The alarm sounds, and it’s a terrible, dreaded screech. It’s early and dark, and the days until summer vacation seem too endless to count. Spelling words and fraction rules whirl in my brain. Showered, dressed, and permed hair beginning to poof in that special 80s/90s way, I take my designated seat at the head of the table. I’m in elementary school, and this is my routine, but everything in my young world halts when mom brings me a donut for breakfast! Chocolate iced without any filling. This is my FAVORITE donut, and everyone in my family knows it. My sisters work at the local grocery store, and they spoil me with this donut all too often, especially around my birthday time.
Since January is my birthday month (yes, I said month. I’m one of those birthday gluttons), I had to make my childhood favorite for my Donut o’ the Month series on the blog, Jojotastic. However, I had to make my favorite donut in a more wholesome way.
When I reflect on just how many donuts I ate as a child, I cringe a little at the thought of all the refined sugars, unpronounceable preservatives and unhealthy ingredients. Made from whole wheat pastry flour and fried in organic, non-gmo Safflower oil, this donut recipe offered me a trip down memory lane with much more peace of mind. My recipe calls for quite a bit of yeast, which does hit your palate with each bite, but the flavor hits in a way I like, especially since the yeast yields a fluffy crumb. I hope you break your morning routine with this delicious donut and take a trip down memory lane as well.
Chocolate Glazed Whole Wheat Donuts
yield: makes 8-9 donuts
3 Tablespoons active dry yeast, divided
1 cup organic whole milk, heated to 110˚F (43°C), divided
2 to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry, divided (plus more for the work surface)
2 Tablespoons organic evaporated cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large organic/cage-free egg yolks
4 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, at room temperature
Organic, non-gmo Safflower oil, for frying
Vanilla Glaze Ingredients
1 1/2 cups organic confectioners’ sugar, sifted to remove any lumps
3 to 4 Tablespoons organic whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 Tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
2 Tablespoons milk or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Donuts:
In a medium bowl, dissolve 2 Tablespoons of the yeast in 3/4 cup of the warm milk. Stir in 3/4 cup of the flour to create a smooth paste. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Combine the remaining warm milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the flour/yeast mixture along with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth.
Turn off the mixer and add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour. Mix on low for about 30 seconds.
Add the butter and mix until it becomes incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Switch to a dough hook and, with the mixer turned off, add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time.
Knead the dough on medium speed between additions until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and not too sticky.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1/2 inch in thickness. With a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 3-inch-diameter rounds with 1-inch-diameter holes. Gather and roll the scraps until you no longer have dough.
Place the donuts at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm spot to proof until they almost double in size, 5 to 20 minutes. To test whether the dough is ready, touch it lightly with a fingertip. If it springs back immediately, it needs more time. If it springs back slowly, it is ready. If it doesn’t spring back at all, it has over-proofed, in which case you can punch it down and re-roll it once.
While the donuts are proofing, heat a heavy-bottomed, cast-iron pot with at least 2 inches of oil until a thermometer registers 360˚F (182°C). With a metal spatula, carefully place a donut in the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper-towel-lined tray, and let cool slightly before glazing. Repeat with the remaining donuts and holes, keeping the temperature consistent.
For the Glaze(s)
Whichever glaze you’re making, place the sugar (and cocoa powder, if relevant) in a wide, shallow bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla, a little at a time. Whisk until blended and smooth.
Glaze the Donuts
Dunk the donuts in the vanilla glaze, rotating and flipping to fully cover the donut. Let any excess glaze drip off in the bowl, and then transfer the donut to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet or over a sheet of parchment paper to catch the drips. Let rest until glaze sets.
Once the vanilla glaze is set, use a spoon drizzle the tops of the donuts with the chocolate glaze. Allow the chocolate glaze to set, and then enjoy!