And if they happen to be filled with jam, so much the better! Homemade yeast doughnuts are so light they practically float on air, which makes it possible for me to inhale about half a dozen on a good day. Don’t try that at home, kids. I’m a professional.
Good yeast doughnuts start with a sponge, made the day before and rested overnight for flavor development. On doughnut-making day, this is what your sponge should look like:
Combine that with all other ingredients save for the butter and mix for 10 minutes, scraping every three minutes or so, until a very sticky dough forms, about like so:
Now add the butter about a tablespoon at a time as the mixer runs. Scrape every so often to make sure all the butter is incorporated.
Nice thumb, moron! Put the dough into a greased bowl…
…and let rise about an hour, until doubled. About like so:
Transfer the dough to a board that’s been lightly dusted with flour…
…then roll your dough out into a 1/4″ sheet.
Using a 3 1/2″ cutter, cut the dough into rounds, wadding up the scraps and re-rolling until all the dough is used. You should have 12-14 rounds. If you’re making regular ring-shaped doughnuts, use a smaller cutter to punch out the holes.
Lay the rounds back onto the towel-lined sheet pan…
…and cover with greased plastic wrap.
Proof for about an hour until the rounds are puffy, but not overly so, about like this:
Fry them in 375-degree oil for about 45 seconds on a side. While they’re still warm, roll them in extra fine sugar to coat.
And fill them with the jam of your choice by squirting about two teaspoons into them with a pastry bag fitted with a Bismarck (#230) tip. Don’t get carried away with this step. A little jam goes a good long way. Squeeze until you can feel the doughnut get slightly heavier, then stop.
These are amazing eaten warm, but will keep just fine in a box at room temperature for up to 24 hours.