Raised Doughnut Recipe

I do love a good yeast-raised doughnut, and in fact in most ways, they’re easier to make than their cake-style counterparts. True, they require some advance planning, but they’re aren’t as fussy in the oil, or as sensitive to ambient temperatures. The best part is, they’re amazingly light, much more so than a store-bought version. Try them once and you’ll be making them every weekend.

The Ingredients

For the sponge:

4 ounces (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3.5 ounces (half cup minus one tablespoon) lukewarm water
1 large egg

For the doughnuts:

5.75 ounces (1 slightly generous cup) all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons instant yeast
0.6 ounces (1/4 cup) milk powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
0.5 ounces (2 1/4 teaspoons) sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter at room temperature

Canola oil for frying
Extra fine sugar for rolling (for jelly doughnuts)
Raspberry or other fruit jam for filling (for jelly doughnuts)

The Procedure

Combine the sponge ingredients in a small bowl and stir them with a fork until smooth. Let the sponge ferment for half an hour at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

The next day, put the sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add all the remaining ingredients except the butter. Knead it for 10 minutes on medium speed, scraping down as needed. After 10 minutes, start adding the butter a tablespoon at a time, kneading until each is well incorporated.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of 3/8 inches. Using a 3 1/2-inch circular cookie cutter, cut out the doughnuts, re-rolling the scraps until the dough is completely used. If making jelly doughnuts, leave the dough circles intact. Otherwise, use a small 3/4″ circular cutter to punch out holes in the center. Return the doughnuts to the towel-lined baking sheet, covered with a sheet of lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let them rise until puffy, about an hour.

Fry in 370-degree oil for roughly 30 seconds per side. Drain on a wire rack. Ice and decorate as desired.

For jelly doughnuts, roll the fried rounds in superfine sugar while the doughnuts are still warm. Attach a pastry tip (ideally a #230 Bismark tip, but just about any good-size tip will do) to the corner of quart-sized zip-lock bag and fill with about a cup of jam. Using a cake tester, gently poke a hole in the side (or bottom) of each doughnut. Fill with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of jam. Eat!

Makes 12-14 doughnuts.

This entry was posted in Doughnuts, Pastry, Yeast Doughnuts. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Raised Doughnut Recipe

  1. Jackie says:

    They look great. But I wish the recipe had the USA equivalent to it. Call me dumb but I just don’t know what 4.2 ounces or 5.8 ounces of flour is. An I don’t have a food scale. A lot of other recipes here have the equivalent to them. But not the good looking doughnuts.

    • joepastry says:

      I’ll make that change, Jackie. You’re not the first person to ask me for the volume equivalents. I try to make a habit of putting up both, but sometimes I get rushed and foget.

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  2. Jackie says:

    Thanks Joe. I really would appreciate it. You recipes look good. And you explain them so well.

  3. Alicia says:

    Hi, love your website. I was wondering would this recipe work fine making it the night before, refrigerating the dough, then roll and cut and rise,fry that morning?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Alicia! Oh yes, this dough is great for that. In fact that’s mostly how I do it. Why I didn’t think to mention it I have no idea, other than I’m an idiot.

      Thanks for the wake-up!

      - Joe

      • Alicia says:

        I made the doughnuts as we had talked about, however after rolling the pin over the dough to roll it out it kept retracting and wanting to pull back together. Would adding just a touch of vinegar to the dough help with this or would something else make the dough easier to roll out?

        Thanks, Alicia

        • joepastry says:

          Hi Alicia! When you’ve got a dough that’s very elastic, the best thing to do is to simply let it rest. About ten minutes will suffice, you can rest it on the counter or in the refrigerator, either one is fine. Once the dough has relaxed it will roll easier, though you can relax it again if need be.

