Doughnut days for ever

28 May, 2021

Making doughnuts at home

Whether you call them doughnuts or donuts (the latter being an American abbreviation popularised by the US-based chain Dunkin’ Donuts), there’s no doubting the love for these fried rings of dough especially if they are topped with sugar, icing or sprinkles.

To celebrate Doughnut Day – which started in the US in 1938 as a fundraiser for The Salvation Army – on June 4, let’s get the lowdown on making doughnuts at home.

The history of the doughnut

Although doughnuts are widely deemed an American invention, it’s thought they owe their origins to the Dutch who brought them to 17th century Manhattan (then known as New Amsterdam) with the rather unappetizing Dutch name of olykoeks (oily cakes). 

The famous Krispy Kreme doughnut company was started in North Carolina in 1937, but it wasn’t until 2003 that they opened their first international store – in Sydney’s Penrith. They marked the occasion by giving away 300,000 free doughnuts. There’s now a branch at Chatswood where you can buy some of their world-famous treats, including the popular Original Glazed doughnut.

Australia’s homegrown Donut King chain was founded in Sydney in 1981 and is notable for making the world’s largest doughnut (to celebrate The Simpsons Movie DVD release in 2007). It was created from 90,000 doughnuts and weighed 3.5 tonnes. 

How to make homemade doughnuts

Making doughnuts at home is easier than you may think. Although the classic doughnut does need to be deep-fried, with a bit of practice, you could be whipping out some doughy delights worthy of the world’s most famous doughnut fan (aka Homer Simpson).

  • In this recipe for classic doughnuts, flour, yeast, butter, egg and buttermilk is combined to make a dough. Once risen, the dough is rolled out and cut into rounds (with the centre cut out) or rolled into balls before being deep-fried in vegetable oil. 
  • For an indulgent treat, try Jamie Oliver’s crispy doughnuts with a sweet, oozy filling of Dulce de leche.

How to make healthier doughnuts

We’re not going to sugar coat it. Doughnuts are not the healthiest of foods and should be an occasional treat. But fear not, there are ways to have your doughnut and eat it (in a healthier way). 

The secret is to bake them. This recipe for carrot cake baked doughnuts contains veggies so is almost a health food. Well, not quite. But they also contain wheat flour and less sugar than your average doughnut.

Likewise, these baked blueberry doughnuts and baked cinnamon bun doughnuts also hit the mark.

How to make homemade doughnuts in an air-fryer

It’s the versatile kitchen gadget that everyone was raving about last year and guess what? You can use your air fryer to make doughnuts too. As they’re not deep-fried, they contain less fat, so you can satisfy any doughnut cravings without a side serve of guilt.  

  • In this recipe for cinnamon doughnuts, the dough is allowed to rise before being cooked for three to four minutes on each side in the air fryer. The resulting doughnuts are then brushed with milk and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Yum.

Where can I buy around Chatswood?

If you’re making homemade doughnuts, grab your ingredients from Woolies (there’s a Woolworths Metro at Chatswood Interchange). But if we haven’t convinced you how easy it is to make homemade doughnuts (or are short on time), head to Krispy Kreme or Breadtop Express for a classic plain, jam or even a Japanese curry beef doughnut?