Doughnuts have always seemed to be an ethereal food – out of reach of most of us. But nothing could be further from the truth! In reality they take about 20 minutes to mix up, after which they rise, unattended and then sit contentedly in the refrigerator overnight. After a quick roll out the next day they are on their way to the last rise before being fried to a golden brown. Between the two days you have 45 minutes invested for the treat of a lifetime because if you have never had a homemade doughnut, you have not had a real doughnut.
Yeast doughs have an undeserved reputation of being difficult. I know people who will tackle the most complicated recipe but won’t go near a yeast dough. I’m not sure where that comes from. Yeast doughs are extremely forgiving. This recipe is tailored to making yeast dough easy. The mashed potato flakes give the yeast something to eat for a light, high rise and a longer shelf life. The honey adds color and flavor to the finished item also adding to their shelf life.
The dough can be shaped after it’s first rise but it is easier to do after chilling overnight or up to 2 or 3 days. Just make sure it is tightly covered. It may rise again when refrigerated, just punch it down, cover well and forget about it. These would make an ideal treat on a weekend. Start them on Friday or Saturday and have them for breakfast on Sunday.
There are several types of yeast. Little cakes of fresh yeast are very difficult to come by these days and have a short shelf life. Active Dry yeast and rapid rise both come in envelopes, three to a pack. I call for active dry yeast in this recipe. Instant yeast is yet another kind. However, i am told that instant and active dry can now be used interchangeably. The flour used is bread flour that has the strength to support a high rise. All-purpose flour will do in a pinch although bread flour is readily available in most areas and is best for yeast bread. The dough will rise the first time in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending upon the temperature of the room. Continue reading