Sorry about the late post — Jocelyn and I both had nasty weekends, but her weekend beat my weekend up and kicked it to the curb, so here I am, tail tucked between my legs, duly covering the post that should have gone up on Friday.  :-)

Not long after my friend Ginny got diagnosed with celiac disease, she set me a challenge — to make a dough that could hold up to frying.  I told her I already had — since, as it turned out, I already had — but, it wasn’t a dough I was thrilled with.  Roll time forward, and happy breakthroughs on how to make flexible dough have brought me to the tasty, sweet, warm, crisp donut.

The directions below tell you how to make traditional fry-it-at-home donuts, but you can use this same dough to make jelly donuts, too; just cut rounds of dough and use them to seal in jelly or sweetened preserves of your chosen flavor like you’d seal the filling into ravioli.  Just last night, I made my sister raspberry jelly donuts, a treat she’s been craving since her diagnosis, and she positively danced with joy!

I’ll put off the donut joy no longer.  :-)

Fried Donuts

Yield:  12-13 largish donuts, or fewer donuts and some donut holes

Ingredients:

for the donuts:

  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 3/8 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup dough mix, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum
  • 1 T shortening

for the topping:

  • 2 cups sugar (or powdered sugar, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

1.  First, start the yeast mixture proofing:  In a small mixing bowl, combine the hot water, yeast, and 1 tsp sugar.  Whisk it all up, and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients — dough mix, salt, 2 T sugar, xanthan gum, and guar gum — and whisk them together, then cut the shortening into the dry ingredients till it’s crumbly.

2.  Once the yeast has proofed, pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and stir them together with a fork.  It’ll take a little patience for all the dry ingredients to integrate.  The resulting dough will be sticky, so you’ll want to knead a little more dough mix into it till it comes up off the counter clean and doesn’t stick to your hands anymore.  At this point the dough should be smooth, but still soft.

3.  Put the dough ball back in the mixing bowl, and press it down into a disk.  Cover, and set aside to let rise until double.  That should take between 30 and 60 minutes.

4.  Once the dough’s risen, start a shallow pan of oil (1-2 inches deep) heating to 425 degrees Farenheit.  You can do this manually on the stove, but it works best to use an electric fryer.  Dust a clean countertop lightly with dough mix, then turn out the risen dough, knead it once or twice so the moisture content’s even, then use a lightly dusted rolling pin to roll the dough flat, to anywhere from 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick depending on how thick of donuts you want.  Then, use whatever you have handy that’s clean and the right shape and size to cut out donuts.  (I usually use a plastic cup for the outside ring, and a bottle cap for the inside ring.)  Keep the donut holes if you want, or if you want more donuts instead, knead them back in with the scraps so you can roll the dough out again to be cut.  Keep rolling until you’ve cut all the dough.

5.  While the oil finishes heating, get out a plate and layer either brown paper or paper towels on it; this is where you’ll put the cooked donuts to drain.  Once the oil’s heated, use a slotted spatula to move the donuts into the oil.  Be careful not to splash yourself! — you can lay the donuts in the oil with your hands if you want to, but be careful to lay down the part of the donut furthest away from yourself last, so that if it splashes it’ll splash away instead of giving you a lovely second-degree burn.  Once the edges of the donut look browned (about 20-30 seconds), use tongs to gently flip the donut over — again, turning the donut away from yourself, not towards.  Give the underside of the donut 15-20 seconds more to cook till browned, then fish the donut out of the oil with either a slotted spatula or tongs and lay it down on your drain plate.

6.  When you’ve fried all the donuts, turn off your skillet (or stove), and quickly mix up the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for your topping in a large plastic baggie.  (You don’t have to use those spices, of course — do what works for you!)  While the donuts are still hot, seal them in the baggie and shake it up to coat the donuts in the sugar.  Fish them back out — and they’re ready to serve!