Making donuts doesn't require a deep fryer. With some careful monitoring, using a pot or wok of hot oil works just as well as deep fryer machines. No matter which method you choose, making these sweet treats at home can be a fun activity with a delicious reward at the end.
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Saucepan, Skillet or Wok
Prepare the donut batter (see resources for recipes).
Cut donut shapes, removing centers. Add centers back to the dough or keep to make a batch of "donut holes."
Heat about two quarts of vegetable oil in a large saucepan, cast iron skillet or wok.
Line a tray or pan with paper towels.
Using a candy thermometer to check the temperature, heat on high until the oil reaches 350 degrees F.
Add donuts to the oil. Cook on one side, about two or three minutes. Turn the donuts over and cook for another two or three minutes.
Remove donuts from the hot oil using tongs; let cool on paper towels for about five minutes.
Apply toppings such as powdered or other sugar, glazes and chocolate.
Prepare yeast-based donut dough (see resources for recipes).
After the first rising of the dough, cut circles of dough without removing the centers.
Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. Removing the inner holes earlier will distort the donuts when you move them to the pan.
Cover with a clean cloth and let rise another 45 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees F until the bottoms are golden, about eight to 10 minutes.
Remove the donuts from the oven and let cool very briefly. While they are still warm, dunk in a bowl of melted butter and toss with sugar or other toppings.