How to Make Perfect Homemade Doughnuts

(This post has been updated from the original July 2014 version to provide a better experience for you)

When it comes to homemade doughnuts, this right here is that Daddy of all recipes. Light, moist and altogether more easy to make than you’d ever think – these doughnuts are pure perfection! Making dough may seem like a slow process but, just like my danish pastries (remember those?! YUM!), some things really are worth waiting for.

homemade doughnuts in a stack

Want to impress everyone with your kitchen skills?

I remember on an episode of The Great British Bake off where the contestants had to make doughnuts for the technical challenge. The one thing that stuck in my mind was Paul Hollywood saying, “The main thing I’m looking for is a white ring around the middle. It’s the sign of a good doughnut.”

homemade doughnuts in a stack

I was aiming for that elusive white ring… and guess what? I got it! Actually incredibly proud of myself – they came out far better than I’d hoped! It also turns out – they’re not really that difficult to make. Win!

homemade doughnuts in a stack

Oh and, just like my EPIC fluffy vegan pancakes, they’re greatly superior to any that you can buy in the shops. Let me say that again – you cannot buy doughnuts this good. Trust me here. You absolutely need to give these a go!

glazed homemade doughnuts in a stack

Top tips for making homemade doughnuts

If you’ve not made doughnuts before, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with some helpful tips…

  • Don’t have the time to wait for the milk & eggs to come to room temperature? Crack the eggs into a small saucepan along with the milk. Heat very gently over a low heat (stirring constantly) until they reach room temperature.
  • Make sure you put the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl when making the dough as salt can actually kill yeast.
  • I highly recommend using a dough scraper for this recipe. It’s a very sticky dough making it hard to work with using just your hands.
  • Want a better flavour? After the 1 and a half hour prove – place it into the fridge overnight. The longer the prove, the better the flavour. (Allow to sit at room temperature for a while before using as the cold will slow down the next process.)
  • Although it’s possible to do this without, using a thermometer to get the oil to the right temperature takes out all the guess work.

 

homemade doughnuts in a stack

Perfect Homemade Doughnuts Recipe

Here is what you will need to make 12 large doughnuts.

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

  • 500g (3 + 1/4 Cups) Strong White Flour
  • 50g (1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 7g (2 tsp) Fast Action Yeast
  • 10g (1 + 3/4 tsp) Salt
  • 50g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 275g (1 + 1/4 Cup) Full Fat Milk, Room Temp *
  • 2 Large Eggs, Room Temp *
  • Oil For Frying

 

Topping Options

  • Caster Sugar

Or for an Iced Glaze:

  • 250g (2 Cups) Icing Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3-4 tbsp Cold Water

 

Essential Equipment

  • Dough Scraper
  • Thermometer

 

In a large bowl, briefly rub together the flour (500g | 3 + 1/4 Cups), caster sugar (50g | 1/4 Cup), yeast (7g | 2 tsp) & salt (10g | 1 + 3/4 tsp). Put the yeast & salt on opposite sides of the bowl.

Using the tips of your fingers & thumbs – rub in the butter (50g | 1/4 Cup) until you get a breadcrumb like consistency.

dry doughnut dough ingredients in a bowl

Make a well in the centre and add the milk (275g | 1 + 1/4 Cup) & eggs (2 Large). Mix with a fork (or your hands) until there is no more flour visible and everything has been incorporated. Yes, this is a very wet dough.

homemade doughnut dough in a bowl

Cover with cling film & leave to rest for 30 minutes. It should look a little more plump than before.

homemade doughnut dough in a bowl

Tip out onto a work surface & knead (with the help of a dough scraper) for about 10-20 minutes. It depends on your technique as to how long it will actually take but you’re aiming for a soft dough that will pass the windowpane test. I know it’s wet and it seems like it will never improve but it will, trust me. Do your best to not add any extra flour if you can help it.

When it’s ready, place the dough back into the bowl and allow to prove for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Until about doubled in size.)

homemade doughnut dough in a bowl

risen homemade doughnut dough in a bowl after the second prove

At this point you can put it in the fridge overnight which actually helps to develop a much better flavour. If you do this, allow it to sit at room temperature before using as the cold will slow down the next process. Alternatively, you could just go ahead and use it straight away.

