Sourdough Donuts

I started thinking about making these when reading one of the books in my favorite series from Lauraine Snelling (I can’t remember which one but it is one of the later ones). In the book they have bread out to rise and decide to ‘steal’ some of the dough to turn into a treat to have with their coffee.  I had a huge ah-ha moment and thought what a wonderful idea that would be. I have some sort of dough available quite often. Could we have ‘donuts’ at a moments notice using this idea?

A few days later, I had sourdough tortilla dough soaking for dinner.  It was getting close to time for the children to return from school so on impulse I decided to make donuts out of the dough for snack time.  The results were spectacular! My children thought it was a wonderful treat.

I’ve done this many, many times sense testing different variations.  So far, each has been a hit.  Of course, how can one not like a donut?

This is not a recipe exactly, more of an idea for you to adapt for your needs.

The Dough:

This can be just about anything! I’ve used sourdough tortilla dough that had been soaking most of the day,  sourdough bread dough, minimal knead bread (this puffs up very nicely probably because of the kefir in it) and no-knead bread (this is something I learned about in the GNOWFGLINS Sourdough eCourse). If you are not using sourdough completely, you could use a yeast bread. I’ve use a yeast bread called Mother Earth bread that turned out wonderful. I’m sure the famous Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day would be great with this.

I usually just grab a cup or so of the dough to use. This makes enough for a nice snack. I’ve done donuts for breakfast before (see the Apple Fritter variation below for a favorite breakfast) and use about a bread loaf size amount. I just eye ball it so these amounts are not exact.

The Sweetener:

Using sourdough I like to add a bit of natural sweetener to the dough. I only add about a tablespoon per cup of sourdough. Again, I’m eyeballing it. You may wish to add more, less or none.  I use either Sucanat or honey. My minimal knead sourdough already has sweetener in the dough so I don’t add any when using this dough.

Spices:

I like to use cinnamon and nutmeg in my dough.  Somewhere around 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. You could try other spices (think of the spices you might use in muffins) and I’ve also thought about adding cocoa powder to make chocolate donuts. The varieties are endless!

Baking Soda:

I sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed (to remove the lumps) baking soda over the dough after everything else has been worked in. Then I work this in to blend.  For a breakfast sized amount of dough, I’ll add a full teaspoon.

Combine:

Put your dough in a bowl, add your sweetener and spice then mix to combine. Depending on your dough’s thickness you may use a wooden spoon or your hands.  If using your hands, knead to combine.  After all is mixed well, sprinkle on your baking soda and mix that in.

Fry:

I use a deep cast iron skillet and coconut oil.  I only put about an inch of coconut oil in the bottom. You could use tallow or lard instead of coconut oil.  I heat it until a small piece of dough sizzles when dropped in. Be sure to keep your heat around medium and do not allow your oil to smoke.

For donut holes, I form the dough into a ball—I’m not exact with this and depending on the dough consistency it is sometimes easier to carefully drop by teaspoons.  I allow it to cook a few minutes and the carefully turn. I cook these very much like frying meatballs, rotating them to get each side. Again, watch your heat so it is not too hot but hot enough to sizzle.

If I want to make a flat donut, I cook them somewhat like pancakes. A few minutes on side one, flip to side two and cook a few minutes, then back to side one to make sure it cooks through.  I’ve not tried rolling out the dough and putting a hole in the center like an actual donut, but that might work well with a thick enough dough.

Roll ‘Em:

As soon as the donuts are done and come out of the oil, I often roll them in cinnamon sugar. This is a combination of powdered Sucanat and cinnamon (whirl the Sucanat in a blender to make it powdered).  Obviously this makes quite a sweet donut! This step is optional.

I’ve considered making a frosting out of coconut milk and honey for the donuts or chocolate frosting by adding cocoa powder.  I’m sure my family would totally love that.

You could also dip them in honey for a ‘fry bread’ type donut.

The Donut Formula:

If you have my eBook, Design a Dish, you know I like using a formula. This makes it simple for me to use the ingredients I have on hand to create a tasty and economical dish. Adapt the basic formula as you see fit.
Dough of your choice
Natural sweetener such as Sucanat or honey
Spices
1/2 to 1 teaspoon baking soda
Coconut oil for light frying
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Combine dough, sweetener and spices. Add baking soda.

Heat oil. Form donuts into desired shape and gently fry until cooked through.

Roll in cinnamon sugar, frost or serve plain for a tasty treat.

 

Variation: Apple Fritter

2 apples, cubed
Healthy fat for cooking
Dough of your choice
Natural sweetener such as Sucanat or honey
Spices- cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Coconut oil for light frying
Cinnamon sugar (optional)

Cook apples in healthy fat until soft. Follow remaining directions above forming into free-form patties– somewhat like the fritters you see in a donut shop.


My husband really likes the apple fritter version.

 

My little boy likes any kind of donut I make!

 

Do you make something like this? What is your method/recipe?

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Shared at Nourishing Pin It Party

3 comments to Sourdough Donuts

  • Casey

    I’m new to using coconut oil (and real food in general) can you save the coconut oil and re-use? My mom fries fish and saves the oil to use again next time for fish. She doesn’t use coconut oil though. It just seems like this would be a lot of oil to fry just once. Perhaps if I just use a smaller pan? Thanks for the recipe! :)

    • Millie

      Hi Casey,

      I do re-use my coconut oil. It is probably best to strain it for re-use. I do that sometimes but not always. We go through so much coconut oil that it gets used up fairly quickly. I am using the expeller pressed oil aslo which is a little less expensive (still spendy though) and no flavor to the oil.

  • You just solved a dilemma for me! I “always” make donuts for Christmas Eve for any family that is in the area. Wouldn’t want to let them down, but now I can say, “Grandma is making healthy donuts this year.” Hopefully, it will fly! :)

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