How to Make Raised Doughnuts

And if they happen to be filled with jam, so much the better! Homemade yeast doughnuts are so light they practically float on air, which makes it possible for me to inhale about half a dozen on a good day. Don’t try that at home, kids. I’m a professional.

Good yeast doughnuts start with a sponge, made the day before and rested overnight for flavor development. The complete recipe is here. On doughnut-making day, this is what your sponge should look like:

Combine that with all other ingredients save for the butter and mix for 10 minutes, scraping every three minutes or so, until a very sticky dough forms, about like so:

Now add the butter about a tablespoon at a time as the mixer runs. Scrape every so often to make sure all the butter is incorporated. Put the dough into a greased bowl…

…and let rise about an hour, until doubled. About like so:

Transfer the dough to a board that’s been lightly dusted with flour…

…then roll your dough out into a 1/4″ sheet.

Using a 3 1/2″ cutter, cut the dough into rounds, wadding up the scraps and re-rolling until all the dough is used. You should have 12-14 rounds. If you’re making regular ring-shaped doughnuts, use a smaller cutter to punch out the holes.

Lay the rounds back onto the towel-lined sheet pan…

…and cover with greased plastic wrap.

Proof for 30-45 minutes until the rounds are about twice their original thickness. In other words, puffy, but not overly so, about like this:

Fry them in 360-degree oil for about 45 seconds on a side. While they’re still warm, roll them in extra fine sugar to coat.

And fill them with the jam of your choice by squirting about two teaspoons into them with a pastry bag fitted with a Bismarck (#230) tip. Don’t get carried away with this step. A little jam goes a good long way. Squeeze until you can feel the doughnut get slightly heavier, then stop.

These are amazing eaten warm, but will keep just fine in a box at room temperature for up to 24 hours.

58 thoughts on “How to Make Raised Doughnuts”

  1. Yes indeed. I’m making these today. well. Tomorrow. Coz of the sponge… another great recipe, Joe!

    PS glad to hear you’re back on deck, these tiny bugs sure can knock us so called “advanced” species around 😀

    1. Can’t they just? Just being back to normal is making me feel like Superman! Let me know how the doughnuts turn out!

  2. Hi Joe, thought I wld let you know that I used unbleached plain flour (I live in the UK where bleached flour is a no no) in your raised doughnut recipe. I was pleasantly surprised how soft and fluffy and delicious the finished product came out – and I didn’t even overnight the starter. Does that mean that it will taste even better if I followed your recipte to a T?! 😀

    1. Bleached flour will just give you a doughnut that’s a bit more light and fluffy. Nothing wrong with what you’re doing. So glad they worked! But the sponge will definitely improve them!

      Thanks for he email!

      – Joe

  3. I made these today (the sponge last night) and they are wonderful. I’ve been a social, good sport, doughnut imbiber, but I never really liked them. They are usually so cloyingly sweet and so greasy that they made me really queasy. But this past weekend I had the worst doughnuts I’d ever, EVER, eaten and decided I’d had enough, I would make them myself. And…thanks to you, I did. These were excellent. Of course being a novice to doughnut making, several were a little misshapen, but they were still light and fluffy and I swear, I could not taste any oil..at all. I’m so impressed with this recipe. It’s a brioche type dough, isn’t it? Whatever..it’s delicious.
    I got 8 doughnuts and 6 (raspberry) jelly doughnuts from the recipe. I found a glaze recipe from Betty Crocker, and dunked them all in chocolate glaze. It’s really good with the raspberry.
    I may not make them every 2nd weekend..but I will make them again and at least now I know they don’t all have to taste like bakery doughnuts!

    1. Hello Susan!

      So glad these worked for you. They are a brioche variant, but then pretty much all yeast-raised doughnuts are part of the brioche family. As you can probably tell, doughnuts are important to me. I worked very hard on the recipes and I’m always delighted when I hear that they’ve worked so well. May you have a long and fruitful doughnut-making career!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

  4. I just discovered your site and I have to say: OMG YOU ARE AMAZING! I can’t wait to try these donuts. They look gorgeous.

  5. Hi Joe! I just made these, they were delicious. I’m wondering why most of mine turned out hollow inside. Was it because my dough needed more resting time, or it rested for too long? I would love to perfect these! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hey Julisa!

