Baking | NUTS about Alton Brown’s DOUGHNUTS …Yeastly tales with the Daring Bakers

“Be sweet and honest always, but for God’s sake don’t eat my doughnuts!”
Emma Bunton

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

It’s the 27th again, and the  much awaited Daring Bakers time of the month again! I’m still not sure if I got it right. Maybe I missed the fine print that states somewhere that we have to bake a batch too, but here I am with the challenge for October 2010. Going nuts about dougnuts is the call, and I think it’s something we love to love universally! What’s not to love about this tasty fried dough, an end result that can be seen across various cultures. Call a doughnut by another name – beignets, crullers, fritters, Sufganiot, and krapfen; tasty little bites they are!

But hello? No baking here, and 650gms of flour…what was I thinking? Was bitten by a bug from la-la land; I really should have halved the recipe. I chose the yeasted doughnuts version, and there was dough popping right out of the bowl, threatening to explode. It was everywhere and I had to fry some in a hurry as it looked like the very active yeast was set to explode. Within the hour of the yeastly rise {in the fridge that too} I quickly set the wok on fire and got frying!

They say ‘hurry makes curry‘. Tch tch … the first doughnut went into the oil in haste, and I was miserably rewarded with a splattering of hot oil! OUCH!! Got branded a confirmed Daring Baker with 2 burns across my forehead. Some stamp eh? Never heard the end of it for 5 days, “OMG, what happened?“…  blah blah blah! Could have kicked myself! Please always be CAREFUL when deep frying! Another tip: Do keep a plant of aloe vera handy in your yard/garden. It is soothing and healing, and you can barely see any marks on my face now. Just break off a bit of the cactus stem, squeeze out the clear gel, and apply… works wonders!Completed a quick batch that day after being rudely interrupted by the incident, and the remaining dough went back into the fridge. It stayed there for 2 days because by then I had so much more to do, and it just felt safe sitting there. Day 3 had me running again because it wasn’t safe to let it be anymore. I wish I had made half the quantity of dough because doughnuts are best eaten fresh. IMHO, they just seem to lose their charm as they cool off, losing their characteristic fluffiness and charm.

I made a batch in the oven too, just in case I had missed out on a DB rule for the challenge. They were OK. To make up for their lack of apparent lightness, I dressed them with a low fat cream and vanilla sugar glaze. Had to be PINK in support of Breast Cancer Awareness for Pinktober. {I’ve been going quite PINK this month – Pinkarons {pink macarons}, Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries, A Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cake}. The kids enjoyed the pink ones because of the glazing. I had many plans for the fried ones – pumpkin topping, pastry cream within, dessert donuts etc. But the number that had been eaten already didn’t warrant any more calories, so I let them be. They were absolutely light and delicious served fresh. This is one recipe I will use in the future, for it’s ease of making, and taste! YUM!!

The Alton Brown yeast doughnut recipe is  great one, except that 4.5 tsps of yeast sounded like too much. I used fresh yeast from my block in the freezer, and despite cutting 10g {10g = about 1 tsp dry}, and placing the dough in the fridge after kneading, an hour later it had more than doubled. The results were very good. After refrigeration, the dough was very easy to work with, and the fresh doughnuts were very, very good. I dusted them with a cinnamon/vanilla sugar mix …

Thank you Lori of Butter Me Up for this fun challenge. It’s been a while since I made donuts, and I have to say it was wonderful making them! Got to use my new donut cutter too that I got from my little shop in Old Delhi. As always, a HUGE THANK YOU to Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for keeping this fab kitchen together … and growing!!

Yeast Doughnuts
Minimally adapted from recipe by Alton Brown
Yield: 30-35 doughnuts & 30 to 35 doughnut holes, depending on size {Mine were regular sized}
1.5 cup milk, lukewarm
70g unsalted butter,melted
30gms fresh yeast
1/3 cup warm water {35°C}
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup granulated vanilla sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp grated nutmeg
4 2/3 cup (650g} all purpose flour {plus extra for dusting}
Vegetable oil for frying  { at least 3 inches of oil}
Mix the warm milk and butter. Set aside.
In a small bowl, pour the warm water over the fresh yeast and let dissolve for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour.  Combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. {I left it cling wrapped in the fridge, and it rose in 30 minutes}
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch thick. {Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter}.
Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oil in a heavy bottom wok to 185°C. {Test the oil to see if it’s ready with a doughnut hole. It should immediately bob to the top of the oil, and begin to brown. If it comes up slowly, the oil needs to get hotter. If it becomes dark brown immediately, the oil is too hot…beware!}
Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown.
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Sift a mix of powdered vanilla sugar and cinnamon over both sides immediately. Alternatively, allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. did not expect anything less from you my sweet deeba! these look so amazing! i especially like that cutter i see there! well sone!

