Raised Sourdough Donuts

Easter & Passover have come and gone, and do you know what that means?

It means that Lent is over, so dessert is a thing again.  Passover has passed right on by, which means that yeast of all kinds can again be celebrated in all it's magnificence.  It also means that anyone and everyone can and should eat these donuts again.

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I'm on a mission to make anything and everything I can out of my sourdough starter (it makes my nerdy baker self all kinds of excited), and my brain is constantly turning over ways to give the depth of flavor and texture that sourdough lends to pretty much any and every baked good.  And given my undying love for donuts, they were one of the first things to be given the sourdough treatment once my starter was proven to be hearty.

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Just look at that crumb.  I am swooning over here.

When you're making these beauties, don't worry if the don't look like they've risen very much when it's time to fry.  All those lovely bits of wild yeast are inside your dough, just waiting to explode into action as soon as they hit the hot oil.  They'll puff and rise very nicely once you begin frying, so don't be scared of seemingly flat donuts after the proving portion.

Also, I've covered these in a simple chocolate ganache and topped them with sprinkles, because that is how I roll.  If you want to get creative, go for it--plain glaze, flavored glazes, the sky is the limit, so knock yourself out and go crazy.  But most of all, eat all the donuts.

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Raised Sourdough Donuts
A light, fluffy donut that entirely gets it's texture from wild yeast. Your starter never tasted so good!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup active sourdough starter (it should have visible bubbles)
Instructions
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir until thoroughly combined, then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead briefly, about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be soft and supple, but not sticky. Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent drying out and allow it to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.After the dough has rested, reflour your surface, then roll it out to 1/2" thick. At this point, you can choose what size/style of donuts you want to make. For large donuts, use a wide-mouth jar lid to cut them out. For smaller donuts, you can use circle cookie cutters. Use a smaller circle to cut out the center if you are not filling them and want a hole in the center.{If you want to make donut holes, I recommend skipping the rolling and simply divide the dough into 24 equal sized portions by cutting it into half, then quarters, then eighths, etc., until you have 24 donut holes}After the donuts are all cut, lay them out on a tray lined with parchment paper and lay a towel over them. Allow them to rise for at least an hour, or up to four. The rise will not be dramatic, but never fear! They will puff up beautifully once they hit the hot oil.When you are ready to fry the donuts, lay out a tray lined with paper towels and have a pair of metal tongs ready. Pour about 2" of canola oil into the bottom of a 3 quart pan. Heat it over medium heat until it reaches 350°, using a fry thermometer or instant read to monitor it. If it overheats, remove from the heat until it comes back down. Monitoring and controlling the heat will vary based on your stove top, so be patient as you figure it out! Also, BE CAREFUL!!! You are working with hot oil, and I don't think I need to tell you that this is not a time to be distracted.Drop 2-3 donuts into the hot oil at a time. They will sink to the bottom at first, then rise to the top as they begin to cook through. If they don't, give them a little nudge with the tongs. Cook for about two minutes on the first side, then flip them with the tongs and fry on the second side for two minutes more, or until the donut is golden brown.Make sure that the oil temperature is back up to 350° before cooking more donuts. This temperature is ideal, since it is hot enough that the donuts will cook quickly but not absorb much oil, and not so hot that the outside will burn before the inside is done.Remove to the lined tray and allow to cool. Fill, frost, and decorate to your hearts content! If you want to cover them with sugar, place them in the sugar and toss immediately after removing them from the frying oil.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10-12 donuts and donut holes, depending on the size of your cutter