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My mother made the best doughnuts! Sadly, I never got mom’s doughnut recipe and I had to experiment to recreate it. This is the result, I would have to make it a half a dozen more times to really perfect it and a doughnut press could make it easier.

Most people fry their doughnuts in oil, something I tried to do but did not like the result. All those instructions regarding the frying temperature of doughnuts are useless, because the home cook has no access to commercial deep frying oils. I found that shortening is much, much better than oil and the temperatures need not be anywhere as high as the recipes suggest. The other very good thing about shortening frying is that doughnuts do not soak up the shortening. None of my shortening fried donuts are greasy or have oily aftertaste. So frying the doughnuts in shortening is the first important criteria.

Hungarian doughnut recipes all call for 4 g of cake yeast. Consequently, I have seen recipes calling for 4 Tbsp of dry yeast in several doughnut recipes, just try them these will not be palatable. You do use a little more yeast for doughnuts just not quite as much. I am an avid bread flour user, but I would not use bread flour for doughnuts. For reasons I cannot explain, all purpose unbleached, [white] flour makes the best doughnuts.

To get the ribbon effect, you have to let the doughnuts rise to about an inch and a half in height during the final rising. Doughnuts are best on the same day, so included at the end is a recipe for a smaller batch of doughnuts.

To make 26 doughnuts:
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
5-1/2 cups flour
2 pkgs. instant dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1/8 cup melted butter
2 lbs shortening for frying

• Place a small saucepan on low heat and add the shortening.
• Melt it slightly and then remove from heat.
• Add the milk and stir to combine.
• Add the shortening mixture to a large mixing bowl with the cold water, sugar, sour cream and the eggs [and the egg yolk in the large batch].
• Add 1 cup of flour and the instant dry yeast.
• Mix to combine.
• Gradually add the remaining flour and kneed with a dough hook on high speed for 5 minutes.
• [If kneading by hand, shape into a ball and kneed the dough for 10 whole minutes. The dough will stick a little, but you don’t need to add more flour.]
• Dough should be very pliable and very, very elastic.
• Form into a ball, place into a buttered bowl, turn the dough over and let it rise until almost doubled.
• Punch down, but do not handle dough much. Put dough back in the bowl for 20 minutes. Not longer, you do not want the dough rising too high at this stage.
• Then turn onto a floured surface, handle the dough minimally. Roll it into 1/2 inch thickness, not thicker.
• Cut rounds with the largest round cutter. Cut the donuts economically, close together.
• Cut the doughnut holes out with a tiny round cutter or with a floured shot glass.
• Place the doughnuts and the doughnut holes on parchment lined baking trays.
• Leave lots of room between the doughnuts. If they rise into each other, they will stretch when you separate them. This will result in uneven doghnuts.
• Spread the tops with melted butter and let them rise until doubled.
• Fold up the scraps and put back into the buttered bowl for 20 minutes.
• Roll out the remaining dough and cut more doughnuts and doughnut holes. Place these on the parchment lined trays and lightly butter them too. These will rise about the same time as the first batch.
• Whatever dough remains at this point, re-roll it and cut it into doughnut holes.
• Place a large pot on medium heat and melt the shortening.
• When the shortening appears hot enough for frying, drop in a doughnut hole to test it.
• Once the doughnut hole fries up on both side, the shortening is ready for the rest of the operation.
• Slide the doughnuts into the hot shortening one by one. Observe the order of the doughnuts. Do not crowd the pot.
• When the bottom half has a nice golden colour, flip the doughnuts over in the same order they started to fry; first one first and last one last.
• Remove them one by one in the same order and place them on a paper towel lined tray for a few minutes.
• After the doughnuts are done, fry up the doughnut holes.
• Dip the still warm doughnuts into the prepared glaze half way and twist as you remove them from the glaze.
• Then place the doughnuts on a wire rack with a catch tray underneath to drain off excess.
• The doughnut holes can be rolled into cinnamon sugar or chocolate shavings Yields 26 doughnuts and a few more doughnut holes.
• Discard the shortening after use.

To make 13 doughnuts:

1/8 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2-3/4 cups flour
1 pkg. instant dry yeast
2 lb shortening for frying



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