Recipe of the Week: You can make your own fresh doughnuts

Making fresh off the press doughnuts can be a real treat. Courtesy photo

When you think of a doughnut, you think of Dunkin Doughnuts or right off the press Krispy Kreme, but what if I could tell you that you can make your own fresh off the press doughnuts with my foolproof recipe?

Everything about a doughnut screams mouthwatering goodness — the glaze is smooth and adds sweetness, while the hot doughnut adds just the right amount of perfection to your morning. I personally love a fresh doughnut — I mean, who doesn’t? Doughnuts are an American classic — it’s a portable bite of heaven.

This recipe is a copycat recipe of my own. I swore that I would never reveal my personal recipe, but this is a close match to my original one. Every chef has a signature dish. It just so happens mine is the American doughnut.

Every culture has its version of the doughnut — Italy has the zeppole, and France has the beignet. Wherever you are in the world, you can always have a doughnut. So whenever you want a good doughnut, you always can whip them up with this recipe. It’s full of flavor and packs a punch for all.

And remember, best wishes from my doughnut factory to yours.

Recipe Level Of Difficulty: Moderate

Yield: 20-24 Doughnuts

• 1 1/2 cups whole milk
• 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
• 2 packages of instant yeast
• 1/3 cup of warm water (100-110 degrees)
• 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
• 1 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
• 3-4 cups flour (depending on how sticky the dough is)

In a medium-sized bowl, add the milk and vegetable shortening and place in the microwave for two minutes, then stir with a whisk. If the shortening is not completely melted, put back in the microwave for 30-second intervals until melted into the milk. Let the milk mixture cool slightly. In the meantime, add the yeast to the warm water and let dissolve in a small sized bowl. The yeast should double in size.

In a large bowl, add the milk mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, sugar, salt and cinnamon. With a rubber spatula, mix all those ingredients together until incorporated. Add the three cups of flour and incorporate, and add more flour if needed. Once the dough has come together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands for five to eight minutes.

Pour three tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large bowl and take a paper towel and grease the sides and bottom of the bowl. Place the dough into the bowl and cover with a towel to rise. Rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a about 3/4-inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter to cut the doughnuts out and place them on parchment paper to rise again. When you have cut all the doughnuts, you can out of the first batch, take the scraps and roll them out again and repeat the process until all the dough has been used.

Let the individual doughnuts rise for another 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the deep fryer to 350 degrees, so the oil is hot when the doughnuts are ready to be fried. Fry the doughnuts for two minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown. When they are done, use a pair of tongs to grab a doughnut out of the fryer and place it on paper towels to drain excess grease. Repeat the steps until all the doughnuts are fried.

Optional toppings

Vanilla glaze
• 1/4 cup of milk
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

In a medium sized bowl, add the milk, vanilla extract and powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and creamy. While the doughnuts are slightly warm, dip them in the glaze and place on parchment paper to cool.

Cinnamon sugar coating
• 1 cup of sugar
• 2 tbsp of ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. While the doughnuts are slightly warm, place them into the cinnamon sugar coating and cover the whole surface to insure the perfect bite.

Cody’s tips: To know when the oil is ready, take a pinch of flour and drop it into the oil; if it bubbles up instantly, the oil is ready. If not, let the oil heat up a tad more.

Cody Fitchett, of Fort Valley, is a recent graduate of Triplett Tech in Shenandoah County. He will start a four-year bachelor’s degree program in baking and pastry at the Culinary institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in February. Email him at chefcodyfitchett@gmail.com