          - Joe

  4. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I made them today and the flavor and texture are fantastic. Since the dough is so tender I had a hard time getting the dough with holes into the oil without distorting them. The jelly doughnuts seemed to be easier to handle. Any suggestions on transfering them from towel to oil without deflating or misshaping them?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Amanda! That is indeed a little tricky. In the professional doughnut world they’re proofed on big rectangular racks that are simply lowered into the (rectangular) fryer. I can’t think of a way to replicate that in the home kitchen. I’ve fiddled with splatter guards…but you’d need to buy several, then bend all the handles so the’ll lower into the fry pan. It’s not an easy solution, but I’ll keep thinking!

      - Joe

  5. Sam says:

    Hi Joe,

    What can I use as a substitute for the Milk Powder? (Preferably non-dairy)

    Thanks

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Sam!

      There are several possible non-dairy products that can be used in place of dry milk, just head down to your local health food store. You should be able to find soy milk powder, coconut milk powder or rice milk powder there.

      - Joe

      • Sam says:

        Thanks Joe for everything!

        As I see I’m not going to the health food store I put in some mashed potato instead.

        Since I was not at the computer when I made this last night -from memory, I shaped it into a rectangle but instead of refrigerating it then, I rolled it right after shaping it into a rectangle and refrigerated it then. Did I kill it? Can I still save it?

        • joepastry says:

          I think it will still rise, though mashed potato…hmm…let me know how it goes! ;)

          - Joe

          • Sam says:

            So here are the results! Some rose nicely and some not. The ones that did were delicious, gorgeous and fluffy, light as paper. I don’t think the potato added anything I just put in a drop – maybe 2-3 tablespoons. I do think that the bakeries use an extra strong vanilla or some different flavoring that gives it that unique taste.

          • joepastry says:

            Glad at least some of them turned out, Sam! Well done!

            - Joe

  6. shell says:

    hi joe, i love your donuts. i was wondering if i didnt have a mixer, can i do it al by hand ?. i broke my mixer last night. i make a lot of bread by hand so i’m use to effort. what do you think ?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Shell!

      So glad to hear that because, as you know, I’m a doughnut man. That said, I’d never let a trifle like a broken machine get between me and a regular fix. They absolutely can be made by hand. You’ll want the butter a bit softer than normal to ensure that it incorporates well…otherwise you should be good to go! Let me know how they turn out, OK?

      Many thanks!

      - Joe

  7. Anna says:

    Okay, two questions, actually –

    First: if I wanted a classic glazed doughnut (and boy, do I!), what would I use for the glaze, and at what point? Just a simple confectioners sugar water concoction?

    Second: how do you stay thin around all this amazing stuff? (and you do — your hands don’t lie)

    • joepastry says:

      Hey there again!

      Yes, a simple icing like this works great: http://www.joepastry.com/2011/on-simple-icing

      Just thin it out a little more than normal so it runs all the way down around the sides. Also I got a good chuckle out of your “hands” comment. My wife is a university professor, and as you probably know, in that environment there’s never any shortage of hungry mouths to feed. Grad students especially rely on the kindness of strangers. That’s where everything goes…otherwise I’d eat it all and, well…it would go straight to my hands. ;)

      - Joe

  8. Jen says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’ve been on the quest for an icredible yeast doughnut recipe since having an amazing doughnut about a month ago in Brooklyn, NY. I stumbled upon your site yesterday and am excited to give your recipe a try (btw, I’ve never made doughnuts before but am determined!)
    Question for you – A lot of other recipes use bread flour instead of AP flour. What characteristics would each flour give to the doughnut, regarding lightness and fluffiness of the inside, crispiness of the outside, tenderness of the overall doughnut?
    Thanks!

    • joepastry says:

      High Jen!

      Great question. Bread flour has more protein (gluten) in it, so that’s going to make the dough more elastic, more capable of holding bubbles of gas and steam. That cam be good for lightness, but the trade-off is a chewier doughnut. It think these doughnuts are plenty light and fluffy without the bread flour, plus they’re nice and tender to the bite. That’s why I prefer all-purpose flour.

