This is my go-to.
It’s been my summer backyard party staple. It’s what I’ve been making for months when I get the invite to “come over, we’re making food, just bring whatever.” It’s all the things I look for in bring-to-a-party food. It transports well, it sits at room temperature for a long time without concern, and it’s impressive. I know that last part makes me a bit of an over-foodie asshole, but I can’t change now.
If you’ve never made doughnuts, it’s really pretty simple, and there is only one major concern: temperature. Twice, you have to concern yourself with temperate in order for these to turn out perfect, but other than that, it’s pretty simple. First is yeast temperate. For rapid rise yeast, the liquid (in this case beer) needs to be between 120F and 130F, too low and it won’t get a good rise, too high and you’ll kill the yeast. If you aren’t sure what temperate to use, always (always) use the temperate listed on the package of yeast, not the temperate listed in the recipe. Always.
Second, you’ll have to worry about the deep fry oil. I own a small deep fryer, because of course I own a deep fryer, and it maintains the temperate all on it’s own. But before I did, I just used the Dutch oven filled with a few inches of canola oil. Clip a deep fry thermometer onto the side, make sure the tip doesn’t touch the bottom (not even for a second, just to see how it feels), and adjust the oil temperate to keep it between 350 and 375.
Those are the big battles, and really, it’s not that bad. And at the end of it all, you get to show up with 36 homemade doughnut holes, and that’s worth all that temperate worry. You deserve a beer.
- 3cups (360g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup, plus 1 cup, granulated sugar, divided
- 1 packet rapid rise yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
- ¾ cup wheat beer
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large egg yolk (room temperature)
- ¼ cup heavy cream (room temperature)
- 1 tsp salt
- oil for frying
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook add the flour, ¼ cup sugar and yeast.
- Add the beer to a microwave safe bowl, microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperate and repeat until beer reaches between 120 and 130 degrees F.
- Add the beer to the stand mixer, mix until most of the flour has been moistened.
- Add the vanilla then the yolks, one at a time. Add the cream and salt.
- Building up speed, beat on high until the dough comes together and gathers around the blade.
- The dough will be very soft.
- Add dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and knead lightly to remove any air bubbles. Place dough in the fridge and allow to rest for 1 hour.
- Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1-inch thickness. Cut doughnuts into circles using a 2-inch round biscuit cutter.
- Place doughnuts on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Loosly cover with a towel.
- Allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Fill a large heavy bottomed saucepan with canola oil until about 4 inches deep. Add a deep fry thermometer and bring oil to about 360 degrees, adjusting heat to maintain temperature.
- Working in batches, fry the doughnuts on each side until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from oil and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Place remaining 1 cup sugar in a small bowl. One at a time roll the cooled doughnuts in the sugar, add to a serving tray. Serve immediately.