Plump up each doughnut with your favorite fruit jam. Eggs and butter must be at room temperature but milk and water must be between 100-110 degrees. That’s temperature activates the yeast. If it’s too hot, the yeast dies and does not help with rising.
Filling consistency should be thick. Make sure the jam, jelly or preserve you are using is thick so as to prevent the donuts from becoming soggy and to also avoid leaking. Don’t replace all-purpose flour with any other flour because the results will be very different.
Oil should not be too hot. If the oil becomes too hot, the donuts will either burn or become very dark and the texture will change. Use a thermometer if you can. The best frying temperature is 350 degrees F.
Powdered sugar vs. granulated sugar for coating. Either can be used.
- 1/2 cup warm water (between 90°F and 100°F)
- 2 (1/4-ounce) packets instant or active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or 1/4 cup mild-flavored oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 medium lemon
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 9 cups peanut, avocado, or canola oil, divided
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup seedless red berry jelly, such as strawberry or raspberry
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees. In a large bowl, combine it with the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy about 5 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to beat the eggs, butter, sugar, and salt into the yeast mixture.
- Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth.
- Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters or a drinking glass and a shot glass, flouring the cutters as you go.
- Reserve the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the middle. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
- Put the doughnuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
- Carefully add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers, use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil.
- Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared plates or racks, and repeat with the rest of the dough, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the oil at 375.
- Glaze or fill as follows, and serve as soon as possible.
- When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle but still warm, roll them around in a shallow bowl of granulated sugar to coat. Fill with your favorite jelly.