How to Shape Homemade Doughnuts

Prepare 1 or 2 large baking trays by covering in cling film & greasing with oil.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ‘sausage’. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions & shape into balls. (James Morton’s book Brilliant Bread has an excellent guide to shaping breads.)

balls of homemade doughnut dough on a worktop

Then poke a hole in the middle of each one and stretch out by rotating your hands. (A bit like if you were starting the Saturday Night Fever dance.)

Place them onto the prepared baking sheets, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and allow to prove for another hour.

unbaked homemade doughnut rings on a baking tray

Meanwhile, get your oil ready.

If you have a deep fat fryer – great. If not, it doesn’t matter. I used a large, heavy based saucepan and it worked just as well.

Heat the oil to 170°C. Once it has reached this temperature, turn the heat down to stop it from climbing any further. Then regularly check with a thermometer to ensure the temperature is holding steady. (If using a deep fat fryer, it should hold the temperature for you without having to change any settings or check with a thermometer.)

oil heating up in a large pan with a termometer

Your doughnuts are ready to be fried when you can poke it lightly and the dough springs back all the way.

unbaked homemade doughnut rings on a baking tray after being proved

Fry each doughnut for approx 2 minutes on each side. Then, using a slotted spoon, to transfer to a plate covered in kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.

homemade doughnut being baked in a pan of hot oil

homemade doughnut being baked in a pan of hot oil

freshly fried homemade doughnut on a piece of kitchen roll

How to finish/glaze doughnuts

At this point you can do either one of the following options:

  1. Place some caster sugar into a bowl and roll each doughnut in it.
  2. To make a glaze, place all the ingredients (250g | 2 Cups of Icing Sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, 3-4 tbsp of cold water) into a bowl and whisk until smooth and a little runny. Then submerge the top half of each doughnut into the glaze and place on a cooling rack set over newspaper. (To catch any drips.)

For both options – allow to cool before eating.

homemade doughnuts in a stack

And that’s it! You have your very own unbelievably delicious homemade doughnuts ready to devour…

glazed homemade doughnuts in a stack

I know I’ve said it before but these doughnuts are honestly SOOOO much better than the ones you can buy. They’re so light & fluffy on the inside and beautifully golden and inviting on the outside. One of the best home made breads you can attempt in my opinion!

Got the bread making flavour and want more? Why not try making hot cross buns next?

Have you Made This Recipe?

I LOVE it when you share what you’ve made! You can get in touch by leaving a comment below, tagging me on social media or sending me an email. I don’t mind how, I just love hearing from you!

 

Love this recipe? Pin it!

homemade doughnuts in a stack

homemade doughnuts in a stack

How to Make Perfect Homemade Doughnuts

How to Make Perfect Homemade Doughnuts

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Proving Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Make the most PERFECT homemade doughnuts with that elusive 'white ring' using this easy step by step recipe!

Ingredients

  • 500g (4 Cups) Strong White Flour
  • 50g (1/4 Cup) Caster Sugar
  • 7g (2 tsp) Fast Action Yeast
  • 10g (1 + 3/4 tsp) Salt
  • 50g (1/4 Cup) Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 275g (2/3 Cup + 1 tbsp) Full Fat Milk, Room Temp
  • 2 Large Eggs, Room Temp
  • Oil For Frying

Iced Glaze

  • 250g (2 Cups) Icing Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3-4 tbsp Cold Water
  • (alternatively you can roll them in caster sugar)

Essential Equipment

  • Large Bowl
  • Dough Scraper
  • Thermometer

Instructions

  1. Rub together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and butter in a large bowl until breadcrumb like.
  2. Add the milk and eggs and mix until incorporated. (It will be very wet and sticky.)
  3. Cover and leave to plump up for 30 mins.
  4. Knead for 10 - 20 mins until elastic.
  5. Put back into the bowl, cover and prove for 60 - 90 mins until doubled in size.
  6. Cover a large baking tray in cling film and grease with a little oil.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls.
  8. Poke a hole in each one and stretch out slightly to form a ring. Place on the lined tray, cover with a damp towel and prove for 60 mins.
  9. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 170°C.
  10. When the doughnuts can be lightly poked and it springs back all the way, they're ready. Fry each one for approx 2 mins on each side until golden. Put on a kitchen towel to drain any excess oil. Repeat until all the doughnuts are cooked.
  11. Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar, salt, vanilla and cold water together in a bowl. Drizzle over each doughnut. Alternatively you can simply roll them in caster sugar.