  2. Oh my goodness! I do hope you haven’t been left with a scar? That must have hurt – thank goodness it missed your eyes!

    Your doughnuts are perfect – I especially like your pink ones! What a great job! xxx

  3. Great looking doughnuts! Very nicely done. Love the pink ones for the pink month!
    Ellie (Almost Bourdain)´s last blog post ..Baked Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts Daring Bakers’ Challenge October 2010My Profile

  4. Khushboo says:

    I recently discovered your blog and I am AMAZED! I just got married and I love to bake but I can’t ever seem to find baking supplies in Delhi. I noticed you have quite a nice stash. Could you let me know a place where I can get tins, pans, the works from?

  5. WOWOWOWOWOW your photos are so professional and I have to admit the Alton Brown is superb fresh, your results are fabulous. Well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.
    Audax Artifex´s last blog post ..October 2010 Daring Bakers’ Challenge DoughnutsMy Profile

  6. Wow, those are beautiful pictures! You have great taste in styling your food, congratulations, excellent job!

  7. Love that cute Doughnut glazed in pink. Love that rustic look in the pictures. Lovely clicks, Deeba.
    Sanjeeta kk´s last blog post ..A Date with Sunflower Seeds Baked Healthy DelightsMy Profile

  8. i’m nuts about your donuts! these are beautiful, especially the pink iced one. Good on ya to support Breast Cancer awareness. I never go without my blazer which has got my pink ribbon badge on 😀
    diva´s last blog post ..The Scent of Banana MuffinsMy Profile

  9. At least you have 2 hungry kids to eat all of them :-)
    I halfed the recipe. These ones looks so so good. For me a pink glazed one please.
    Happy Cook´s last blog post ..Let’s Go Nuts for Doughnuts October 2010 DBMy Profile

  10. Just love your doughnuts, looks gorgeous.

  11. Gorgeous doughnuts! Well done again!



  12. Love your pretty pink doughnuts, Deeba. 😀
    I really must make a visit to Delhi sometime. Your little “shop” has got my curiosity.
    Aparna´s last blog post ..Yeasted Doughnuts: Daring Bakers Challenge October 2010My Profile

  13. Those look amazing! I just want to reach into the screen and grab one. Well done on the challenge!

  14. Doughnuts are really hard to resist and can imagine me eating them for a meal if made fresh at home..Amazing pics food stylist!! Sorry about the scald part.
    suma´s last blog post ..Orange BreadMy Profile

  15. Deeba – what a gorgeous post! SO MANY doughnuts!!! They look like the real deal you would find at a fairground – love them!
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers October: DoughnutsMy Profile

  16. Gorgeous doughnuts and photos!
    Miriam/The Winter Guest´s last blog post ..Dutch cookies: Arnhemse meisjesMy Profile

  17. Wow! Stunning, gorgeous, mouthwatering as usual! But oooh baby, the burns? You get too frazzled and frazzle + hot oil = disaster. Poor sistah! But the donuts are fantastic and I want some. Love the pink frosting. I’ll bet the boy gobbled these up!
    Jamie´s last blog post ..FROM PLATE TO PAGEMy Profile

  18. Your donuts and pictures look amazing! Nice job on this challange!

  19. These look so fluffy and delicious. Well done, Deeba!
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets´s last blog post ..Guest Post: Cinnamon Swirl CupcakesMy Profile

  20. Great job! I want to try the yeast doughnuts. I made cake doughnuts, but yeast are really my fav.

  21. If i wasn’t so afraid of deep frying (i once started a fire), i would totally want to try these, they look splendid. How about you make me some???? Please??? :)
    *kisses* HH
    Heavenly Housewife´s last blog post ..Heavenly Housewitch Makes Evil BrowniesMy Profile