      Thanks and let me know how they turn out!

      - Jim

  9. Nuala says:

    Hi Joe,
    I just came across your site looking for a yeast doughnut to make for our annual DoughnutFest (doughnut frying in the backyard with friends!), and can’t wait to try this one out. In years past I’ve used shortening to fry the doughnuts (I think it was on Smitten Kitchen that I read it was often preferable to oil for some reason). What’s your opinion?

    • joepastry says:

      There’s lots of information on the site about frying:

      http://www.joepastry.com/category/techniques/frying/

      However my short answer is that either one will do. A solid shortening will firm back up at room temperature so you won’t have to worry about weeping on bags or boxes. But if you’re just doing a few of them, a liquid oil is more convenient. Let me know how they turn out!

      - Joe

  10. Nuala says:

    Oh, and one more question– building on Alicia’s question about making the dough completely the night before: After the dough is made, would it go into the fridge immediately and then be pulled out to rise the next day, or does the rise take place before going into the fridge? In either case, how long should it stay at room temp before it’s rolled out for cutting? Thanks!

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Nuala!

      You’ll want to refrigerate it before the proofing (second rise). It’ll probably take half an hour to warm up then another hour to proof.

      Thanks for the question!

      - Joe

  11. Nuala says:

    Ugh– call me a bad student, but I just want to be sure I do this right (I’m making them this weekend). Should I actually cut the doughnuts before refrigerating them? Thanks for answering all these questions!

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Nuala!

      I thought I’d taken the refrigeration step out of this (I changed the recipe recently to make it easier). Is there still a reference to refrigerating the finished dough? I think all it calls for now is rising and proofing at room temperature (except for the sponge of course, which does rise overnight).

      - Joe

  12. Nuala says:

    No reference to refrigerating, just in the comments (on 6/8/11 Alicia asked about making the dough the night before and refrigerating). My last question is a follow-up to questions I asked previously about making the dough in advance. You mentioned refrigerating before the second rise– just wanted to confirm that this was after the dough is cut into rounds.

    • joepastry says:

      Ah yes. I understand. Yes, refrigerate them right after cutting. Let them warm and rise in the morning.

      - Joe

  13. Nuala says:

    Wonderful– thanks again!

  14. Sierra says:

    Hello Joe,
    I tried this recipe today. Delicious! I didn’t use the sponge but substituted in some sourdough starter that I keep. We gobbled the whole batch up. They are so soft and fluffy.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe,
    Sierra

  15. Florian says:

    Hi,

    I can’t find milk powder anywhere. Can I use liquid milk instead of water?

  16. Midia says:

    Hello Joe,

    I tried this recipe and followed your instructions, the result was great!! My family and my friends love it, me too…
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Midia

    • joepastry says:

      Great to hear it, Midia! Thank you for getting back to me with the results!

      Your friend,

      - Joe

  17. Sally says:

    For doughnut rings that stayed round I recently tried placing the cut-out dough on individual pieces of aluminum foil to raise, reshaping the dough as needed. I picked up foil and all on a pancake turner and lowered each one into the hot oil that way. It worked like a charm! The doughnut floats free of the foil in a few seconds and the foil can be removed (drippy!) for disposal.

  18. Beckie says:

    Question: can ‘White Lily’ brand, all-purpose flour be used in this doughnut recipe? Thanks.

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Beckie!

      Unfortunately not. There is too little gluten in WhiteLily for the recipe to work. Any other sort of all-purpose will work!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  19. Lori says:

    Hi Joe. I am hoping you can help me. I’ve tried making doughnuts 3x so far and it’s failed miserably. I am hoping your recipe will be a success. So far every time I have tried, the dough deflates after the second rise. I don’t know why. Also, this is important, can your recipe be changed to be non-dairy? Thank you!

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Lori!

      So the second rising is the problem? When do they deflate? Before or after they go in the fryer?

