My first experience with fried/hot doughnuts was years ago when I was out window shopping with a friend during a break between classes. It was a chilly late Autumn day and we’d just felt the gust of cold air upon leaving the shopping centre and saw a doughnut vendor selling mini doughnuts that he’d cook in he oil before giving them to you. The smell was something in itself, carried by the wind, that hot sticky sweetness which lured the sense. Then the doughnuts themselves were so tasty that the cold just melted away and we could have been a couple of the Red/Brown leaves floating down from a tree in those moments. Mum had previously told me about hot doughnuts, how they were her favourite and from that point I could understand how they were a delicious treat up there with roasted nuts (especially in Winter) though to be consumed with more moderation!
3 tsp dry active vegan yeast for baking (not the same as brewers or nutritonal yeast)
2 tbsp warm water
3/4 cup coconut milk (or almond, rice or oat milk)
1/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used demerara; dark muscovado or Golden cane would be fine too)
1/2 tsp sea or rock salt (e.g. Celtic, Himalayan, Kalahari)
1/4 cup date syrup or any fruit syrup (remember argave is very sweet)
1/6 cup sunflower oil
2 and 3/4 cups flour (I used organic White stoneground flour, unbleached made with wheatgerm). Note: if the flour is fine like this one 2 and 3/4 cups is needed, if course like in the savoury seeded doughnuts/donuts then less is needed i.e. 2 and 1/2 cups.
1. In a separate cup or bow pour warm water over the yeast and let it do it’s thing – i.e. give off the ‘yeast’ smell and bubble a little. Whilst it’s doing that move on to the next step.
2. Put the coconut milk, sugar, salt, syrup, and oil in a large bowl and mix. Note – I used a thick, heavy earthenware bowl for this. It’s not strictly necessary but when fermenting anything be it bread, veg or tofu I prefer to use cookware like this.
3. Add the yeast to the mixture and stir in. It might not mix properly or go smooth because yeast sticks together in clumps.
4. Add flour and stir as much as you can. Being bread dough (as opposed to cake dough) it’ll get tough quickly and hard to stir with a spoon so time to get mucky :-). Wash you hands again and get in there kneading until you have a smooth, succulent but not sticky dough. – Great for those who like handling plasticine or modeling clay.
5. Either move the dough to another bowl, lighty oiled, or do I did and just lift the dough, put some oil in and spread it around the bowl with the other hand. Then leave the dough in that bowl.
6. Fermentation time – cover the bowl with a clean, light, breathable dishcloth or piece of muslin and leave alone. NOTE – in warm to hot environments it should practically double in size in 1 hour. In cold or very cold places it can take a long time. I waited 3.5 hours before I was satisfied that it had grown enough.
7. Get a chopping board or any surface you can roll the dough out flat upon. Add some flour to the surface and spread it evenly. Place the dough on it and roll out to approx 1/2 inch thick. – If you don’t have a rolling pin a large glass or bottle will do.
8. For the doughnut shape can use 1) proper circle cutters OR 2) do the best you can with your hands OR 3) do what I did and used a cup/glass and just place it in the dough, lift and take the dough out gently. For those who want holes in the middle a small section can be taken out with your fingers or a smaller cup/glass.
9. Second fermentation – leave them to rise for approx 30 minutes. Again a warm environment is best but if they don’t rise don’t worry they’ve still been left long enough by that time.
10. Time to heat the oil – use a pan or pot sufficiently deep enough and pour in enough oil to cover at least half the height of a doughnut, having it deeper/deep fried is better though to prevent doughy bits in the middle. The oil must be hot.
9. Use a spatula and put the doughnuts in the oil. They should fill out and turn buoyant quite quickly. If your oil is hot they can be left 2min on each side in the oil. If your oil is very hot (spitting outta the pan and at you) leave them in 1min then turn over for another 1min.
10. When done remove and get ready to eat! 😀 I personally prefer them hot but they can also be left to cool, whether you place them on tissue/paper is upto you, we like ’em oily 😉 (Hey organic oil is expensive we ain’t wasting it!)
Note – once cool these can be stored in a container or food bag and if desired can be reheated quickly in a frying pan – no extra oil necessary.
The savoury grain/seed version can be found HERE