  22. First of all I LOVE your new header!! its so SWEET.

    and the doughnuts look amazing as all your bakes are Deeba. fantastic fotos too. I just saw your bread post a few posts down. Im going to make that. It looks so good and crunchy. besides I havent made bread in a while so its about time I did. thanks for the visit. :)

  23. Yum! I love AB’s recipe for doughnuts, too. So tasty! Yours look like they turned out wonderfully!
    Kaitlin´s last blog post ..Show Pumpkin CupcakesMy Profile

  24. Those pink ones have my name all over it ;-)…Love that you tried the fried one..I was too afraid to!
    arthi´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers: Let’s go nuts for Doughnuts My Mini Baked VersionMy Profile

  25. what a fantastic challenge! fried dough…yum! your photos are delicious!
    the urban baker´s last blog post ..Mini Pumpkin CupcakesMy Profile

  26. As always, beautifully done! I really enjoy your pictures and posts. They give me inspiration to go in the kitchen and whip up something amazing!

  27. Oh, no the dreaded oil splash. At least you persevered and got gorgeous donuts as a consolation prize. Love that photo of the bulging yeast. It really does look alive :)
    Irina@PastryPal´s last blog post ..Hot Hot ChocolateMy Profile

  28. Wow. Just… WOW. your photos are absolutely stunningly gorgeous, and your donuts look absolutely fantastic. I particularly love the pink ones – such a tasty tribute to breast cancer awareness! Sorry about your burn, but I am so glad that the donuts turned out so beautifully and deliciously.
    Shelley C´s last blog post ..October Daring Bakers’ Challenge DonutsMy Profile

  29. Wow.. your doughnuts look fantastic! excellent job. You really a perfectionist and I can see that into your work:)

  30. Asusual no words to say.. everything looks marvellous and pictures are great too.

  31. Wow. Fabulous doughnuts!
    Lora´s last blog post ..Orange Velvet Cupcakes With Halloween Swirl FrostingMy Profile

  32. Krista says:

    Deeba, you NEVER fail to delight me with your inspiring photos and delightful arranging of food and props. :-) I just love visiting your blog and filling my eyes with your beautiful creations. :-) Lovely donuts!

  33. Never made donuts ever- your pictures are tempting as ever-you wicked girl!
    nandita´s last blog post ..Simple cauliflower mash Gobhi bhartaMy Profile

  34. Wow, All you daring bakers have really amazed me! What awesome stuff!
    And really love the way you incorporate your PINKTOBER theme in all your october posts! Good luck to you!
    Prerna@IndianSimmer´s last blog post ..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  35. Whoa! This is such a treat! When I geek out on food technique, I come to Alton! So happy to meet your blog fellow Scorpio!

    Amazing photography!
    Annapet´s last blog post ..Pumpkin Chai Red Tea MacaronsMy Profile

  36. This makes me want to run to the kitchen and make doughnuts! So sorry you were burned, I’ll be extra careful with the oil after reading that. They look just delicious!
    lisaiscooking´s last blog post ..Apple Ice Cream with Toasted Nuts and Caramel SauceMy Profile

  37. oh your poor thing. Glad you had aloe vera on hand.. it’s a miracle worker, indeed!! we get aloe gels here that are gr8 for sunburns. But never seen the actual cactus!

    haha.. all this frying is good practice for diwali I guess :).

  38. I always love your photo collages of your baking experience! Nice job on the challenge!

  39. Nicola says:

    Oh wow – they look really good. I especially love the ones with the bright pink icing; how beautiful! So to read about the burn. :/
    Nicola´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers DonutsMy Profile

  40. They look gorgeous! I’m glad you liked them so much.

  41. Lovely site and the donuts looks very tempting….awesome clicks too

  42. Oh my! What happened to your forehead???
    Oil burns are terrible–glad you’re okay.
    Your doughnuts look amazing, and I love that slotted spoon. I made a half batch and it seemed like it was going to take over my fridge too. Crazy.
    Mary´s last blog post ..The Daring Bakers make doughnutsMy Profile

  43. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    Ohh donuts, donuts marvelous sweet-round creations like these ones!


    Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog´s last blog post ..Interviewed by Ileane of Basic Blog TipsMy Profile

  44. You did a sensational job with these doughnuts. They look phenomenal. And the pink-so pretty!

  45. Sorry about the burn. Oil can certainly be hot! Your end results are beautiful, with lovely photos as well
    sande´s last blog post ..Paczki Polish DoughnutsMy Profile

  46. Thank you so much, Deeba, for your comment on my post…am actually on cloud nine that you’ve visited my site and commented :-)…actually used to spend lots of time drooling over your pics….you’re an inspiration to budding bakers like me :-)

  47. Sorry about the frying incident….. These doughnuts are just pretty… especially with the pink ribbons……

    Beautiful photos, as usual :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    bake in paris´s last blog post ..Daring Bakers’ DoughnutsMy Profile

  48. Gr8…I want some of ’em :)


  49. Love your props Deeba, but most of all love the doughnuts :)
    Zita´s last blog post ..Lemon Doughnuts with Cheese Orange Pastry CreamMy Profile

  50. Gorgeous looking doughnuts, Deeba! I bet they were delicious! Sorry about your burn, and thanks for the Aloe Vera tip! Very helpful. As always, your photos are stunning! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment on my doughnuts!
    Renata´s last blog post ..DONUTS Daring Bakers Challenge October/2010My Profile

  51. Deeba, you always have the most immaculate styling! I wonder if you have a room like a treasure trove of all of these gorgeous pieces that you use in your shoots? :)
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog post ..Cotton Duck- Surry HillsMy Profile

  52. I am thrilled to see how many photos you took and how wonderfully they look. I know how much it hurts to be burnt by hot oil (got marks on my hand, too), but this time I managed not to burn myself at all :)

  53. I absolutely love your food photography skills.. Any advise for me? :)

    I hope you have recovered from the nasty deep fry oil incident.

    Doughnuts are my absolute favorite! And this recipe is so simple. I would definitely make it soon :) Stay tuned 😉
    Kiran´s last blog post ..Chickpeas and edamame in coconut milkMy Profile

  54. Oh dear! That is truly a daring experince you endured. Glad to hear you are all healed up, aloe vera is indeed fantastic stuff! Love your doughnuts especially the pink glazed ones. Bravo Deeba!
    shaz´s last blog post ..Bone-boloni! A doughnutty Daring Bakers challengeMy Profile

  55. Deeba, i love how you style and photograph, absolutely stunning, love each and every pic, i hope one day my kids grow up to teenagers and i have more time to style my dishes :) right now i squeeze time for baking between 4 yr old and yet to born

  56. I just love your doughnuts! Great job on the challenge!

  57. Doughnuts look fab Deeba!!

  58. thanks for sharing the tip to use aloe vera if get burn. ur donuts l ook great. love your ideas to photograph.

  59. Amazing job on the challenge! I LOVE the pink ones!

  60. Priyanka says:

    Alton Brown is the best. I watch his show every Friday after a long day spent at work.
    Fabulous job on the doughnuts. They look enticing–as they should.

    Priyanka´s last blog post ..FYIMy Profile

  61. Love the pink doughnuts and your pics are amazing!
    Just to check – will it be ok to prepare the dough the night before, leave in fridge and fry the next day? Will appreciate your advise. Thanks in advance.

  62. kavitha says:

    Don’t you mean 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt?

    • Sorry. Amended!

      • Kavitha says:

        I don’t know where i went wrong with this. The doughnuts turned out hard and the dough only rose a little. Perhaps my dry yeast (adjusted correctly to the recipe) was dead!!…or worse, i killed it!! lol! I watched Alton’s doughnut episode again and sad to say i actually needed 2 whole cups to get to the same texture! It may be the weather or the humidity in KL! But i am quite determined to get it correct….will try again soon with fresh yeast. Do you think over-kneading the dough could impede the proofing?

  63. kadambari kaul says:

    WOW ! I managed to make some delicious donuts courtsey you ! Thanks a ton . They are perfect and I ll make many more…keep writing , your blog is encyclopedia to me . I forgot to mention I made them with dry yeast (1 1/2 tbsp ) and they looked as good as urs .


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