Notes

Theses are best eaten on the day for best flavour and texture.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 405 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 42mg Sodium: 163mg Carbohydrates: 69g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 25g Protein: 7g
Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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24 thoughts on “How to Make Perfect Homemade Doughnuts”

  1. Annaleah says:

    hello. can I use the mixer for kneading the doughnuts to attain the window pane? thank you and best regards.

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Annaleah. Yes! You absolutely can. Just be sure to keep an eye on it as a machine will achieve the results much quicker than by hand. Emma x

  2. Gabby says:

    Emma thanks for the recepie!!! I have years looking for it and now I’m ready to take the risk. But I have only one question: the fast action yeast is like we also call quimical yeast (Royal) or is a dry yeast or fresh yeast? Thank you again.

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Gabby. I’ve never heard of quimical yeast before. I love how we always learn new things in cooking! The yeast I used is dried if that helps? Emma x

      1. Gabby says:

        Hi Emma. Thanks for answering so fast. I’m sorry but I still have my big doubt :'(.

        I’ve heard about a dried yeast that you can used straight to the flour and another dried yeast that needs to be reconstituted in water or milk first and wait for the bubbles before add to the flour.

        Yours is more like a powder? Is it the same you use in a cake recepie ?

        Sorry for so many questions!

        1. Miss KitchenMason says:

          Hi Gabby! That’s ok – ask away 🙂 The dried yeast I use is the kind you can add straight into the flour. No need to reconstitute it in water. Hope that helps! Emma x

  3. Sherilyn says:

    I think I figured out my problem! Your conversions to cups for flour and milk are both wrong. I was able to borrow a scale from a neighbor today and tried the recipe again. For white all-purpose flour in the States, 500g is about 3+1/4 cups, not 4 cups. 275g of milk is 1+1/4cups milk, not the 2/3c + 1tbsp listed above. The dough is beautiful and rising perfectly! Just the right texture. So excited for these fluffy light doughnuts! xoxo

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Sherilyn. I’m SO glad you figured it out! I’ve amended my recipe accordingly, thank you very much for that information. You’ll have to let me know how the final result turns out 🙂 Emma x

  4. Sherilyn says:

    I’m making this recipe now (can’t wait to eat it!!), but the dough isn’t sticky at all. I measured the ingredients according to the American notes (cups, tbs, etc)- is it possible those are off? The dough is very heavy and I can knead it without any flour on the surface. I’m struggling to get the windowpane effect. Do you have any suggestions? Will they still turn out ok or do I need to scrap it and start over?
    Thanks! xoxo

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hey! Glad you like my recipe and sorry you’re having a little trouble. Not sure off hand if there’s a miscalculation on my part with the cups conversions – I’m out at the moment but will check as soon as I get a chance! The dough should definitely be wet and sticky to start with though, I’d maybe try and add a little water to it gradually then knead for a while longer? Hope that helps. Emma x

      1. Sherilyn says:

        Thank you so much!

        1. Miss KitchenMason says:

          You’re welcome 🙂 Emma x

  5. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    Is it possible to keep most of the dough in the frig for longer than over night? I really don’t want to make a dozen doughnuts that need to be eaten immediately, because I would have to eat 11 of them…not that I couldn’t, but I really don’t want to gain the weight!! If I could just make 2-3 a day, then maybe I wouldn’t pack on the pounds!! (At least not quite so fast!)

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Hi Susan. I feel your pain with not wanting to make so many! I found this info on Epicurious – “You can easily freeze yeast doughnut dough. Make the dough, cut it into doughnut rings, and let it proof, then freeze the doughnuts, in a single layer, until solid. Wrap each doughnut in a double layer of plastic wrap or place a bunch of them in a plastic freezer bag. Be sure to fully defrost frozen doughnuts at room temperature before frying or baking.” It’s not something that I’ve personally tested but it might be worth a try? Emma x

  6. Oh, gosh, your doughnuts look fantastic. So fluffy! I found your post because I’m still trying to get that elusive white ring myself but to no avail so far. Even with heating my oil (canola) to 170 and frying for two minutes, I’m getting doughnuts much darker than your beauties. Must do some troubleshooting.

    Thanks for the great post on doughnuts!

    1. Miss KitchenMason says:

      Aww thank you! Hope you get that white ring soon 🙂

  7. Derik says:

    Those are the most perfect homemade doughnuts I have seen. They look great!!

    1. Thank you so much! That’s very sweet of you to say x

  8. huntfortheverybest says:

    i love doughnuts. they look great!

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