The vegan fried doughnut. My oh my, how I have dreamed of you. I dreamed of your possibilities when I stood in front of the doughnut counter at Tim Hortons. I begged friends and family to tell me what exactly this elusive treat tasted like, was it like cake? What was it? The explanation that it as more like bread than cake made no sense to me. Who would want to eat glazed bread? A couple of years ago a vegan doughnut shop opened up not too far from me. It was heaven. For the first time in my life I was going to eat a real fried, yeasted doughnut. It was everything I had wanted and more.
Now over the years I have made doughnuts at home. But they were always baked doughnuts, much closer to cake than to the fried delights housed in TBC’s case. And then this week I found myself with an unexpected day off. It was dark and rainy outside, so I had no desire to sit in the back garden let alone leave my house. There wasn’t anything too compelling on netflix to watch and the book I was reading wasn’t grabbing me. I was out of excuses. It was time to bite the bullet and attempt to make my own fried doughnuts.
What kept me away so long? Two things. Yeast and frying. For years I was intimidated by yeast. What if it didn’t work? What if the dough didn’t rise properly and I put in all that work for nothing? And frying. Didn’t you need to buy something like a deep fryer? Could you just fry things in a pot with some oil? Making cinnamon rolls cured me of my yeast fear and my beautiful le creuset dutch oven has proved to be the perfect pot for frying. The final missing ingredient was time. Because when working with yeast you need to have hours on your hands to wait for the dough to rise.
I scoured pinterest for a recipe that seemed simple and found one over at House of Lovelock. It was super simple to make and the instructions were detailed. Glazed doughnuts seemed like the perfect way to start my fried doughnut journey. They are a classic, who doesn’t like a delicious sweet and sugary glaze on a hot fried doughnut?
I always find it difficult to get my dough to rise in the summer because we have a portable air conditioner blasting in the kitchen. A tip I’ve heard is to set the oven to warm while you are preparing the dough and then turn it off and put your bowl of dough inside the oven to rise. It worked for me! In the winter my kitchen is always warm because I’ve always got the oven on for one thing or another, but summer is a different story. I don’t want to be sweltering beside the oven or over the stove and so try and keep the kitchen cool and comfortable.
I found the whole process deeply satisfying. Working the dough in my stand mixer, waiting for it to rise. The best part was definitely frying the doughnuts. Watching them turn golden and crispy on the outside and then setting them on the cooling rack. Adding another couple (and the doughnut holes of course!) to the pot and watching the oil bubble up. Then dropping them into the bowl of glaze and coating them. I give this recipe all of the stars. They were amazing. Light and fluffy and crispy on the outside, the glaze was sugared perfection. I have all kinds of fried doughnuts I want to try now. So stay tuned!