Typically yeast-based donuts are more suitable for frying since the combination of oil and high temperature makes them fluffy and airy. However, if you try to cut the calories and avoid fried food, you can always switch this method to baking in the oven with almost no oil at all.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that yeast donuts baked in the oven won’t be so tall, lightweight, and flaky as the ones that are fried. Let’s see how you can change the preparation method but retain the flavor.
What Are Baked Yeast Donuts?
These are regular yeast donuts that are baked in molds and in the oven instead fried in the oil. Since I already told you how they change the texture when baked in the oven there are simple tricks you can use to make them more lightweight and less dense.
The point is that yeast dough for donuts is similar to classic bread dough, and we know how bread behaves in the oven. So if you don’t want your yeast donuts to become bagels you should switch regular flour with spelt flour to keep them fluffy, flaky, and lightweight.
In fact, every flour that has less gluten and less protein content will allow you to achieve a fluffier texture. On the other hand, all-purpose bread flour when baked gives a dense and chewy texture, which ain’t something we want in donuts.
What are the most popular baked yeast donuts fillings?
In most cases, baked donuts have a hole in them since they are baked in donut molds or pans. After baking these donuts are coated with sugar, dipped in melted chocolate or some other icing, drizzled with honey or sugar glaze, and covered with maple syrup.
You can also place chocolate chips inside the dough when you knead it and create a donut that reminds you of a chocolate chip cookie. But if you want you can also shape them into balls and fill them up with jams, creams, or custard, but you will need to do that before baking.
The reason is that the texture is denser so you will have a hard time trying to inject the filling with a piping bag or syringe. To be honest you can use any kind of filling you like just make sure you seal the edges well to keep it inside the donut.
How To Make Baked Yeast Donuts?
This easy-baked donut recipe is not only healthier than the fried version it is also a way better option than buying store-bought donuts that were sitting on the shelf for who knows how long. Nothing beats fresh donuts, no matter how you prepare them.
Ingredients you will need
You will only need a few ingredients. What I recommend you is to purchase high-quality products so your donuts will have richer and better taste.
For the dough:
- 1 ⅓ cups of warm milk, the temperature should be between 95 to 105 degrees
- 5 grams of active dry yeast
- ⅔ cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- pinch of nutmeg or vanilla extract, this is optional
- 4 ½ flour of your choice
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
For the coating:
- ½ a cup of unsalted melted butter for drizzling
- 2 cups of granulated or powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
Step-by-step process on how to bake yeast donuts
- In a larger bowl place the warm milk and a spoon of sugar. Stir in the yeast and set it aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture must be foamy and bubbly.
- In the large bowl mix in dry ingredients such as flour, salt, nutmeg, and sugar.
- Now take the bowl with the yeast and add softened butter and 2 large egg yolks, and mix on low to medium speed for up to 3 minutes, until it is well combined.
- After you do this, start adding a dry ingredients mixture, one cup at a time, and mix it with a stand mixer for 5 minutes. Swap the paddles for dough hooks and continue mixing.
- Continue adding the remind dry mixture the same way and knead on medium speed until you get an elastic and soft dough. The side of the bowl must be clear.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and finish kneading by hand for a few more minutes.
- Now you’ll need to transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let it rest for 2 hours at least to rise. The dough should come to double its size.
- Deflate the dough by punching it, and use the rolling pin to roll out the dough in a circle approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cut the circles with a cookie cutter or glass. In case you are making a donut hole, use the donut cutter.
- Transfer the circles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let your donuts rise for half an hour more. Make sure they stay warm so cover them with towels.
- While waiting, preheat the oven to 375 degrees for at least 20 minutes before baking. Grease up the baking molds or regular pan.
- After they rise for the second time bake them for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While they are baking you can make the glaze from melted butter. Or if you want you can make any other type of glaze and frosting.
- When donuts are baked let them sit in molds for 5 minutes, before placing them on a cooling wire rack. Wait until they are completely cooled off to deep them in butter, then roll them in a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
- Switch regular flour with spelt flour
- When baking yeast-dough donuts in the oven make sure you use 10 grams of fresh yeast or 5 grams of dried yeast, never more
- Butter is an essential part, it will add flavor and richness, making dough less dry. Make sure butter is softened not melted
- When making regular yeast donuts you will add whole eggs. But, when you make yeast donuts that you will bake in the oven use only egg yolks to get a lighter texture
- use warm milk instead of warm water for baked yeast donuts
What is the difference in texture between baked and fried donuts?
The main difference is that you’ll lose the signature crispy crust and deep-fried flavor of a fried donut. But n the other hand, baked donuts are less caloric, and you will make them faster since you can bake the whole batch at once.
How will I know if my donut is baked?
The tricky thing when baking in the oven is that a golden-brown crust tends to form very early. Logically, this isn’t a good indicator that will tell you if your baked good is done or not. But there is a simple trick that will help you check things out.
You can use a wooden pick and place it through the middle to see if the dough will stick to it. Or you can take a small knife and make a small cut to take a peek. You’ll be able to see if the dough is raw or not.
How long can I store baked yeast donuts?
The storing conditions are the same for all types of donuts, no matter if they are balked or fried. All donuts are best within a few hours after they are made. In this time window, they will be warm and soft. The longer they stay the harder they become.
You can store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Sweet, soft, and with a subtle hint of golden brown. This is how your baked yeast donuts should be in the end. Considering their texture is denser and drier than fried yeast donuts make sure you smother them with the glaze so they soak it up and get some extra moisture and flavoring.
Baked donuts are always messy and delicious so make sure you have enough napkins around you to keep the mess in order. If you are an expert in baked donuts please share your secrets with us, we are eager to learn more.