Amish Country Donuts
Homemade Amish donuts, covered in a smooth glaze, make up one of our favorite breakfast treats. And the fact is they are irresistibly delicious, making it hard to turn them down even though we know they aren't healthy.
There's nothing quite like a fresh homemade Amish yeast donut. They're soft and airy, and they practically melt in your mouth. Biting into one of these fluffy, warm donuts is like biting into a cloud. They're so amazing, and I dare you to eat just one.
So if you ever get to visit Amish country, make sure to visit one of their bakeries and get yourself some fresh donuts. The locals all know that Amish bakeries sell the best donuts.
However, the good news is that you don't have to wait till you get to Amish country for a taste of homemade donuts. You can follow this donut recipe and make some at home.
Amish Yeast Donut Recipe
Amish donuts are easy to make, although truthfully, they take some time. It's a project for one of those days when you're at home most of the day, and not feeling too rushed.
My kids love to help, and maybe you could turn it into a fun family project. (Although I do not recommend having small kids help with the frying part - it's too dangerous!)
Baking is one of my hobbies, and I love working with dough and creating beautiful and delicious baked goods for my family. It's therapeutic for me and, of course, my family is happy to indulge in the results of my work.
But this recipe is truly a labor of love and one that's usually saved for special occasions.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission with no extra cost to you...
What Do I Need to Make Amish Glazed Donuts?
Of course, you will need the ingredients to make the dough and the glaze, which are mostly basic pantry ingredients.
But there are also a few other items that you'll need to make donuts:
• Cooking thermometer to measure the temperature
• A Frying strainer is nice, although you can use a slotted spoon if you don't have a strainer
• Paper towel-lined plate to transfer the donuts onto after frying
How to Make Donuts from Scratch
The first thing you'll want to do is scald the milk. This simply means to heat the milk until almost boiling. A skin will form on the top, but you can easily remove it.
After scalding the milk, add the stick of butter and set it aside to cool. The milk needs to be lukewarm before adding it to the yeast mixture. (Hot milk will kill the yeast.)
In a mixing bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar, potatoes, warm milk (not hot) and butter, and bread flour. Mix and let it sit for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add the egg, salt, and 5 cups of flour and mix until the soft dough comes together. Using a dough hook, allow the dough to knead for a couple of minutes and slowly continue adding flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Add a bit of oil to grease the sides of the bowl and let the dough rest to rise for at least an hour.
Cut the Donuts
Sprinkle your countertop with flour and roll out the dough to about a half-inch thick.
Cut circles with a donut cutter (some donut cutters have a hole cutter in the center, but if you don't have one of those, you can use a smaller cutter to cut the hole) and move the donuts onto greased parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. Leave a bit of space between each donut, allowing room for them to rise.
Cut out all the donuts you can, gather up the remaining pieces, and roll out the dough again to cut more. It's up to you if you want to fry the donut holes or turn them all into donuts.
Lightly cover the donuts with a tea towel and set them in a warm place to rise again until almost doubled in size.
Frying Homemade Amish Donuts
I like to use my Dutch oven to fry donuts because it holds the temperature better than a regular pot. But you can use any large pot or a deep fryer (if you have one that you like to use).
Pour cooking oil (peanut, vegetable, or canola oil) into the pot to at least 2 inches deep. Bring the oil to 350 - 360 degrees and try to keep it steady at that temperature (you may have to adjust the heat occasionally).
Carefully drop a few donuts at a time into the hot oil. Allow them a minute or two to brown on one side then flip them to the other side and fry them until light golden brown.
It only takes a couple of minutes to fry them. (A few of mine got darker than I wanted them because I was trying to do too many things at once. They're still good though, so don't worry if they don't turn out perfect.)
Remove the donuts with a strainer or slotted spoon onto a thick layer of paper towels to drain for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Fried homemade donuts are great on their own, but let's be real, they really need some glaze to make them perfect. I use a simple glaze made with three ingredients: powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. I know some people like to add a bit of corn syrup to the glaze. But I haven't found the need to add it. (Another option would be to use heavy cream instead of milk.)
It's a messy job getting the donuts glazed, but it's so worth it.
Mix the sweet glaze ingredients until smooth and drop the warm donuts, one at a time, into the glaze. You can adjust the thickness of your glaze by adding more milk or powdered sugar. A thicker glaze will give the donuts a heavier coat, but I prefer my glaze a bit thinner.
Hang the glazed donuts onto a rod (placed over the top of parchment paper) or onto a wire rack to dry. You can reuse the glaze that drips off.
If you don't feel like dealing with a messy glaze, there are a few other options.
