Do you like donuts? I know I certainly do, as do my kids, and most people I know. The thing is- living a gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and attempting to be refined sugar free lifestyle, I knew delicious donuts were impossible. Just a dream. And then I discovered this recipe on LivingWithout.com, via a post on FrugalFarmWife.com. It was labeled "best ever gluten free donuts", but knowing how these "best ever" claims are, I didn't really trust that it truly would be good, because, as any gluten free or otherwise special diet following people know, there are lots of terrible recipes out there that claim to be just as good as, but definitely don't do the job.
Well, since it had a recommendation on FrugalFarmWife.com, even after her tweaks, I decided to give it my best shot, trying to make it dairy free and egg free. It came out amazingly, so I tried making it with healthier sweeteners and it worked just as well! I want to try making it with only potato starch, no tapioca starch, but I haven't done that yet...
So I've got a few options for you here when making your donuts- all of them are gluten free and dairy free (but I'm sure you could take this recipe, and replace the flour with 3 1/4 cups wheat flour or whole wheat flour if you don't need it to be gluten free- if you try it out that way, let me know!), but you have the option of making it egg free and/or sugar free as well if you want.
The texture of this donut isn't 100% like that of a yeasty wheat donut, nor is it exactly an Entemann's style cake donut, but its good. My kids pronounced it "just like the donuts from the store, and perfect", but I'm not sure that's true, but it certainly is a satisfying alternative.
What I especially like about this recipe is that even when it's not fresh out of the oven, it's still got a good texture. Unfortunately I can't tell you how this recipe fares past the 48 hour mark, because all the donuts have been polished off well before that point.
You can make this recipe into either ring donuts, or you can make this recipe into jelly donuts, but I prefer how the ring donuts come out.
Oh- and one last thing- if you were saying "I'd love to make donuts, but I don't have any special equipment like a donut pan" like I was saying until recently, that's fine- you don't really need any special ingredients, though a candy thermometer does help.
1 1/4 cups white rice flour
7/8 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
7 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
3/4 cup honey or agave or 1 cup white sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar, or brown sugar
1 cups warm water if using honey or agave nectar, or 1 1/4 cups if using sugar or other dry sweeteners
3/4 cup oil (coconut, nut, vegetable oil, etc... just not olive)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed plus 5 tablespoons water, or 2 large eggs
4 cups oil (or more) for frying
Jelly for filling (optional)
Icing ingredients (optional)
Powdered sugar (make your own by whizzing sugar in a coffee grinder- optional)
Cinnamon and sugar (optional)
1. If making egg free, mix ground flax seeds with 5 tablespooons of water, and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Put white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, chickpea flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, and and yeast and sugar if you're using in a bowl and mix very well.
3. Add oil, honey, warm water, and the ground flax seed/water mix or eggs to the dry items, and mix very well. Keep mixing for 3-5 minutes. I did it by hand, but if you have a mixer, it would be easier. You'll get a texture that's somewhere between a batter and a dough- its very sticky and wet, not like bread dough...
4. Let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
5. Take parchment paper and cut into 12-16 squares, roughly 5x5 inches.
6. Put your dough into a bag, and tie the ends closed. With scissors, cut a small hole in the corner of the bag, and squeeze the dough out into donut shapes on the parchment paper squares. (I know they're floured in the picture- ignore that- its unnecessary.) This amount of dough should make between 12 and 16 donuts. If you want, you can just make circles with no holes, to make jelly donuts, but don't make them too big or their insides will end up being doughey.
7. Set your donuts in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.
8. While your donuts are rising, fill a pan with oil for deep frying, and heat up. I used an entire 800 milliliter bottle of oil and filled my cast iron skillet nearly to the top. You want to heat this up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit but if you don't have a thermometer, I find that it gets to 350 in the 20 minutes or so it takes the donuts to rise.
9. Take the squares of parchment paper with the donuts on them, and drop them, parchment paper side down, into the hot oil.
10. Cook 4-6 minutes on one side, or until browned, then flip over to cook the other side, and removing the parchment paper. (It should come off very easily, and doesn't stay hot at all- I've removed it with my bare fingers. Cook until golden brown.
However- if you're cooking donuts with no holes to make jelly donuts or other stuffed donuts, you need to keep the donut in the oil until it is a medium/dark brown, otherwise the inside will still be raw.
11. Remove from the frying pan with a slotted spoon, and set on a plate lined with towels to absorb the excess oil.
12. Make a glaze with powdered sugar and water, or melted chocolate and water, and cover the donuts if desired.
Or mix cinnamon and sugar in a bag, and place the donuts in the bag and shake around to coat, to make cinnamon and sugar donuts.
Or just sprinkle powdered sugar on them, and/or stuff them with jelly, chocolate frosting, caramel, custard, etc...
13. To make a stuffed jelly donut, take a small knife, and, on the side of the donut, cut a small hole. Stick the knife into the hole, and move from side to side, so that the hole stays small, but you've now cut the inside of the donut.
14. Fill a sandwich bag with jelly or cream or any other filling, tie shut, then cut off the corner of the bag. Place this corner into the hole in the donut, and squeeze the filling into the donut.
(P.S. About all the oil in the frying pan from making the donuts- I just am reusing it to make more donuts, not throwing it all away, even though I know its far from healthy to reuse the oil. If you do care about the health aspect, you can use the oil to make homemade soap- previously cooked with oil actually works better in soap making than regular oil.)
Are you a donut fan? What is your favorite type of donut?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try out? Which type do you think you'd make? Regular gluten free? Egg free? Refined sugar free? Something else? What type of filling or topping do you plan on using?
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