Even since I made my first loaf of bread, my kids have been asking for three things: bagels, croissants, and donuts. Ugh. All three intimidate me, between the lye for the bagels, the laminated croissant dough, and boiling oil for the donuts.
Nonetheless, when food blogger @horneandoalgo recently asked me if I had ever made sourdough donuts, I started googling and then got inspired to give it a go.
Here are some tips from my experience using the recipe of @mydailysourdoughbread and below are my photos (warning: my donuts are funny shaped), plus my own recipe/instructions for making white and dark chocolate cream filling.
EDITED: I added at the end of this blog my donut recipe, which combines the recipes of Mydailysourdoughbread and the Bread Ahead cookbook. Starter build, technique, and rum from the former; other ingredient ratios of the latter.
I prefer this recipe because it is fluffier, with hints of lemon and rum, and still naturally leavened.
The instructions of @mydailysourdoughbread are clear and the recipe makes 15 large donuts. (Finally, a recipe I don’t have to double!)
The flavor is super. I can taste a booziness, whether from the rum in the dough or my extended 24 hr fermentation I don’t know.
It’s not a light donut that you can squeeze down to a marble size, but it’s plenty airy, and not too sweet. I’d say 90% of the sweet comes from rolling the donut in sugar after it’s cooked, and the filling; not from the dough itself.
At the end of this blog is a Photo Gallery showing the process. My tips in addition to following the recipe’s instructions are:
- Be patient and let the dough grow as instructed. I retarded the dough twice and used the lit oven for over a day to accommodate my schedule and cold house. I flipped the dough once early on to help with moisture.
- You can use olive oil for frying (not extra virgin) for health reasons, then read up about reusing it. Thanks @rebecca.corman for referring me to Serious Eats gelatin oil cleaning technique. I’ve also read that peanut oil is the tastiest, but I didn’t have any on hand.
- Keep the donut size to 70g or smaller. Thanks to @ogi_the_yogi for the warning about burnt outsides and raw insides. My donuts are quite dark and I pulled some of them out with an interior temp of 170F, but perhaps they kept cooking a bit after leaving the oil, because thankfully they were all cooked through.
- A large slotted spoon and paper towels are your friends, in addition to a thermometer and a heavy dutch oven. I have a 5 qt Lodge and cooked 5 donuts at a time in it.
Photo Gallery of Donut Making
Chocolate Cream Filling Recipe
I’m writing up this easy and delicious filling recipe here because I merged three sets of instructions, and expect I will want to do this again, for donuts or for a cake frosting.
This makes more filling than you need for 15 donuts, but then you have two types of filling to play with, and you can eat it on pancakes or toast or put it in your coffee.
1 chocolate bar (milk or dark) ~3.5 ounces
1 white chocolate bar ~3.5 ounces
16 ounces (1 pint) heavy cream
Pour 5 ounces of heavy cream into two glass bowls, 2.5 ounces each bowl.
Break into pieces one chocolate bar per bowl.
Microwave on 20% power in 1 minute increments the bowls of cream and chocolate. Check and stir in between.
When the chocolate is almost melted, take out the bowls and let them set for a minute or two, then stir to completely combine. Let cool in the fridge.
Whip the remaining 11 ounces of cream until you have stiff peaks.
Add about 1/3 cup of whip cream to each bowl of cooled chocolate mixture until incorporated.
Divide and add the remaining whip cream to each bowl, mixing gently with a spatula.
Cover and cool the filling/frosting or use immediately, but make sure the donuts are cooled when you fill them.
90g all purpose (AP) flour
20g brown sugar
35g sourdough starter
Donut Dough (1218g)
500g flour (half AP, half bread…whatever you prefer)
60g white sugar
10g salt (1.5 tsp)
Starter from above (185g)
4 eggs (approx 200g)
10g rum (1 Tbsp)
Zest of 1 lemon
113g softened unsalted butter (1 stick) divided in two, added during second and third mixing
oil for deep frying
sugar for rolling donuts in