#1. Make cinnamon/sugar donuts. I actually really like these fresh warm donuts dipped in a cinnamon and sugar mixture. It is an easy option, and it adds a cinnamon flavor as well. Mix a bit of sugar and cinnamon in a gallon ziplock bag, then toss a few warm donuts into the bag and shake to cover.
#2. Make chocolate donuts. Spread the tops of the donuts with chocolate frosting. Or spread them with a vanilla or caramel frosting. Get creative and add sprinkles or crushed nuts.
Tips for Making the Best Amish Donuts
A stand mixer is best for this whole process. If you do not have a stand mixer, begin by mixing the dough with an electric mixer, then switch to mixing and kneading by hand when the dough becomes too heavy for the hand-held electric mixer.
Use a cooking thermometer to manage the heat of the oil. If the oil is too cool it will not cook the donuts well and they will take in a lot of oil. If it's too hot the donuts will cook too fast on the outside before the inside.
Be extremely cautious when frying! The oil is very hot and it will burn if you get splattered. If this is your first time deep-frying, please educate yourself before you begin.
Can I Reuse My Frying Oil?
We all know that it takes a lot of oil for deep-frying. And what do you do with the oil once you're finished frying a batch of donuts?
Thankfully, you can reuse the oil several times.
When finished frying, let the oil cool down to room temperature. Then pour it through a strainer or cheesecloth and return it to its original container. Store it in a cool, dark place. (I refrigerate mine.)
To extend its life, add a small amount of fresh oil each time you cook. But if it starts to look thick or brown, then it’s gone bad.
And, of course, you don't want to use oil to fry Amish donuts that you've used to fry chicken or fish. So, I always label my container with what it was used for. Then only use that oil for similar items.
This is the best Amish donut recipe. If you try it, I'd love it if you left a comment and star rating below. Thank you!
Amish Donuts Recipe
- 2 c. scalded and cooled milk
- 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
- 1/3 c. warm water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. dry yeast
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 c. mashed potatoes
- 2 c. bread flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 5 - 6 c. all-purpose flour
- oil, for frying (peanut, vegetable, or canola oil)
- 5 - 5 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Begin by scalding the milk. Warm the milk in a saucepan until almost boiling. A skin will form on the top, but you can easily remove the skin.2 c. scalded and cooled milk
- Add the stick of butter to the hot milk and set it aside to cool. Do not add hot milk to the yeast mixture, it must be lukewarm.1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
- Add the warm water to your mixing bowl, add the yeast, stir, and let it rest for a few minutes.1/3 c. warm water, 1 1/2 Tbsp. dry yeast
- Add sugar, mashed potatoes, warm milk and butter mixture, and bread flour to the yeast mixture. Mix, and let it rest for 20 minutes.1/2 c. sugar, 1 c. mashed potatoes, 2 c. bread flour
- Add the beaten egg, salt, and 4 c. of flour to the batter and mix. With the dough hook, knead on speed 2 for a couple of minutes, slowly adding more flour until the dough comes together and the sides of the bowl are cleaned.1 large egg, beaten, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 5 - 6 c. all-purpose flour
- Add a bit of oil to grease the sides of the bowl. Lightly cover and set aside to rise for at least an hour.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 1/2" thick. Using a donut cutter, cut out the donuts and place them on greased parchment paper. After cutting out as many donuts as possible, gather the remaining pieces and roll the dough again to cut more donuts.
- Cover lightly with a dish towel, and let the donuts rise for at least a half-hour, or until almost doubled in size.
- Meanwhile pour about 2 - 3" of oil into a dutch oven, fryer, or large cooking pot. Bring the oil to about 350 - 360°. Use a cooking thermometer and adjust the heat to keep the temperature maintained.oil, for frying (peanut, vegetable, or canola oil)
- Carefully place the donuts, a couple at a time, into the hot oil. Fry each side until lightly browned (it only takes a minute or two on each side).
- Remove the fried donuts with a skimmer or slotted spoon and place them onto a paper towel-lined plate. After draining for a minute, you can move the donuts onto a wire rack.
- Mix the glaze ingredients until smooth and drop the warm donuts, one at a time, into the glaze. You can adjust the thickness of your glaze by adding more milk or powdered sugar. A thicker glaze will give the donut a heavier coat.5 - 5 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 c. milk, 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Hang the glazed donuts onto a rod (placed over the top of parchment paper) or onto a wire rack to dry. You can reuse the glaze that drips off.
- Store the donuts at room temperature, loosely covered, for up to 2 days.
- The key to good donuts is to keep them fresh. Freeze any extras, in an airtight container, immediately after they are cooled. Remove from the freezer about 20 - 30 minutes before serving.