⅓ cup sugar
2¼ teaspoons (one packet) active dry yeast
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- Pour the warmed milk into the bowl of your electric mixer. Pour the sugar into the milk and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, until the yeast foams.
- Add the whole egg, yolks, vanilla extract, flour, salt, and nutmeg to the bowl. Using the dough hook, knead at medium speed for a few minutes, until incorporated.
- Chop up the softened butter and add to the bowl one cube at a time, with mixer running at medium speed, until the butter is fully incorporated into the dough. Knead the dough at medium-high speed for a few more minutes, until the dough loosens from the sides of the bowl and is smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a towel, and place it in a warm spot to allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Flour it lightly. Flour your work surface and a rolling pin.
- Roll out the dough to half an inch thick. Cut out circles with a doughnut cutter, round cookie cutter, or the bottom of a glass cup. Let the dough rest for a few minutes before rerolling it and cutting out more doughnuts. Space doughnuts out on the prepared baking sheet to allow for spreading.
- Cover the doughnuts loosely with cling wrap or a towel, and allow them to rise until puffy and airy, 50 to 60 minutes. (An oven with the heat turned off is an ideal spot for this second rising and will allow the doughnuts to rise in as little as 30 minutes. Don’t cover the doughnuts if you place them in the oven to rise.)
- Meanwhile, fill a heavy-bottomed pot or doughnut fryer with a few inches of oil. Heat the oil, allowing it to come to a temperature of 350°F to 375°F. Use a candy thermometer to ensure that the oil temperature stays within this range throughout the frying process.
- Place a carrot chunk in the oil (it helps absorb any burnt pieces floating in the oil) and gently drop a few doughnuts into the pot. Fry the doughnuts on one side for a few minutes until golden brown; then flip and fry on the other side until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the doughnuts from the oil and place them on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath to drain the excess oil.
- If you are glazing the doughnuts with the butter glaze from the salted caramel doughnuts, do it while they’re still warm. Otherwise, allow the doughnuts to cool before filling and glazing. Doughnuts are best eaten the day they’re made.
Note: If you must make your doughnuts nondairy, this recipe will work with nondairy milk and the equivalent amount of oil in place of butter. However, using whole milk and butter is highly recommended for the superior richness in flavor and texture they provide.
Yield: 2 dozen doughnuts