      - Joe

      • Lori says:

        Ok so they deflate a bit before being fried. Also, they don’t puff while being fried. And the outside gets very brown fast and the inside is still raw. I have been substituting almond milk for the powdered milk and water combination and using coconut oil instead of butter. I tried with extra light olive oil too instead of coconut oil.

        • joepastry says:

          Interesting. Those changes shouldn’t be catastrophic to the doughnuts…not to that extent at least. Is the dough extremely slack when you roll it?

          - Joe

          • Lori says:

            Thank you again for your quick response. I really appreciate your help. It’s really nice that you are trying to figure this out with me. I am new to baking, cooking, etc. I only started this past September so maybe that’s why? Thanks again for all your help.
            The dough is not slack when I roll it. Maybe I am letting the dough rise too long the second time around? The dough becomes very sticky that second time it rises. The second time the shaped doughnuts spreads really big and that smooth surface disappears exposing a sticky inside. Also, I can’t lift them off the parchment paper. The round dough shapes are soooo sticky.
            Someone suggested I use orange juice as a substitute instead of milk because it’s thicker. But I don’t know if that’s really my problem.
            (P.S. I tried the cake doughnut method with a cookie scoop/two spoon method and that worked out for the most part. I used almond milk and grapeseed oil in the recipe and fried them in coconut oil).

          • joepastry says:

            It’s my pleasure, Lori!

            It definitely sounds like they’re over-proofing (second rising too long). They should puff up some, but not to the degree that it sounds. That right there should help a good deal. Let them increase in size maybe 50% and no more than that. Fry them and let me know the results!

            - Joe

  20. Carol says:

    Hi Joe, I’ve adapted your recipe to make gluten-free doughnuts, and I must say they’ve been a success. Just had a newbie baker question for you, if I double or triple the recipe, do I have to double or triple the sponge? Thanks very much, your site is extremely helpful and awesome in so many ways.

    • joepastry says:

      You flatter me, Carol! Thanks for your generosity!

      The answer is yes, you’ll need to double or triple everything. Great news on the adaptation. Very glad it’s working for you!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  21. Chris says:

    I noticed when mixing the ingredients for the dough nuts it stated sugar. Is this powered or granulated. Thank you.

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Chris!

      Granulated is what I use, but an equal weight of powdered sugar would also work well.

      - Joe

  22. Edith says:

    Hey Joe!

    I just made these and they are amazing! I used an ‘OO’ Italian pasta flour and the only difference I did in the process was incorporating the butter into the flour and crumble them before actually kneading… 

    Half of the batch I baked and the other I fried (wanted to see what textures they obtain). The baked ones has got a more buttery flavour to it whilst the fried ones are very light spongey and with that nice donut crust… yum!

    I’ve just been also wondering whether this recipe would benefit using natural yeast / starter? I heard that you can subdue the ‘sour’ flavour from the starter by using baking soda – but I haven’t really tried it yet.

    Thanks again!

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Edith!

      Thanks for the full report! You can indeed use a starter for this recipe in the usual way: by replacing up to a third of the dough with a standard starter. If you try it let me know…I’ll be curious to know what you think!

      Cheers and thanks again!

      - Joe

  23. Kari says:

    Wow – so thrilled to find your site Joe – so much to learn!! we want our donuts to be light but with a good bite to them – I was thinking of using half all purpose and half bread flour – what are your thoughts?

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Kari!

      Thanks very much and welcome! There’s no reason your idea wouldn’t work. The bread flour will definitely add a chew if that’s what you’re after and more volume in the bargain. I’d definitely recommend trying them both ways and see which you prefer.

      Cheers and keep me informed!

      - Joe

  24. Ed says:

    Not sure if this message was posted so I’ll post again

    Joe,

    We are also looking to develop a yeast doughnut recipe from scratch can you assist us?

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Ed!