      Great news on the doughnuts! If they have bigger holes than you want, then too much proofing time is definitely the culprit. Cut down the duration of the final rise before frying and you should get the result you’re after!

      Cheerio,

      – Joe

  6. Oh, yeah! I only wish I had seen this sooner. I would be inhaling my own half dozen right now. Just kidding. I have seriously been thinking about making raised doughnuts for quite sometime, and just haven’t settled on a recipe to try. Until now. Thanks!

  7. Hi Joe, not for nuttin but did i miss something, i see the pictures and all but i cant find the recipe, please let me know if you posted it somewhere as i think they are the best ones i have seen yet and really want to make them.
    Thanks
    Tony.

    1. Hey Tony!

      You must have arrived via google search. I added a link to the recipe in the post, go back and have a look!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

      1. Where are the pics? I can find the doughnut recipe (in your other post).. Great articles and baking tips. Thank you for this valuable sharing.

        1. I’ll get that figured out, Zool. Thanks for letting me know!

          And thanks for the generous comments! Cheers,

          – Joe

    1. Hey Ted!

      You can try baking them as they are. The yeast doughnuts should puff up pretty well in the oven. Just paint on a little egg wash for some shine!

      – Joe

    1. Hi Doris! You must have arrived via google search. Head back to the post and you’ll find a text link in the first couple of paragraphs that I just added. All my recipes are indexed in the menus on the left side with the recipes at the bottom.

      Have fun!

      – Joe

  8. Hi Joe,

    I have a question for you. If I want to make yeast doughnuts ‘to order’, what is the best way to do that? I’m thinking of doing this as a business. Should I proof them, refrigerate and then fry as needed?

    Please advise.

    Thank you so much!

    Sharon

    1. Hey Sharon!

      Very interesting idea! I’d suggest refrigerating them right after you cut them, then just proof and bake as needed.

      Best of luck!

      – Joe

  9. Hye Joe!
    Just wna thank u soooo much for this recipe! I usually google image until i find the right type of photo for the recipes i want. So i did that, saw yours and immedietly clicked on it. 😉 made it and i loveeeee the texture and taste sooo much, i couldnot even find this kind of taste elsewhere. But i have a problem in cooking them, it became too brownish. I thought if turning the heat down a bit will do just fine but the insides kinda sticky. So to make sure its edible for me, i hve to cook it until it turned brown. But its unappealing to serve. 🙁 could u tell me where i did wrong? Thank you

    1. Hi Zara!

      My suggestion is to try smaller doughnuts and cook them at a slightly lower temperature. That should solve the problem. Is that possible for you?

      Bent thanks for the generous compliments. I worked hard on the recipe!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

  10. can i substitute powdered milk with just milk? please advice. i need to make these donuts immediately and powdered milk is what i dont have.

    1. Hi Divine!

      Just skip the milk powder, it just a tenderizer in this case. It’ll still work fine!

      – Joe

  11. I’ve been making cake doughnuts for the last few months and wanted to go back to yeast doughnuts for a day.

    I attempted these yesterday and made some really big mistakes due to being impatient. I was really impatient and warmed the oven up to help with the proofing because it is cold right now and didn’t know if I would get them to rise much. Let’s just say I will not make that mistake again.

    1. Ah yes, ovens aren’t very good proof boxes. Even turned all the way down they’re hot enough to kill yeast before it rises as you just found out. Butter luck next time…keep me informed!

      – Joe

  12. I might get kicked out of a forum like this but i want a different type of filling all together… You see, i am one of those weirdos who doesnt really care much for doughnuts very much. I do enjoy an occasional ‘old fashioned’ sour cream doughnut, or i can eat a plain cake doughnut once in a while. The only doughnut i really ever crave is a cream filled one… Not the custard but the whipped (i am assuming shortning based) sweet fluffy white tastless cream. Dip just a thin chocolate coating on that and i am in heaven. The problem, i cant seem to find a good recipe for it (the cream that is.). Any help would be beyond amazing. I am a new reader and cant put the talet down at night.m loving this blog!

    Dave in denver.

