What Are Doughnut?
Doughnuts (also spelled donuts) are deep-fried pastries made from dough. Doughnutlike fried pastries appear in many forms the world over, from savory to sweet. However, in the United States, doughnuts are most often sweet treats, commonly enjoyed at breakfast or as a midmorning or midafternoon snack. Although doughnuts are sometimes filled with jam or pastry cream, the most common American doughnut type is circular with a hole in the middle — it looks like a puffy, chubby ring.
The Hole Story
How the hole ended up in the center of the doughnut is unclear, but one believable story is that in the mid-18th century, a Maine baker’s apprentice was frustrated by a succession of fried pastries that turned out with underdone centers. The apprentice decided to poke holes in the pastries before frying to help them cook more evenly.
There are two basic ring-style doughnuts:
- Raised or yeast doughnuts: These call on yeast for leavening and need to rise before frying.
- Cake doughnuts: These call on baking powder for leavening; the batter needs to be chilled before rolling to make it easier to handle.
This article shows you how to make cake doughnuts. To make raised or yeast doughnuts, try this recipe for Chocolate-Banana Doughnuts. Or try this recipe for Chocolate-Filled Doughnuts.
Safety First When Making Doughnuts
When deep-frying, the cooking oil reaches very high temperatures, which can start fires or cause burns. Before you roll up your sleeves to make doughnuts, review a few safety guidelines:
- Have a kitchen fire extinguisher handy (and learn now to use it!) before you begin.
- Avoid letting water come into contact with the hot oil — the water will vaporize into steam, which can make the oil spatter and cause burns.
- Never use water to put out a grease fire. Use a kitchen fire extinguisher, or cover the fire with a metal lid.
- Always add oil to a cold fryer that is turned off or an unheated pan. Make sure any fryer or pan you use is dry and set away from sources of water.
- Never leave the fryer or pan unattended when it is in use.
- When finished frying, turn off and unplug the fryer (or remove the pan from the heat). Make sure the fryer or pan is completely cool before cleaning.
- Once oil is completely cooled, pour it into a resealable container and discard it in the trash. Never pour it down the drain, as it can harden and clog pipes.
Special Equipment for Making Doughnut
- A deep-fryer or a heavy pan and frying thermometer: A deep-fryer is ideal because it allows you to set and regulate an exact frying temperature. However, you can also use a heavy, deep large saucepan and a frying thermometer.
- A 2-1/2-inch doughnut cutter: If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a 2-1/2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut the main circles and a smaller round cutter for the hole in the center.
- A long-handle slotted metal spoon: This is essential for easing the donuts into the oil, turning them, and taking them out of the oil.
How to Make Doughnuts
- Gather the Ingredients
- Make the Batter
- Prepare the Coating, Glaze, or Icing
- Roll the Dough
- Cut the Dough
- Fry the Doughnuts/b>