How to Make Old-Fashioned Yeast Raised Doughnuts (Donuts)


The original style of doughnuts are thought to have introduced to America as "oleykoeks," or oil cakes made of flour and deep fried in pig fat. The earliest written recipes date back to the early 19th century and are for yeast-raised cakes, which aren't made as quickly as the more-popular doughnut recipes. Old-fashioned doughnuts can be either sweet or savory and were usually made with whole wheat or oat flour, rather than refined and bleached white flour.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of warm milk
  • 2/3 cup of warm water
  • 2 packets of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of assorted spices like mace, cardamom and nutmeg
  • 2 quarts of oil
  • Donut- or biscuit-cutting rings
  • Melt the butter with the milk in the microwave on low power. Add this to a stainless steel bowl with the warm water, the contents of both yeast packets, and half the sugar. Allow the yeast to bloom for half an hour at room temperature.

  • Add the eggs, flour, spices and the remainder of the sugar to the fermenting yeast. Incorporate thoroughly, then turn out the dough onto a work surface and knead into a ball. Place this ball in a bowl, cover loosely with a towel, and let sit for an hour so the dough can double in size.

  • Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven or cast-iron pot on medium high. Retrieve the dough, punch it down, and cut it into rounds with metal donut-cutting rings. Fry in batches of 3-4 doughnuts at a time for about five minutes apiece. Since these doughnuts will float when cooking, you may need to roll them over in the oil with chopsticks or skewers.

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