton for amazing recipes backed by some true kitchen science.  
    I used butter instead of shortening. And I halved the recipe because I was cooking for just my family of 4. I don't have a scale, so I ended up using about 2.5 cups of flour total (so double that for the full recipe. I also don't have any cookie cutters whatsoever, so I used a drinking glass and a piping tip to make the shape. These are a dream, every mouthful. Alton, you've ruined my diet and I can't thank you enough for it.
    can i use butter instead of shortening and how much butter should i add according to the recipe?please let me know coz im waiting to try out this recipe.thanks heaps
    Loved, loved, loved this recipe! Very comprehensive. Didn't have all the ingredients when I made the donuts so I subbed applesauce for eggs and used coconut palm sugar instead of white. They actually turned out really good and were still nice and moist the next morning, so glad it worked. I think next time I'm going to go more according to the recipe because they weren't as sweet as I'd like.
    This recipe is great for Donuts. I do have a scale but still had to add Flour to get it to pull away from the bowl. And O and if you add the yeast to the milk after it cools down it work great.
    This recipe was light and delicious no doubt about but my problem is how can I keep the donuts soft for at least 8hr like that of Dunkin Donut which stay soft even for 24hrs. If you would notice freshly fried yeast doughnuts can only stay soft at least an hour and then it turns stale. Can you please share some tips on what ingredients we could add to the basic donut recipe that will keep the donuts stay soft?
    Fabulous! Off the chain, etc....  
    These were light and delicious, not sure why someone said they were tough.  
    I too did not have a scale to measure out the flour. I just kept adding until the dough pulled away from the pan and it worked out fine.
    I tried this recipe, and not having a scale I added flour until it started pulling away from my bowl. Worked perfectly!
     As with the other reviewer I used Active Dry Yeast and the results were perfect.
     Took these to work and they were a huge hit.
     Working on a second batch now to bring to work, it's the weekend and the admin isn't here. Maybe I can have a few more for myself this time!
    I have made this recipe 3-5 times and the first was the best doughnuts I have ever eaten, the second was better, the third was even better, I am now going to cut the recipe down or invite company so 4 of us don't have to eat all of them while they are still warm.
    These are wonderful. I followed the recipe exactly and they came out light. Maybe if they are coming out heavy for some people it's because the oil wasn't hot enough? This is the best donut recipe I've found.
    Having read several comments about the doughnuts being too heavy i did a little experiment (well, it's more like an accident but still). I used Active Dry Yeast instead of Instant Yeast the first time i made them and they turned out perfectly, after the first rise, after cutting out the shape i left it to rise for another 30 - 45min before frying them and they were light and airy and perfect.  
    For those who don't know the difference, with ADY, it can raise the dough several times (sometimes 2-3 times) and requires 'activation' by leaving it in warm water for 10-15min for it to become foamy before use in the recipe. While instant yeast can be added directly into the mixture. 
    When I tried to use Instant yeast the next time i made them and for some reason the doughnuts came out heavier and more dense then my previous batch. I?m not sure why, but all in all, i get better results using active yest rather than instant. 
    Seriously, those who have complained of these donuts being heavy are either doing something really wrong, or are used to eating pure air. These donuts are AMAZING. I had never made donut dough before, and needed to come up with some for my husband to roll and fry at a Rotary donut sale. When our batch of dough was fried up, all of the 'regulars' said they were the best donughts they had ever had. There was such a reaction, we decided to try them at home while my in-laws were over for an early Christmas celebration. They immediately decided it was a new tradition. They are amazingly light, and, the perfect amount of sweetness to combine with the glaze. If the dough itself was more sweet, the donuts would be too sweet with glaze, and they would not be so light. We also made a couple of jelly-filleds in this batch, and they were awesome. Yum yum yum!!!!
    its odd the recipe measurements are sometimes by weight and then by cup. 
    there was a lack of sugar and the donuts, while good, don't really have that kickin taste i have come to expect from Alton Brown
    The reason the flour and shortening is by weight is they are easily compacted, and if the recipe is by the cup some people will end up with too much flour and shortening and other with not enough. Measuring ingredients like these by weight is the only way to be precise, and baking is all about precision. Hope this helps.
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