- For the doughnut dough, place all of the ingredients (other than the oil for frying) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Mix at low speed until blended, then increase the speed one level and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. (Alternatively, you can blend the ingredients by hand, then turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead until smooth, about 6 minutes.)
- Place the dough into a large ungreased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled.
- To cut the doughnuts, turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll to ½ inch (1.2 cm) thick. Using a 3-inch (7.5 cm) round cutter, cut rounds from the dough (1). Use a 1-inch (2.5 cm) round cutter or a large pastry tip to cut a hole out of the centre of each one. Re-roll any scraps (the dough from the holes can be reworked into the dough or fried as doughnut holes). Cover the doughnuts with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
- While the doughnuts are rising, prepare the glaze. Whisk the melted butter with the icing sugar, vanilla and 3 Tbsp (45 mL) milk until smooth, adding more milk if needed to make a thin glaze (it should be quite fluid). Getting the right consistency for the glaze can be a bit tricky, so start with a small amount of milk and add more as needed. Once the doughnut has been dipped, the glaze should drip away easily, leaving a sheer coating that will set to a satin finish. If the glaze from the first batch seems too thick after you’ve let it set, warm the glaze in a small saucepan over low heat to loosen it up.
- Preheat the vegetable oil to 350°F (180°C) in a tabletop fryer or in a deep pot set over medium-high heat (fill the pot with 2 inches/5 cm of oil). Line two baking trays with paper towel and set them under two cooling racks.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower a few doughnuts into the hot oil, leaving enough space so that they do not touch, and cook for 2 to 2½ minutes. Turn the doughnuts over and cook for another 2 to 2½ minutes. Lift the doughnuts onto one of the cooling racks and let cool for 5 minutes. Continue to cook the next batch of doughnuts.
- After each batch of doughnuts has cooled just a little (they can still be a touch warm), dip them into the glaze (3) so that they are fully covered. Shake off any excess glaze and place them on the second cooling rack to let the glaze set for about 15 minutes.
- The doughnuts are ideally enjoyed within an hour of cooking but can still be appreciated the day they are made.
This recipe calls for bread flour because its higher protein content helps hold in the air produced by the yeast, resulting in a lighter, fluffier doughnut. If you do not have bread flour, you can use all-purpose flour, but knead the dough an extra 1 to 2 minutes to fully develop an elastic texture.
Recipe from Baking Day with Anna Olson, Appetite by Random House, 2020