In today’s post I want to give you a sep-by-step breakdown on how to bake the perfect donuts. There are two main things to keep in mind. Firstly you need to make the perfect batter that will result in fluffy, scrumptious donuts. And secondly you need to prevent the donuts from sticking to the pan as they bake. Read on for detailed instructions.
All my batter recipes call for basic ingredients that everyone has access to. These are: eggs, flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, and some recipes also call for cream (35% fat content).
Here are the 7 steps on how to bake the perfect donuts:
Sift the flour (and spices when the recipe calls for them) into a medium bowl. Then add the baking powder.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and add the sugar.
Beat the eggs with an electric mixer over high speed. I highly recommend you use an electric mixer (any electric mixer) for this step in order to achieve a very creamy, aerated egg texture. This texture will result in fluffy, light donuts. However, if you do not have an electric mixer, you can also beat the egg by hand with a whisk. Just keep in mind it will take you longer.
After beating the eggs and sugar, the mixture should be almost triple in volume. It should be creamy, light in colour, and smooth. In the image bellow, note the change in volume and colour after beating the eggs and sugar.
Add the salt and cream (if the recipe calls for cream) to the beaten eggs. Gently mix using a whisk just to incorporate the salt (and cream).
Adding the salt to the wet ingredients ensures it dissolves completely. If you add the salt to the dry ingredients, you risk biting into a salt crystal when eating the donuts.
Add about ⅓ of the flour mix to the egg bowl. With a spatula mix until the flour is just incorporated into the batter; do not over-mix as it will deflate the batter. Add another ⅓ of the flour mix and repeat the mixing process. Continue until all the flour has been incorporated. The batter should be smooth, free of clumps, aerated, almost like a thick yoghurt in viscosity.
Allow the batter to sit for a few minutes. During this time, gluten develops and during baking, air pockets form between the gluten structures, resulting in a fluffy/ spongy texture. It is possible to place the batter inside a piping bag immediately after you finish mixing all ingredients. Then allow the batter to sit a few minutes inside the bag. Doing so will make it easier to pipe it into the donut pan. As the batter sits for a few minutes and gluten develops, it becomes more viscous.
Using butter at room temperature, grease the moulds of the donut pan. Make sure to grease well, leaving a thick layer of butter behind. Room temperature butter stays in place, but if you use melted butter it can run downwards, leaving the sides with little to no grease. This may cause the donuts to stick to the pan. If you’re still worried about the donuts sticking to the pan, you can place the greased pan in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will cool the butter and it will take longer for it to melt once you pop the pan in the oven.
Then, pipe the batter into the pan, filling ¾ of each cavity. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, for approximately 10 minutes.
The first time you bake donuts, I recommend you pay close attention to them as there are many differences between ovens. If the donuts spring back when you gently press on them, they are fully baked and ready to be taken out of the oven. Additionally you can insert a toothpick into one of them. If it comes out clean, the donuts are fully baked.
These have been the 7 steps on how to bake the perfect donuts. Now here are some tidbits to keep in mind the next time you’re making donuts.
Tips and Tricks
- When whisking eggs and sugar, take a small sample and rub it between your fingers. If it feels smooth, the sugar is fully dissolved. If it feels grainy, whisk a little more to fully dissolve the sugar.
- You can use any type of equipment for whisking the eggs and sugar, but an electric mixer is highly recommended.
- Adding the salt to the wet ingredients ensures it fully dissolves. When adding it to the dry ingredients it may not dissolve completely, and you risk biting into a salt crystal when eating the donuts.
- Both metal and silicone baking pans work well, but beware that the baking time might differ. They are made of different materials which conduct heat differently.
- A silicone pan is soft and wobbly and it cannot go directly into the oven. Instead, place it on a metal tray (such as a cookie tray), fill up the silicone pan with the batter, and place them together into the oven. The metal tray acts as an extra layer of heat conduction and the baking time may be longer.
- Furthermore, using pans of various shapes and sizes will also result in different baking times.
- You can make the donut batter in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 hours prior to baking.
- When melting chocolate in a bain-marie use a glass bowl. Avoid using metal bowls as they conduct heat much quicker than glass and you risk burning the chocolate fats. Chocolate fats burn at low temperature!
- Avoid using chocolate chips for melting as they contain stabilizers (to prevent them from sticking to each other), which make them difficult to melt and work with. Use baking chocolate or a regular chocolate bar.
- Glaze the donuts shortly after baking them to keep them moist and succulent for longer. That being said, wait until the donuts have fully cooled to room temperature before glazing.
- Eat the donuts within 2-3 days of baking them.
Now that you know how to bake the perfect donuts, here are some recipes for delicious, baked donuts:
Read more donut recipes here.