The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

We all Scream for Vegan Donuts!

Posted on February 19, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Angie Riccio

A Homer Simpson Dream Came True:

A donut is a fried dough dessert popular in many countries and prepared in various forms. Donuts have been known as a breakfast treat sold at bakeries, cafes, coffee shops, supermarkets, and specialty outlets. Donuts range from deep fried to baked, and are made from various batters, toppings, and flavorings such as sugar, chocolate or maple glaze. The two most common types of doughnuts are the toroidal ring donut and the filled doughnut. These sweet fried doughs have been making a noise in the year of DIY (do it yourself) projects. From websites tutorials, to specialty shops selling donuts topped with a three course meal, donuts are all the rage.

Wacky donut shops like Hypnotic in Dallas, TX and Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, OR, which is probably best known for its breakfast cereal crusted offerings or maple bacon glazed donut, have expanded locations across the country with customer lines reaching anywhere from a half an hour to an hour wait. The craze has spun this country donut hungry and we are headed into the new era of the vegan donut. From New York City to California, vegan donuts are no longer difficult to find across the USA with flavors you could not even imagine. Alongside these bakeries providing us amazing products there are recipes all over the web and in cookbooks handing us the tools to “DIY” our very own homemade donuts.

Like many, I am a bit wary of attempting an at home recipe, thinking to myself, “There is no way it will ever look like the photo,” or “How on earth do I find these ingredients?” After googling what the three starches are and what you can substitute for eggs and coconut oil you barely have enough time left to make the donuts and no time left to enjoy yourself. Throughout my time in the industry, I like many others have found a love for donuts. I bake donuts twice a week at a vegan bakery, as well as often at home for brunch, company, or just as an excuse to respect my dough. I have found hundreds of recipes, experimented with baked, fried, and failure donuts. I am happy with one developed recipe, a do-it-yourself, delicious vegan donut recipe that is easy to shop for, cook, and mostly, enjoy!

What You Will Need:
First you will need to produce your grocery list:
• yeast
• flour
• soy milk or your favorite alternative milk
• Earth Balance or your favorite vegan butter
• sugar
• salt
• oil (canola or vegetable oil)

Once you have shopped at your local market for the necessary ingredients make sure you grab what toppings you want for your donut. If you are planning on doing a filled donut, pick up some jelly and powdered sugar or some Oreos, powdered sugar, and vanilla and use your soy milk to make a vanilla glaze with Oreos on top! Do some internet searching, or just think of your favorite donut. My favorite is a classic cinnamon sugar where the only ingredients you need for the topping is sugar and cinnamon!

Yield: 10-12 cinnamon/sugar donuts

40 ounces warm water: 5 cups
1 ounce yeast: 3 Tablespoons
2 pounds flour: 3 cups + 3/4 cups
8 ounces soy milk: 1 cup
8 ounces Earth Balance/butter substitute: 1 cup
10 ounces organic sugar: 1 cup+ 1/4 cup
5 ounces yeast: 1/4 cup
2 1/2 pound flour: 4 cups + 1/2 cup

1. In a large mixing bowl (either an electric mixer or a large enough bowl with room for rising dough), mix the warm water, yeast, and flour together until combined. The mixture will be like a wet sponge. Cover the top of the bowl and allow the sponge to rise for one hour in a warm place.

2. Once the sponge has doubled in size, place back into the mixer and combine the remaining ingredients. If you do not have a mixer, soften the butter substitute and mix by hand until dough is combined without lumps. When the dough is combined it should create a dough ball. It will be elastic and clump free.

3. Divide the dough in two and place in oiled containers or covered bowls. Allow the dough to rise for a half an hour in a warm place. Once the dough has doubled in size, wrap the dough in plastic wrap within the covered container and allow to sit in a refrigerated cooler overnight. The overnight will allow the dough to rest and become less elastic while rolling out for the next day.

4. The next day, take the dough out of the containers and place on a floured table. Roll out the dough to 1/4 of an inch thick.

5. Using a circle cookie cutter, or a household product such as a glass cup to cut out the donuts. If you are producing filled donuts, you only need to make one cut. If you plan on having glaze, use a smaller cutter to produce the smaller hole in the center. Once the donuts are cut, allow them to rest and rise in a warm place for 15-20 minutes.

6. While the dough rises, prepare your oil. If you do not own a fialator (fryer), you can fill a deep bottomed pot with oil. Heat the oil to a simmer. Do not let the oil boil! Once the oil is hot, be cautious, it can very easily burn your skin.

7. Once the donuts have risen, and oil is hot, you are ready to fry!

8. Slowly, place the donuts in the oil. Be very careful and use plastic gloves if you have them available. Allow the donuts to cook for two minutes. Flip the donut and allow another two minutes. The donuts should be golden brown. Using tongs, take the donut out of the fryer. The dough should feel lighter than when you placed it in the oil. Use your judgement on this step. If the dough seems to become golden before the two minute mark, flip and remove the donuts. Check the donuts by cutting open to see if they are cooked through. If the dough is raw and the exterior is cooked, turn down the oil and continue cooking.

9. Follow step 8 for the rest of the dough. Using a drying rack, or a tray lined with paper towels, place the finished fried donuts. Any excess oil will come off the donut giving you a cleaner taste and mouth feel.

10. Allow the donuts to cool. While you wait, you can prepare your toppings, whatever they may be!

11. Apply the glaze, filling, and topping however you’d like. Remember it’s all about taste, do not stress over the looks to the point of making the donuts no longer a good time! Use cookbooks, the internet or be creative when it comes to dressing your donuts.

12. Eat! Enjoy your donuts, donut holes, or donut sticks! Enjoy them with glaze, frosting, chocolate, sprinkles, or powdered.

What Else Can I Do?

After frying twelve delicious crisp airy donuts you may ask, what’s next? Next step is keep baking and keep having fun! Try pizza donuts, cronuts (croissant donuts), donut ice cream sandwiches, and anything you can put your mind to! Experiment with different doughs, for example chocolate or apple cider dough with a cinnamon glaze. Remember to be safe while frying, and wear protective gear when necessary. Whenever possible, search the web, look in cookbooks, talk to chefs, and talk with friends on what they have been baking in their kitchen. Never let anyone tell you there is no way you can make and bake a perfect vegan donut, and if they still don’t believe you, use this recipe and prove them wrong.

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