Saturday, June 11, 2022

Sourdough donuts

Deep fried and delicious

The first time I tried making sourdough donuts, it tasted more like bread! I thought the only way to make them, had to be using liquid starter into a batter. Fortunately, I learned not only was it possible to make sourdough donuts, without tasting like bread - but they actually tasted better than regular donuts!

You will need to be familiar with making my regular recipe of sourdough. Which is a firm but pliable dough. After the sponge stage is complete, different ingredients will be added. 

Substitute ingredients to the sponge for:

Sourdough donuts

  • 1/2 cup white or raw sugar (your preference)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup sweetened Greek yoghurt (I use Jalna Sweet 'n Creamy)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt (any salt you have available)

Add to the sponge

After mixing ingredients into the sponge until well combined, add the baker's flour. Anywhere from 3-4 cups. Add enough flour, to be able to knead without sticking to your palms like glue. But not so much, the dough is too stiff, to fold over itself. 

Knead dough for 10 minutes, or until a tight, round ball forms.

Ready for the first proof

Let the dough rise, in an oiled and covered bowl, for the first proof of the dough. Leave on the bench from 4-8 hours, depending how hot it is in your kitchen. This stage can be done overnight, in cold kitchens, if you make it after 8 pm. 

Or you can simply put in the fridge and leave 1-2 days to prove. Making sure to get it out at least 2-4 hours before you need to use it. Again, this depends on the ambient room temperature. Less time is required, in warmer weather.

Dough will be ready, once doubled in size. Remove from bowl, and knead lightly for around a minute. Just enough time to break-up the larger air bubbles. There will be quite a lot of dough, to decide how to use.

Several options available to suit your needs

For the sake of flexibility - and retarding fermentation is all about that - the dough can be divided into two balls. One can be used straight away, and the other frozen. Whether freezing or using straight away, however, it's best to shape your donut dough, first. Because it's a lot more convenient, especially when removing from the freezer - to have most of the work done. 

Round and small, no-duts

There are two ways to shape your donuts, depending on your personal preference. Perfect for kid's and party food, are the donut holes (no-duts) as seen cooked in the first image of this post. Taking a walnut sized piece of dough, roll between your palms until just smooth. Then space out on a greased tray. 

For the traditional donut, roll a tube of dough - roughly 1cm in diameter and 15cms long

Join at ends by pinching, to make a circle. 

Rise for 30 minutes in a warm, humid environment, which will make it almost double.

Place in the fridge for an hour. This chilling of the dough, gives a wonderful flavour and slight chewiness. It also stops the dough from stretching, when you manually move it over to the hot oil. Deep fry in oil that has been preheated, on a moderate-hot setting - either stove-top or electric fry-pan. The donut will expand further when cooking.

However, if freezing, put straight into the freezer on trays, in a flat position. Once solid, seal in a freezer-proof container, or resealable silicon bag. See Containers post. Also browse the Retarding Fermentation post, for recommendations on how to wake your dough from the deep freeze again.

Remember, when the dough is cold, it won't be racing to grow. So the times I've given are approximate only. With practice, you'll learn the perfect size you like your donuts to be, before cooking. Always, with this recipe though, it's best to cook with a slightly chilled dough, than completely room temperature.

Here are some ways to dress and enjoy your donuts after cooking:

Traditional cinnamon donuts

Fry in oil preheated at 190 C (375 F) and cook approx 3-5 minutes, either side, until golden brown. Remove and roll immediately in cinnamon sugar, to coat evenly - made from a pre-blend of 1 cup castor sugar to 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

A bit of decadence

Add to cinnamon donut, a dollop of dark blackberry or blueberry jam. Or any of your favourite jam! Experiment to find out how you like to eat them best. My youngest likes the round ones, in his lunchbox, and I like to take them as a snack when in town. They are quite versatile and worth the effort to make.



  1. Oh my, these look so good. I never thought of hand-shaped baked donuts. I especially like that you're using your base recipe but with substitutes and additives. Makes it easier to work with a recipe, I think!

    1. Hi Leigh, great to see you. These are very tasty. I made some more today, for my son's lunchbox, for the rest of the week. I freeze the cooked ones too, and spread them through the whole week. These are actually deep fried. The tray is for proofing, though it looks like I'm about to bake them, lol.

  2. Oh my goodness Chris these all look so tasty. Funny that you say chilled dough over room temp, at the moment it’s colder in my kitchen than in the fridge.

  3. These donuts look and sound delish. I should broaden my knowledge re sourdough. I just seem to bake sourdough bread, so I am going to read some of your tutorials again and have a shot at making something different.

    Hope you are doing okay Chris. You have been in my thoughts lately.



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