The cinnamon rolls were fun, but we all knew it was going to come to this eventually. Ever since I watched Alton Brown’s special on them a few years ago, donuts have been on my list of things to make (or try to make as the case may be). But there was always one obstacle: my insurmountable fear of yeast.
With that taken care of, I had nothing stopping me but my distaste for fried foods. Let’s just say, with the help of a few good “Googles,” that one was a no-brainer. From there, I had only find a cutting apparatus small enough to make doughnut holes (I knew those empty pill bottles would come in handy!) and make a few flour adjustments.
Vegan Donuts with Three Fillings
makes about 6-7 donuts
- 1/2 packet (1 + 1/8 t.) yeast, proofed in 2 T. water according to package directions
- 1/2 c. coconut milk (the kind that comes in a can)
- 2 T. pumpkin puree (or buttercup squash, my new favorite food)
- 1/2 c. oat flour
- 1/2 c. coconut flour
- 3 T. + 2 t. vital wheat gluten (for gluten-free, substitute this with ground chia or flax seed)
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 T. of “flavoring flour”: sugar-free/fat-free pudding mix, cocoa powder, etc
- Sweeteners (optional)
- For the filling: see pictures
→First of all, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature or a lukewarm–you don’t want to inhibit the yeast.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, like this:
Add the coconut milk and pumpkin puree and stir. Add the proofed yeast and mix, adding warm water in very small increments until you have a tacky dough. (Be careful not to add too much water!!)
At this point, turn it out onto a board, mat, etc that’s either non-stick (I used a silicone baking mat), dusted with flour or sprayed with cooking spray. The dough should be sticky and slightly hard to knead, but have at it anyway. If you can’t get it kneaded all the way, don’t worry–it’ll continue to develop during the rise.
At this point, you can shape it into a ball and let it rise for about 45 minutes and then roll it out and let it rise again. Or you can just roll it out, cut it and let it rise for about two hours. I like to rise once because I usually end up losing a lot of the air if I roll after the rise.
SO, roll the dough to about 1/2″ thick and cut it into doughnut shapes using…..something. I usually just use a plastic cup that’s been dipped in flour. If you want doughnuts with holes in them, try using an old pill bottle or empty spice jar (if it’s the right size). I’ve also tried some square donuts using a small container my mom gave me for spices. Either way, it works.
You’ll probably have some “trash,” which you can just reshape into a ball and repeat the above step with.
Once everything’s rolled and cut, spray an oven-safe baking pan with cooking spray and put the doughnuts on it, leaving a little bit of room between them. I like to brush each one with a little bit of coconut milk or water before covering to keep them moist during the rise, but it’s not required. Cover them with a dish towel or plastic and let them rise in a warm place for an hour or two.
Once they’re poofy, put them in the oven at 375*F for about 15 minutes.
While they’re rising/baking, prepare the filling/topping you want. There’s pudding:
And, my personal favorite:
Once the donuts are cool, you can fill them with one of the above suggestions or anything else you want. Ideally, you would use a pastry bag fitted with a sharp tip, but seeing as how I don’t have one, I decided to make good use of the syringe I had lying around from my lab days:
Best enjoyed warm.