      Happy to do what I can can. Have you made this one? What would you like to do differently?

      - Joe

      • Ed says:

        Joe,

        Thank you for the response, yes we have and we love the recipe.

        We would want a larger doughnut with with a softer exterior, our raised doughnuts came out darker than we expected.

        Although even with the crispy exterior the doughnuts were still airy and light!

        • joepastry says:

          Hey Ed!

          Try lowering your oil temperature 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That will do two things: keep the doughnuts from darkening more than you like, and prevent too much crisping. These can be made very blonde indeed and once they fully cool, the exterior crust will soften as the fry medium soaks in a little. Which is to say: a lighter cooking and an hour or more of cooling might get you a fair way to your goal.

          Let me know how it goes!

          - Joe

          • Ed says:

            Thanks for the response!

            Any ideas on size? Can I manipulate the final size by increasing proofing time or by increasing the thickness of the rolled dough?

          • joepastry says:

            Hey Ed!

            The size can be whatever you like. Just go ahead and cut them bigger. The dough might need to be a little bit thicker, but not much. Size won’t effect proofing time as the yeast will keep growing no matter what you do. Larger doughnuts will however take longer to heat all the way through, which will require a lower oil temperature. But then we’ve been down that road already!

            - Joe

  25. Ed says:

    Joe are you available for onsite consulting?

    • joepastry says:

      I absolutely am. I’ve done it for several bakeries and doughnut shops. Do you want to talk by phone?

      - Joe

  26. Kari says:

    JOe – thank You so much for being so generous with your knowledge – it has meant so much to me!

  27. Kari says:

    Hi Joe me again. We love how light your yeast doughnut dough is – our doughnuts look great but we wánted to try and get more pull apart – I am thinking that is more gluten. – is that right? If so should we mix dough longer before first proof..

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Kari!

      When you say “pull apart” do you mean fluffy on her he inside?

      - Joe

  28. Lanre says:

    Hi Joe,

    As u put it succinclty in ur intro to this post, I’m a would be donut maker who can’t believe his luck for stumbling on ur post with this amazing recipe for yeast raised donuts (I call ‘em yeastnuts). That being said I’ve got just 2questions.
    1st: I’ve been wondering, is there rlly a significant difference between using powdered milk and liquid milk? And in ur expert opinion, which do u regard as a better form of milk and why?
    2nd: I wana try out a peanut butter and jelly donut recipe using ur recipe here as the base but with homemade unsweetened almond milk. Do u think I shd use a combo of milk powder and the liquid almond milk and @what ratio, to yield the same number of donuts ur recipe yields. Or is it ok to use the almond milk just by itself and @what quantity if the latter option to be ur prefered way to go?
    Thanks Joe.

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Lanre!

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate them greatly.

      Regarding milk powder in the recipe it’s mostly there as a tenderizer, so it’s not essential. You can use liquid milk in the recipe and leave the powdered milk out if you wish. Almond milk would make a fine substitute for the milk as well, not adjustments necessary. Love your peanut butter and jelly doughnut idea, I want to know how it turns out!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

  29. erci says:

    hi joe!! i have this restaurant and want to have some donuts for desert
    and i want to do them i just have a question you do the sponge mixture one day and the next day yo ad the doughnuts ingridents? i try doing anither recepie but the never ever sponge so im trying yours now. please let me know the answer to my question! and thanks!!!

    • joepastry says:

      Hello Erci!

      You can do either one. The sponge left to ferment overnight in the refrigerator will have more flavor. If you prefer not to do that, let the sponge ferment for one hour at room temperature, then proceed.

      Let me know what you think!

      - Joe

  30. joepastry says:

    Did my info come through, Ed?

    I’ve got a pretty full day today, but tomorrow is pretty open. Want to book a time?

    - Joe

  31. Ed says:

    Joe,

    It’s been awhile please contact me when you can!

  32. joepastry says:

    Sent you an email!

    - Joe

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