Plain Doughnuts

Total Time:
3 hr 30 min
Prep:
50 min
Inactive:
2 hr 15 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
16 doughnuts
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for oiling and frying
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling and flouring
Directions
  • Special equipment: 1-inch and 2-inch round cutters

  • Bring the milk to a simmer in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and salt. Pour into a large bowl and let cool slightly.

  • While the milk is cooling, dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl, stirring. Let stand for 5 minutes.

  • Stir the yeast mixture into the milk mixture along with the oil, lemon zest and eggs. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the flour with a wooden spoon to make a very soft dough. Spread 1 cup of the flour on a work surface and put the dough on top, scraping it from the bowl with a rubber spatula. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, incorporating all of the flour from the work surface and adding just enough additional flour (if necessary); the dough should be slightly sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled large bowl and sprinkle lightly with additional flour. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin until 1 inch thick. Cut out rounds with a 2-inch cutter. To make ring shapes, cut out doughnut holes with a 1-inch cutter. Place on a baking sheet, cover the doughnuts with another kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

  • While the doughnuts rise, heat about 10 cups vegetable oil in a deep 4-quart pot until it registers 365 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Fry the doughnuts 2 at a time, turning once or twice, until puffed and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain.


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    This recipe is featured in:

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