June 5 marks National Doughnut Day! What better way to celebrate than by making your very own doughnuts?
Doughnut-making sounds pretty intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. But as it turns out, making doughnuts is easier than you think! To help you fight your culinary fears, we reached out to Tracy Wilk—an expert doughnut maker, executive pastry chef of David Burke Kitchen in New York City, and one of the top chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education—for some top-notch advice. Here’s what she has to say about diving into the doughnut hole for the very first time.
Decisions, Decisions, Doughnut Decisions
“Decide whether you are going to make a cake doughnut or a yeast doughnut as they will both have different outcomes," she says. "Cake doughnuts tend to be denser and sweeter with a crispy outside from being fried, and they have a soft, cake-like texture inside. Yeast doughnuts are light and fluffy, with a signature ‘ring’ on the doughnut from where they are fried.”
Cakey Doughnuts Are Easy Doughnuts
“Cake doughnuts are much easier to make at home because there are fewer ingredients and equipment involved. You don’t need yeast, and they can be made without a mixer. They are a great alternative to the complications of yeasted doughnuts!”
Time Is of the Essence
“Give yourself plenty of time, as a cake doughnut needs to sit in the fridge for typically at least 30 minutes and the best yeast doughnuts need to proof (slowly rise) for 24 hours.”
Frisk the Fryer
“Make sure to use clean fryer oil. You don’t want your doughnut tasting like last night's fried chicken!”
Get It Nice and Hot
“Always make sure to have an accurate thermometer on deck so you can make sure that your oil is at the right temperature. I like to fry my doughnuts around 360 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Testing, One, Two, Three
“Be sure to test your doughnuts. Always drop one to two in the oil before dumping the whole batch in to ensure that it is the perfect temperature.”
Unique Doughnuts Are the Best Doughnuts
“You can get creative with what you have in the pantry to make a unique doughnut! Fresh jams are great. If you are looking to make a Boston cream, you can use a vanilla pudding base straight out of the box as filling. You can make flavorful glazes with seasonal fruit or keep it simple with a sugar, milk and vanilla bean glaze.”
Dillion Burke @threadsalt
Strawberry Lemonade Doughnut Glaze
Wilk was also kind enough to share one of her super-delicious recipes with us. Here's one of her glaze recipes using seasonal fruits.
- 1 to 4 cup strawberries, tops removed
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
1. Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse.
2. Add powdered sugar to a large bowl and whisk in the pulsed strawberries and lemon juice. Continue whisking until the glaze is smooth and pourable, but not too thin. You want to be able to get a nice thick glaze when you dip each doughnut, but not so thick that it is challenging to pull. You can always add more lemon juice or water if you need to thin it out.
3. Dip freshly fried doughnuts in the glaze, dipping and then allowing to sit on a baking tray lined with a wire rack. Serve warm with a glass of strawberry lemonade.
Mmm! Delicious. What do you think? Will you be trying out this scrumptious-sounding recipe? Let us know in the comment section below.