There’s nothing like a fresh doughnut, like the ones you can get at Doughnut Plant on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Depending on where you live, you might have no choice but to make your own. You’ll be glad you did.
Combine the coconut oil or butter with the milk. Combine the flour with the yeast and sugar. Mix the eggs with the yolk, vanilla and salt. Combine the three mixtures together. Knead until the dough is very elastic (5–10 minutes in a machine, 10–20 minutes by hand). Form a smooth ball of dough, place it in a greased container and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise at room temperature for about 1½ hours until it has doubled in volume, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Use a cookie cutter to cut out perfectly circular or rectangular shapes. Using a large cookie cutter and a small one for the centre will produce the classic wheel shape of a doughnut. For filled doughnuts, the larger circle without a hole cut out is traditional. The dough scraps can be gathered up into a new ball, rerolled and recut one time. To avoid a second lot of scraps, I like to make regular shapes using a pastry cutter, leaving little-to-no excess dough between cuts, or I use the pastry cutter from the get-go to avoid scraps all together. It depends how important the look of the doughnuts is to you. Place each shape on an individual piece of baking paper (otherwise it is difficult to pick up the doughnuts without damaging them when it comes time to fry). Sprinkle flour over to prevent the doughnuts from sticking together, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour until they have doubled in volume again.
Heat the oil in a pot until it reaches 180°C (350°F) or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 15 seconds. Using the pieces of baking paper to move the doughnuts, drop two or more at a time into the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden. Let the oil reheat for about 30 seconds between batches. Place the hot doughnuts on a wire rack or paper towels to drain excess oil. Allow to cool before glazing.
* Check the label on the oil. It should specifically indicate that the oil is appropriate for frying.
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