  13. Hi Joe,

    I tried this recipe and it was amazing! However I would like a more buttery taste. I want to add more butter to the recipe, how should I alter the recipe?

    Candice 🙂

    1. Hey Candice!

      The dough can handle more butter that the recipe calls for, so that’s a good place to start…try three ounces of butter and see what you think. It could probably handle one more ounce beyond that. But here’s another thought: use browned butter instead of regular soft butter for the overage. It’ll heighten the taste and may provide the extra oomph you’re looking for. Let me know how it goes!

      – Joe

  14. I tried making donuts they raised but when I went to put in the oil they deflated and they just stayed flat and fried that way in oil didn’t poof up when fried. Did I let them raise too much. Also in a bakery where I used to live they had a light white cream filling in their donuts. Do you know what this filling could of been?

  15. I come from the Czech Republic and learnt to make raised doughnuts from my grandmother. The ingredients are about the same but the method is different – no overnight rise, but more importantly: they are filled with jam before being fried. If you’re interested, I posted the recipe here: http://www.growntocook.com/?p=3385
    I very much enjoy reading your blog!

    1. Hi Vera!

      Thank you very much! I have indeed seen that technique before. The thing I like about it is that you get as much doughnut on top of the jam as you get below. The conventional (America) way, all the jam usually ends up close to either the top or bottom crust, which is nowhere near as pleasant. Thank you very much for the comment!

      – Joe

  16. Hi Joe, I have enjoyed reading your page and wondered if you have a recipe that could be used for commercial purposes? I have been using a premix here in Australia but would love to make a recipe from scratch. I usually do batches of 5kg dry mix. Your donuts look amazing but I wouldn’t be confident in scaling it up. Any advice you could help me with would be appreciated. Thanks Debbie

  17. Hello Joe,
    I have just found your blog, a pin friend sent your jelly donut to me. Now I love jelly donuts but turned diabetic about 11 years ago so I can only have one when my sugar crashes (40-80) but not when it is high (300-OVER 600) before I eat. (But I am an uncontrolled diabetic so I can have both in the same day,even measuring what I eat. Now Mom (83)is a sugar addict, she wants a dozen donuts every time I go to the store..and a cake if she runs out and I haven’t gone to get more. I will try these, but I plan to fill them with different kind of jams,so she can be surprised when she chooses one.

    1. Hey Sue!

      I’m glad the recipe worked for you! My father is diabetic so he can only eat these every so often as well. Give your mom my best — and take good care of yourself!

      Cheers,

      – Joe

  18. did everything to a T. Even used a thermometer to make sure that the oil stayed at the right temp… Greasy, flat, doughnuts was all I got 🙁

    1. Hey Ashley!

      What a disappointment! Let’s figure this out. First, what sort of yeast did you use, and did the dough rise much?

      – Joe

  19. I left my doughnut sponge overnight in the refrigerator as you said. Only thing is I made the sponge mid day and I’m using it mid day also. So essentially it’s been about 24 hours. So anyway, my sponge smells like alcohol now, is that a problem ? Will it affect my doughnuts? Will they taste like alcohol?

  20. Hi Joe,

    Thank you so much for this blog, it’s helped me out so much 🙂

    Two questions for you:

    1) When I flatten the dough after the first rise, there are lots of problematic air bubbles in the dough. Is it because I let it bulk ferment for too long or is this normal and I should punch the dough and roll?

    2) Do you have any tips for scaling this recipe?

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Jacques! I’m extremely gratified that you’ve found some useful information here. The world needs more doughnut makers, I’m glad you are one of them!

      Regarding your question: air bubbles are to be expected since there’s quite a bit of yeast in the dough. However if there are so many that the dough looks odd, or that they make rolling and cutting difficult, then there may be an issue. You could try cutting down your rising time as you mentioned. If the bubbles are very large, a weaker, lower protein flour might be the solution, to make the dough less elastic. If a lower protein flour is not available, take out about 10% of the wheat flour and substitute potato flour or some other protein-free starch.

      In terms of scaling, there is no trick to it. Yeast doughs can be scaled up and down without consequence. They usually work perfectly at double, triple, ten times, or a hundred times. If you have further questions or problems please write back. Doughnuts are very close to my heart. I like to see them made, and in quantity!

