Mom and I made Ree’s doughnuts on Monday afternoon. We each enjoyed exactly one but knew we couldn’t be trusted with a whole tray of these babies in my apartment. Even if we hid them, the smell of freshly fried doughnuts would permeate the house. So we piled them onto a baking sheet, covered them with saran wrap, hopped in a cab, and brought them to Andy’s office in midtown Manhattan.
As we walked down the avenue, all eyes were on our doughnuts. Two guys trying to rent bicycles to tourists were standing on the corner. One said, “Would you like to rent a…” His voice trailed as his eyes fell on the doughnuts, so we offered him one. His friend piped up, “C’est quoi?” (What’s that?). “Doughnuts!” We exclaimed. He took one too. We left them with big, sugar-coated smiles and trotted off in the direction of Andy’s office.
Andy met us in the lobby of his office building and grabbed one before we could even pass over the tray. His eye said it all, “These are amazing!” Fifteen minutes later, as Mom and I walked home, Andy texted us the following:
Text 1: “OMG”
Text 2: “Every single person raved about them. I mean EVERYONE.”
Text 3: “They are gone and I only had two!”
So basically, you should make these for everyone you love. But make sure there’s a crowd of hungry people waiting to gobble them up or you’ll eat them all yourself. Because there is nothing more enticing than a fresh, warm, soft, sweet doughnut.
- 1-1/8 cup Whole Milk, Warm
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 2-1/4 teaspoons (one Package) Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
- 2 whole Large Eggs, Beaten
- 1-1/4 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
- 4 cups All-purpose Flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Canola Oil
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ cup Cold Water Or Milk
- Make sure milk is nice and warm, but not overly hot.
- Add sugar to milk. Stir to dissolve.
- Add yeast into a small bowl.
- Pour milk/sugar mixture over yeast. Stir gently, then let sit for 10 minutes.
- Melt butter in separate bowl until butter is almost melted. Stir to finish melting so butter won't be overly hot.
- Add beaten eggs to melted butter, stirring constantly to make sure the butter's not too hot for the eggs.
- Add the egg/butter mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- With the mixer on 3 or medium-low speed, pour in the yeast mixture.
- Allow the dough hook to stir this mixture for a couple of minutes, making sure it's thoroughly combined.
- With the mixer still going, add helpings of the flour mixture in ¼ to ½ cup increments until all the flour is gone.
- Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, then turn the mixer on the same speed for five whole minutes.
- After five minutes, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn on the mixer for 30 seconds.
- Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to sit in the bowl undisturbed for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Toss the dough to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place straight in the fridge.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Remove bowl from fridge and turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll out to ¼ to ⅓-inch thickness.
- Using a 3-inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out remaining dough and cut as much as you can, etc.
- Cut holes out of each round using a 1½-inch cutter.
- Place both doughnuts and holes on a floured baking sheet.
- Cover with large tea towel and place in a warm place in your kitchen; my kitchen is very drafty, so I have to briefly warm the griddle, then turn it off and set the sheets on top to keep warm.
- Allow doughnuts to rise undisturbed for at least 1 hour; 1 hour 15 minutes if necessary. Doughuts should be visibly puffier and appear to be airy.
- Heat plenty of canola oil in a large pot until the temperature reaches 375 to 380 degrees---do not let it get hotter than 380 degrees! 375 is ideal; keep the thermometer in the pan to continually monitor.
- One to two at a time, gently grab doughnuts and ease them into the hot oil. Allow them to cook 1 minute on each side; they will brown very quickly.
- Remove doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon, allowing all oil to drip off.
- Place doughnut immediately on several layers of paper towels. Count to five, then flip it over onto a clean part of the paper towels. Count to five, then flip it over again; the purpose, obviously, is to drain as much grease as possible before it soaks into the doughnut.
- Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes. The holes will cook more quickly than the doughnuts; about 30 seconds per side.
- Allow doughnuts to slightly cool.
- Mix all glaze ingredients in a bowl until completely smooth.
- One by one, dip doughnuts into the glaze until halfway submerged. (Note: completely submerge doughnut holes, then remove with slotted spoon.)
- Remove from glaze, then turn right side up on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (to catch dripping glaze.)
- Serve warm if possible, or room temperature.
love the idea of random acts of doughnuts! they’re beauties.
Stacy Yates says
HOMEMADE is the best part but when you put DOUGHNUTS behind it…..my mouth is watering as I type…
After reading this, we’ve decided the next pot luck we have–and we have a lot of them over the summer–we’re going to make these for a dessert. Can you imagine everyone’s surprise when, instead of chocolate cake or whatever, you start frying these yeasty babies right before their eyes? I can see their drooling faces now. haha
Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon says
1. Approximately how many doughnuts did you get from the dough?
2. If you don’t have an audience to pawn them off on immediately, how do you think they would be the next day?
I really want to try these but don’t trust myself to be left alone with them.
Carol cordes says
judy in carefree says
Think I better wait until my pre-ordered edition of the cookbook arrives from Amazon and pray there will another less fattening recipe in the book that I would rather make or I’ll be in serious trouble!
Those look so good! Reminds of being a kid again when we had milk and donuts on Fridays as a special treat. Can’t wait to create those kinds of memories for my daughter…
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
This sounds awesome! Can’t wait to try these bad boys out!
Those look really good. I was wondering if it would be OK to use peanut oil or vegetable oil. Canola oil always smells like dead fish to me.
Pam Anderson says
Any frying oil would be fine, Sheila. Enjoy!
am definitely trying this recipe
Made them and didn’t love them. They had zero taste without the glaze. Followed the recipe and refrigerated over night. Let them rise 1 hour before cooking. The rise and cook went fine. The dough needs something. If I make them again I might add vanilla to the dough.
I made these yesterday, the texture is soft and slightly more on the bready side as opposed to light. The dough itself seriously lacks sugar and salt as well as flavor. I filled some with holland cream and glazed them as well as dipped the tops on ganache, those were excellent. But the plain glazed ones were not appealing due to the lack of flavor in the dough which essentially tastes like fried pizza dough. They are best enjoyed on the same day. Good recipe but consider doubling salt and sugar to taste, add vanilla and other extracts maybe a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg… that’s what I would do if I make again. Also crying in vegetable oil makes them soggy, I used a combo of shortening (sans trans fat) and veg oil.