Apple Cinnamon Raised Doughnuts

I never turn down a doughnut. Or two. Maple bars are my guilty pleasure, and I go back and forth between preferring cake doughnuts and raised, but one thing is clear to me: they must be fried to be irresistible. Baked doughnuts are fine, but . . . they just aren’t the same.

I love apple cider cake doughnuts, and was pondering the possibility of adding apple to a raised doughnut. (No, no, not chunks like apple fritters.) Would the addition of applesauce interfere with the rise of the yeast? The Man thought it was a bad idea, but rapidly changed his mind when he taste-tested a half dozen or so.

Here are some glazed and some sugared. See that dark doughnut kind of in the middle? I may have left that one in the oil too long. Still tasted good though!

This recipe creates a very soft dough. Soft and supple, and . . . well . . . I want to write poetry about the way it feels! It demands a little delicacy in handling, but the payoff is an incredibly light, fluffy doughnut. Actually, a whole lot of them; you’ll  get about 24 doughnuts and a pile of doughnut holes. They’re best the day they’re made, but can be frozen for a few weeks, so don’t feel like you have to sit down and eat two dozen of them (though I did my best).

Oh, and there’s a reason store bought doughnuts come in a cardboard box! If you put these in an airtight plastic bag, they will get gooey. I find that they do well loosely covered with foil.

Apple Cinnamon Raised Doughnuts
Print
Author:
Ingredients
  • DOUGHNUTS:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup sugar plus ½ teaspoon, divided
  • 8 ounces applesauce (about a cup)
  • ½ cup apple cider (or you can use apple juice)
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon (more to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg (more to taste)
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup very warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 6½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter, softened and cut into 8-10 slices
  • cooking oil - lots of it! At least 2 inches deep in pot. (I use peanut oil.)
  • GLAZE (OPTIONAL):
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider (a little more if needed to create a thin glaze)
  • 1 teaspoon meringue powder (optional for a firmer glaze)
  • SUGAR TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
  • mix 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and roll warm doughnuts in mixture.
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, scald milk by bringing it almost to a boil. Remove when you see bubbles all around the edge of the pan.
  2. Add ⅓ cup sugar, apple sauce, apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (a sturdy stand mixer is recommended) combine the warm water, yeast, and remaining ½ teaspoon sugar. Let it sit until foamy - about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with between eggs.
  5. Add 5 cups of the flour, one cup at a time (switch to a dough hook if using a stand mixer) and beat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add butter, one slice at a time, beating after each addition.
  7. Slowly add remaining flour and knead by machine for 5 minutes. (If kneading by hand, spoon dough onto generously floured surface and knead for 7-8 minutes.) Dough will be very soft and will not form a ball. Scrape into a large greased bowl and cover. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  8. Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface. Flip over to cover both sides lightly with flour, and pat into a rectangle. Roll gently out approximately ⅓-inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter or a large and small round cutter, cut out the doughnuts. Try to keep them close together. Use a spoon to remove the holes as you go, placing them on lightly floured surface.
  9. Once all of the doughnuts are cut out, remove the scraps. They can be re-rolled once, but I don't recommend cutting out doughnuts. They will be a little tough, and not very attractive. But you can cut more holes out of the scraps.
  10. Cover the doughnuts with a dishtowel and let them rise until puffy. (About 45-60 minutes.)
  11. Heat oil to 365 F. Use a thermometer often, adjusting heat as necessary to keep the temperature consistent. Use a thin metal spatula to slide a few doughnuts at a time into the hot oil, always leaving them room to float and move in the oil. Cook until golden brown (about 1 minute) and flip the doughnut over to cook the other side. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider, and place on cooling racks covered with paper towels.
  12. While still warm, whisk together the glaze ingredients (if using) and dip the top of each doughnut, placing on a rack to dry.
  13. Alternatively, you can simply combine sugar and cinnamon and roll the warm doughnuts in the mixture.

I didn’t have apple cider, so used apple juice. It is a little sweeter, but still worked well.

Add applesauce, spices, and apple cider to scalded milk.

Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar and let it bubble. Stir in the milk mixture.

Mix in eggs one at a time.

Add 5 cups of the flour, but not like this!  I’m sure you won’t be so busy taking photos that you forget to put the guard on the mixer, right? (You should have seen ME. And the FLOOR!)

NOW add the butter, bit by bit. I know, seems strange, huh? But adding the butter after the majority of the flour makes a huge difference in texture. Trust me. Then you’ll add the remaining flour to make a very soft dough.

See how soft the dough is? It won’t come cleanly from the bowl, but if you use your fingers to coax it out into the greased bowl it shouldn’t stick to your hands. Soft but cooperative!

Once the dough has risen, dump it onto a floured surface. Turn it over to coat both sides with flour and roll it gently – about 1/3-inch thick.

Cut ’em out! Rather than re-rolling (which makes for less-than-desirable results) cut more doughnut holes with the scraps. Or any little shapes. I used a small flower cutter on some.

Cover and let rise until puffy – about 45-60 minutes.

Use a metal spatula to slide into deep oil – at least 2 inches – about 365 F. Cook a few doughnuts at a time, just until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon or spider.

The doughnut holes are the best part!

Place on cooling racks covered in paper towels.

Whisk up some glaze and dip the warm doughnuts. (The meringue powder is totally optional. I just like a firmer glaze.) Or roll the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar.

Drip drying.

Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure doughnut holes have no calories.

Here’s to a warm, cozy, indulgent holiday season. Wishing you joy,

Lorinda

 

 

3 thoughts on “Apple Cinnamon Raised Doughnuts

  1. Deep-frying is not my thing, so I will never make this recipe. But wowee zowee, it’s fun to read through and look at the pictures. You are always so wonderfully creative with your text and photos. Plus, well, I wish frying was my thing, because these sound MIGHTY tasty!

    • I get it, I really do. (I can hear you saying “ickles”.) I rarely indulge (which is why I don’t own a deep fryer) but sometimes a doughnut is exactly what I need. When I posted my maple bar recipe I added info for baking them; these would probably do fine baked too. MAYBE I’ll try a few that way when I make these again. I’ll keep you posted.

Leave a Reply to Mary Rose Cancel reply