      Cheers,

      Joe

  21. Jo, I just want to comment on your wonderful presence, manners, helpfulness, and generosity. I am so impressed and humbled by your spirit of goodwill towards everyone who comes to you for advice. I hope that your Mum knows (even from heaven) what a wonderful job she obviously did raising you. I hope you know also what a gift you are to bakers. Not only are you helping people to bake, but you are also affirming people and helping us to feel to feel good about ourselves with your cheerfulness and respect, not to mention all the terrific knowledge you gift to the world!!
    So…..Jo, thank you for all your hard work and time collating such an incredible wealth of knowledge. May it be referenced and used for millennia! And thank you for helping novices like me feel like we have a professional pastry chef, baker, culinary artisan etc as a friend! ❤️ from Sammantha in Australia

    1. Sammantha!

      You overwhelm me. What can I say other than I’m going to print out your comment, dip it in gold, and show it to Mrs. Pastry whenever she gets annoyed with me for failing to take out the trash!

      Seriously though, thank you. I wish I could take credit for all you’ve written here. The simple fact is that I’m greatly, greatly blessed. You may have read in the “Who is Joe Pastry” section here on the site that I nearly died from cancer about 20 years ago. Back then I guess you could say I learned (or was shown, depending on how you may look at it) a few very important things. Among them, that rather than being afflicted, I was actually one of the luckiest fools ever to tread the face of the Earth.

      It wasn’t too long afterward that blogging started to take off as a thing. I noticed there were quite a few baking blogs, but most of them were done by chefs, photographers, or journalists trying to promote themselves. They had no end of lovely things to look at, but they mostly fell down when it came to real content. I wondered what would happen if somebody started a blog with the goal of actually teaching people to bake. That was my concept when I set out, and I’ve done my best to continue it (albeit with one long interruption that ended about 6 weeks ago).

      Overall my goal has been to share what I’ve learned — about baking, but also about being grateful. And this morning I’m deeply grateful for you, Sammantha! You’re certainly put a spring in my step on a cold, rainy Louisville day (life’s been quite downbeat here since the Kentucky Derby was cancelled). I thank you again for your generous gift — to me and to my mother! She and my father are happy and healthy at 84, I shall relay your kind words!

      Good luck with the doughnuts. Feel free to get in touch at any time. I do my best to respond promptly, but sometimes life intervenes (as I know you know). Cheerio for now.

      Your friend,

      Joe

  22. The doughnuts looks so yummy, but can I make use of margarine instead of butter as that’s what is easily accessible to me.
    If I can do I substitute it for the exact amount of butter.
    Thanks

    1. Hello Fatimah!

      Yes you can use margarine in place of butter in this recipe. That should not be a problem.

      Let me know how they turn out!

      Cheers,

      Joe

  23. hi Joe!
    Im Ludo, from Argentina, I started selling doughnuts at home and the I have is that some of them are hollow inside. perhaps in the same batch some are and some not. I know that is because overproofing on the second proof. but today I roll the dough, put it just 20 minutes in the proofbox and have the same problem. the taste and softness are excelent. but some off them are still hallox. the ones with a hole in the middle and the other ones to.

    1. Hello Ludovico!

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. The easiest way to defeat bubbles is to pop them when you roll or punch down. Can you roll the dough any thinner? If not, then less gluten is the answer. Substitute some potato flour (or some other non-wheat flour) for some of your regular flour. Maybe 5-10%. That should help with the problem. Please tell me how it goes!

      – Joe

      1. hi Joe!
        thanks for your response. when i roll and cut them there are no bubbles. the problem is that after frying them they are hollow in the inside. with or without holes i have the same problem.
        Thanks

        1. Hey Ludovico!

          I understand. A less elastic (lower gluten) dough is probably your answer. Substitute some potato four, or other no-wheat flour for about 15-20% of the flour in the recipe. That should make a significant difference.

          – Joe

  24. Hi Joe, i tried a few recipes and your donut recipe is the best! Its so soft and fluffy exactly what i am looking for. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Faithy! Doughnuts are sort of a thing with me as you can tell. I worked hard to get those recipes just the way I wanted them. Nice to know we’re of like mind on a very important subject!

      Cheers,

      Joe

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