Baked Doughnuts

What better way to start off the first snow day of the year than with wonderfully tasty, baked doughnuts…

I had made a batch of baked doughnuts last weekend in honor of my birthday and found myself struck with doughnut fever. All the glaze possibilities – yum! I was looking for any excuse to make another batch and fresh snow seemed good enough for me. Since I don’t have a doughnut pan, my birthday doughnuts were made using heart-shaped molds, and I was told that my next batch would taste even better if they actually looked more like doughnuts, so I went on the hunt for a baked doughnut recipe that wouldn’t require a doughnut pan. Enter Vegan Verve’s baked vegan doughnuts recipe. The original recipe uses AP flour, but I wanted to try using whole wheat. Vegan Verve recommended I use white whole wheat flour (to aid with the rise of the dough) and add wheat gluten into the dry mix. In addition to making some adjustments to the ingredients and method, I halved the original recipe. I don’t know how my recipe compares to the original, but I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Definitely be sure to give Vegan Verve’s original recipe a try. You can check out my alterations (and glaze recipes) after the jump.

Baked Vegan Donuts (adapted from Vegan Verve’s Baked Vegan Donuts recipe)
1 cup nondairy milk
1/8 cup canola oil
1/8 cup honey [the original recipe uses agave nectar to remain vegan]
1 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 tablespoon of salt
2 cups + 7 tablespoons unbleached white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

The original recipe has you start by bringing the milk, oil, sugar and liquid sweetener to a boil and then allowing the liquid to come down to a temperature of 110F (which could take about an hour). I had decided to start this recipe at 10pm at night and was wondering if I could cut corners with this step. The recipe reminded me of the no-knead dough method you find in the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day books, so I decided to mix the milk, oil, sugar, and honey in a glass measuring cup and then microwave it for about 30-40 seconds to warm it up a little.

I then added the yeast to the liquid mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes passed, I sifted the majority of the flour (I reserved only 1 T, but would probably reserve a little more next time) into a large bowl and added the vital wheat gluten. Then I made a well in the dry ingredients and added the liquid mixture, applesauce, and vanilla and mixed until it was combined.

Following the original recipe, I allowed the dough to rise until about double in size (I let it rise a little over an hour to compensate for the whole wheat flour). After the dough had risen, I added the remaining flour and salt and mixed until it was incorporated. Then I let the dough rest an additional 10 minutes. The dough was very sticky, which is what you are going for, but mine was really, really sticky, so I’m not sure if I didn’t reserve enough flour for after the rise or added too much extra applesauce.

You’ll then want to get to making the doughnuts. I dusted the dough with a little more flour and wet my hands to help in the shaping of the dough. You’ll want to take small amounts of dough and work into dough “ropes.” When the ropes are the length and width you want just attach the two ends of the “rope” and viola – you have a doughnut! It’s important to note that the dough will continue to expand so you will want to compensate for that when you are shaping your doughnuts. Alternately, you can also make doughnut holes by pinching off small pieces of dough and shaping them into balls. I put the shaped doughnuts (and holes) on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and covered it with paper towels before putting it into the fridge overnight.

As suggested, the next morning I removed the cookie sheet and let it sit for an hour to come to room temperature and continue to rise. Now, I have to admit I was pretty scared when I took these out of the fridge. They didn’t look like they had risen much and were really stuck to the parchment paper, but don’t panic if you’re in the same boat, there will be a considerable amount of rise once they are in the oven. That being said, you may want to readjust the centers of the doughnuts before placing in the oven to adjust for the rising.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. While the doughnuts are baking you can get your various glazes ready.

Doughnuts with glaze

I tried out 3 different glazes: banana, cherry and vanilla.

Vanilla Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, add milk until glaze is the consistency you want.

Since I wanted to play around with a few different glaze recipes I divided this vanilla glaze recipe into 3 bowls. In one bowl I made the cherry glaze by adding 1 tablespoon of cherry jam that had been microwaved for about 15 seconds (for future recipes I might add 2 tablespoons). In another bowl I made the banana glaze by adding half of a banana that had been microwaved for 3o seconds along with some cinnamon and nutmeg (I slice the banana into “coins” before microwaving).

Once the doughnuts come out of the oven place them immediately on a cooling rack (if you will be glazing the doughnuts, add some parchment paper under the cooling rack). Let the doughnuts cool for a little bit before adding the glaze. I just dipped the doughnuts straight into the bowls and let the excess drip off. You can also just spoon the glaze over the doughnuts on the rack.

Now eat and enjoy – and enjoy you will! These doughnuts are soft, delicious, and totally addictive!