Baked Sourdough Doughnuts


Baked Sourdough Doughnuts |

We are lukewarm doughnut fans at best, so when Sourdough Surprises announced that this month’s challenge would be doughnuts, I was tempted to skip it.  However, since the challenge group is coming to an end after December, I really wanted to find a way to participate.   I am a bit phobic about frying, so I looked around the internet for a baked doughnut recipe and I found lots, but they all required a special baking pan which I didn’t want to buy.  I finally found a recipe using biscuit cutters in an old baking newsletter (see, it’s good to keep all that stuff, not everything is online!)  so I adapted that recipe to create baked sourdough doughnuts.

Per usual, I adapted the recipe by making a sponge first to strengthen the yeast by mixing the recipe liquid with an equal weight of the flour and 2 Tbsps. of active starter.  Once that was super bubbly, I mixed in the remaining dough ingredients (minus the original commercial yeast) and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.   It rose beautifully, so the next morning I rolled out the dough and used two round cutters, one big and one small, to cut doughnut shapes out of the dough.  I let that rise until double (well, not quite double because we were impatient and hungry), brushed the dough with butter and baked it.  The fresh doughnuts got glazed in chocolate and topped with sprinkles or tossed with cinnamon sugar or (the best find) raspberry sugar.  Our favorite was actually the raspberry sugar so that’s totally on my list to make.  I used some that was gifted to me, but I think it’s just a mixture of pulverized freeze-dried raspberries and fine sugar.

Were these just like fried doughnuts?  No, of course not.  However, they were very tasty and I was happy with the results.  I would be tempted to add some flavoring to the dough next time as the real flavor was in the toppings.  There was a slight sourdough tang to the taste that was enjoyable, but I think some sweet dough flavor or baking spice blend would work nicely in the dough.

Baked Sourdough Doughnuts
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14
Baked sourdough doughnuts (no special pan required) with chocolate glaze.
  • For the sponge:
  • 229g all purpose unbleached flour
  • 8 fl oz. whole milk, warmed to 115F/46C
  • 2 Tbsp. active sourdough starter, 100% hydration
  • For the dough:
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 133g all purpose unbleached flour, plus extra as needed
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick, 56.5g) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the glaze (makes ½ cup):
  • ½ cup (85g) chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla
  1. Mix the sponge ingredients together and let sit, covered, at room temperature until very bubbly. This may take 8-12 hours, depending on the temperature of the room and the activity of your starter.
  2. When the sponge is bubbly, mix the sponge together with the egg, sugar, salt and vanilla for the dough in a mixer with the paddle attachment. On low, add in the flour a bit at a time until combined and then beat until the dough is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and, on medium speed, add the softened butter 1 chunk at a time,. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Lower the speed to low and add additional flour as needed until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the side of the bowl. The dough should be soft but not too sticky.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it a few times on a lightly floured surface to bring it together into a soft and smooth dough.
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise at room temperature until doubled or in the refrigerator overnight until doubled.
  7. Deflate the dough and roll it out ½" thick on a lightly floured surface. Using two round cutters (I used 3½" and 1" cutters) cut round shapes out with the larger cutter and then cut the middle out with the smaller cutter. If you want to make jelly doughnuts, do not cut out the centers.
  8. Place the doughnuts a few inches apart on parchment lined pans and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled. This may take 30-90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your room, whether or not the dough has been refrigerated, and the strength of your starter.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.
  10. Uncover the doughnuts and brush with melted butter. Bake for 8-10 minutes until light golden. Remove to a rack and glaze as desired or toss with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
  11. To make the chocolate glaze, mix all the ingredients except the vanilla together in a small bowl. Melt in the microwave for 30 seconds or a little more until the ingredients can be stirred together smoothly. Stir in the vanilla. If the glaze is not shiny or loose enough, add a little extra corn syrup.
  12. Best eaten while still warm!
To make a non-sourdough version, omit the sponge step and the starter. Mix the wet ingredients and 1 Tbsp. of active dry yeast. Then add the dry ingredients and then add the butter.



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