Alton Brown's Yeast Donuts

The Wife was craving something sweet, and being the diligent and providing husband that I am, I felt obliged to make something unexpected.  I just made her a Kentucky Butter Rum Cake last weekend, so a cake was out.  I had made her cupcakes the weekend before when she returned home from a girls weekend.  I cast my thoughts to one of her guilty favorites, and something we've never made so I knew she wouldn't be expecting them.  Donuts.  Yeasty, sweet donuts.

Given that we now have a kitchen scale, I decided to give Alton's recipe a try.


1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 ounces vegetable shortening, approximately 1/3 cup
    2 packages instant yeast
    1/3 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    23 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
    Oil for Frying
    Heat the milk in a sauce pan until just before a boil, pour it over the shortening in a separate  bowl and set aside.  In another bowl, put your yeast into the warm water, stir and let set for five minutes to let the yeast wake up.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using your paddle mixture, combine the yeast mixture and the shortening mixture and turn mixer to stir.  Add your eggs, salt, sugar, nutmeg and half of the flour mixture.  Turn up the speed once flour is added to combine the ingredients.  Stop the mixer and add the other half of the flour mixture, using a low setting to combine ingredients.  
  • Switch from your paddle attachment to your dough hook and mix at medium speed for about 4 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, it will still be slightly sticky, but somewhat elasticky.
  • Turn out to a well oiled bowl, cover and let rise for an hour or so, until doubled in size.

  • Turn out on to a well floured cutting board (I had to cut the dough in half and work in two batches).  Roll the dough out to 3/8 inch thick and using something roughly 3-4 inches and circular make your donuts, rekneading the dough as you go.  I also used a very high tech tool to make the donut holes - a shot glass.

  • Place the donuts on a floured pan, cover with a towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

  • When they've risen, bring your oil up to 360 degrees and fry for about one minute on each side. 

  • If you're tossing the holes in cinnamon and sugar (highly recommended) do so immediately.  

  • Otherwise, set on a draining rack for 15 minutes before you glaze.
  • Or if you're really feeling saucy, take the donuts from the grease to the cinnamon/sugar mixture then let them cool for a minute, dip in the glaze, then back in the sugar.  

  • These are time intensive, but it makes it worth it if you do a large batch for company, or a tailgate.

  • Enjoy!


  1. Oh my gosh these look soooo good! I need to get a candy thermometer stat! Since I don't I made these baked ones that were pretty tasty, kind of like auntie Anne's pretzels

    . Yeasty fried ones sound better tho, next in the list for sure!


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