I call these old fashioned homemade yeast doughnuts because these doughnuts remind me of the times my mother used to make them when I was a child. Fresh and fluffy yeast treats with a soft and light crust, deep-fried, and gloriously coated with sugar.
I picked up this doughnut-making skill from my mother. I remember so very vividly all the times I used to make our own homemade doughnuts for tea time at home back then. And since I loved eating them, I used to make so many of them. And my sisters and I and my little brother would happily finish them all without any second thoughts.
This old fashioned homemade yeast doughnuts recipe that I have here is pretty much the same as the one I used to refer to in my mom’s recipe collection. But back then, we did not have a cake mixer, so all the kneading was by hand. I got myself a Kenwood mixer that comes with a dough hook now. And making these doughnuts has just gotten so much quicker and simpler. No more laborious kneading except for a short minute or two for softest, fluffiest doughnuts.
Table of contents
- How to Make the Doughnuts
- Like this recipe? Here are my other posts you might want to check out
How to Make the Doughnuts
The ingredients used in making these old fashioned homemade yeast doughnuts are pretty basic, just like most other doughnut recipes:
- Instant yeast
Mixing the yeast dough
- Start by measuring the yeast into the mixing bowl. Add milk.
- Next, add the egg.
- Continue with the flour, sugar and salt. Start mixing all the ingredients on low for 2 minutes until they come together.
- Cut butter into small cubes and add into the mixing bowl. Continue to knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
- The dough might look sticky a few minutes into adding the butter, and that is perfectly alright.
- Continue kneading until it comes together, smooth.
1st proofing and shaping the doughnuts
- Turn the dough out onto a clean space. Knead lightly to form a ball. Place it in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or cling wrap and leave it to proof until it is almost triple in size. This can take anytime between 1 hour or more, depending on the surrounding temperature.
- Once fully proofed, transfer it onto your workspace. Knead for a few minutes to knock out air bubbles in it.
- The dough might not be smooth initially, as you start kneading it.
- Continue kneading for 2 to 3 minutes until it becomes smoother.
- Divide it into 2 sections for easy handling and roll each section to about 1cm thick.
- Use a ring doughnut cutter to cut the doughnuts out. Dip the cutter into flour to avoid the dough from sticking to it. Gather the scraps after cutting, form them into a ball and continue to roll and cut the doughnuts until the dough is all used up.
2nd Proofing and frying
- As you cut each of the doughnuts, place them onto lightly floured parchment squares and arrange them on a large baking tray. Dusting the paper squares will ease in transfering the doughnuts into the oil when they are ready for frying.
- Space them to allow room for proofing without touching one another.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let them proof until they have almost tripled in size. This can take any time between 1 hour to a few hours depending on the temperature.
- To fry these doughnuts, heat up oil in a pan. Once the oil is heated up, carefully lift one doughnut along with the parchment square underneath and carefully slide it off the paper into the oil.
- Continue with a few more doughnuts, depending on the size of your pan. Fry the doughnuts on medium heat, turning them over with a tong halfway through to allow both sides of the doughnuts to cook.
- Fry until the doughnuts turn golden brown on both sides and the oil stops bubbling along their edges.
Coating the homemade doughnuts with sugar
- Strain the doughnuts onto a kitchen paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
- Once the doughnuts have cooled down, you can coat them with sugar. Add a few tablespoons of granulated sugar into a small deep bowl.
- Dip the doughnuts into the sugar, gently pressing into the sugar until they are halfway into the sugar.
- Lift and coat the other side of the doughnuts in the same way. Continue until all the doughnuts are fully coated.
Can you replace dry yeast with fresh yeast?
- Yes, you can. I use 5g of instant dry yeast in my recipe. If you wish to use fresh yeast, replace the 5g of instant yeast with 15g of fresh yeast.
- Unlike dry instant yeast, the fresh yeast must be activated first before mixing it into the doughnut dough. To activate the yeast, break it into small pieces and mix it with the lukewarm milk. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes until the solution turns frothy before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Do note that the milk must not be hot for that will kill the yeast and your doughnuts will not rise. Neither should the milk be cold as that would not activate the fresh yeast.
Can the dough be refrigerated or frozen?
- Yes, it can. If you do not wish to make the doughnuts on the same day you mix the dough, you can refrigerate or freeze it for later use.
- Ideally, refrigerate if you plan to use it within the next day, and freeze it if longer.
- To refrigerate, place it in a large bowl and cover the top of the bowl with cling wrap. The dough will continue to proof in the fridge albeit at a slower rate. The next day, remove it from the fridge, give it a knead for about 2 to 3 minutes to knock out any air bubbles before rolling and cutting the doughnuts. Let them proof for the second time and fry as usual.
- To freeze the dough, wrap it tightly in a cling wrap. Move it to the refrigerator section at least one day before frying the doughnuts. The following day, unwrap it, give it a short knead, and let it proof (1st proof) until it has almost tripled in size. Knock out the air bubbles from the dough and roll and cut the doughnuts before their 2nd proof and frying.
How much in advance can you make these doughnuts?
- These old fashioned homemade yeast doughnuts are best eaten on the day they are fried. I would typically make these a few hours before eating.
- These treats do last for more than one day, however, they tend to become a little stiff and dry the next day. They are at their best when consumed within a few hours of frying.
- There is also a tendency for the sugar coating to melt when you keep them for more than a day.
Can you use powdered sugar instead of fine granulated sugar to coat the doughnuts?
Yes, you certainly can. Coat the doughnuts with icing sugar in the same way as you do with granulated sugar.
Like this recipe? Here are my other posts you might want to check out
- Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake
- Homemade Fried Dough Bites in Simple Syrup
- Homemade White Bread Loaf
- Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Easy Yeast Rolls for Beginners
- Peanut Puffs - Perfect Tea Time Treats
- Chocolate Brioche - Easy Brioche Loaf
- Pandan Bread - Homemade Milk Loaf with Raisins
- Brioche Donuts (Doughnuts) - Perfectly Soft & Fluffy
Here is the full printable version of my old fashioned homemade yeast doughnuts recipe.
Old Fashioned Homemade Yeast Doughnuts
- 225 g flour
- 5 g instant dry yeast
- 75 ml milk lukewarm
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 40 g butter
- 1 egg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar (for coating)
- Measure yeast into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the milk, sugar, egg, flour and salt.
- Mix on low speed for 2 minutes or until the dough comes together.
- Add butter and continue kneading on medium-low speed until the butter is all incorporated into the dough and dough becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a ball. Return the dough into the mixing bowl and let if proof until it has almost trippled in size. Keep the bowl covered with a kitchen towel or cling wrap while the dough proofs.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Press it down to remove all air bubbles.
- Knead it for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth.
- Divide the dough into 2 sections for easy rolling. Roll each section to about 1cm thick.
- Using a ring cutter, cut out the doughnuts. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts until the dough is all used up.
- Place each doughnut on a lightly floured parchment square. Arrange the doughnuts in a large tray, cover them with a kitchen towel and let them proof until almost tripled in size.
- Heat oil in a deep pan or wok and fry the doughnuts until they turn golden brown. Turn them over halfway through to allow both sides to cook.
- Once done, remove from oil and drain them on a kitchen paper towel.
- For the sugar coating, fill the granulated sugar into a small bowl. Dip each doughnuts into the sugar on both sides before serving.
There you go, my old fashioned homemade yeast doughnuts recipe.