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Sourdough Doughnuts

My 12-year-old (Hutch) asked if we could develop a sourdough doughnut recipe together. I guess that kid knows the secret to getting me to make junk food! These slightly-better-for-you sourdough doughnuts are baked and then briefly shallow-fried to give them that authentic doughnut flavor without needing gallons of oil. They are also not sour. It's a short-ferment recipe so they really do taste like doughnuts, not tangy at all, but still with the health benefits and digestibility of sourdough! They are a little...sturdier than a normal doughnut, kind of a slight chewy texture but really, really yummy. We filled ours with cherry butter and apple butter from our favorite local orchard, but you can fill them with anything your heart desires or glaze them. It took a few rounds of tweaking to get these just right, but the kids didn't complain. My final batch came out of the oven late last night and I told the kids not to touch them because I would be letting them cool and filling them in the morning. Well, I woke up this morning and only 4 doughnuts of 12 remained. I think my oldest was the culprit. They only left me the ones I burned on the bottom to work with for the video clip. I guess they were good enough to eat without any filling or powdered sugar at all!


  • 1 cup milk (warm)

  • 1/2 cup raw sugar

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1 cup sourdough starter

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Filling of choice


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan

  2. Add sugar and milk and whisk to incorporate

  3. Remove from heat (should be warm, not hot)

  4. Pour milk/butter/sugar mixture into a stand mixer

  5. Add sourdough starter and 2 cups flour and mix until thoroughly incorporated

  6. Let rest 15 minutes

  7. Add salt and begin mixing again

  8. Add the final cup of flour a little at a time until the dough is starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl (I didn't need the entire cup, maybe half)

  9. Gather the dough into a soft, sticky ball with buttered hands

  10. Place back into the mixing bowl and let rise 1 hour

  11. After an hour do a set of stretch and folds (turn dough onto a floured surface, gently shape into a square, fold from the top down and the bottom up like folding a piece of paper in thirds, rotate 90 degrees and repeat)

  12. Place the dough package back into the mixing bowl, cover and let rise another hour

  13. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gather all the corners up into a bundle, then flip over so it is seam side down and round on top

  14. Cover with the mixing bowl and let rest 30 minutes

  15. Roll the dough out gently with a rolling pin to 3/4" thickness, do not pop all the bubbles that have built up inside!

  16. Cut the dough into circles with a 3" biscuit cutter

  17. Gently press scraps back together and keep cutting until you run out of dough

  18. You should have 12-13 doughnuts

  19. Dust with flour ,and cover lightly for 30 minutes to an hour

  20. Preheat oven to 350F

  21. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable liner

  22. Bake doughnuts for 12-18 minutes, they will not be browned on top yet but the insides should no longer be sticky or doughy (test with a skewer or knife)

  23. Remove from oven and heat 1/2-3/4 inches of neutral oil (I used avocado) in a small 10" cast iron pan

  24. Fry doughnuts for 10-20 seconds per side until golden

  25. Remove and drain on paper towels or flour-sack towels

  26. Let cool until they can be handled then using a knife, chopstick, or I used an old-fashioned potato peeler, poke a hold in each side and scoop out a little bit of the bread to make room for filling

  27. Pipe filling into both sides of the doughnut

  28. Sift powdered sugar over the top and enjoy warm

We found they are best super fresh but can be reheated the next day with a brief stint in the oven or microwave

Here's a little video of how I fill the doughnuts:


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