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Pillowy Doughnuts

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Pillowy Doughnuts: A Sweet Delight for Any Occasion

Indulge in the irresistible sweetness and fluffy texture of homemade pillow doughnuts. These delectable treats are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or anytime you’re craving a delightful pastry. Made with simple ingredients and fried to golden perfection, these doughnuts are sure to become a favorite in your home. Join me as we explore the art of making pillow doughnuts from scratch, along with some handy tips, variations, and answers to your frequently asked questions!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Oil for frying (enough to allow the dough to float)

Instructions:

  1. Activate Yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm water and instant dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. This indicates that the yeast is active and ready to use.
  2. Mix Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, margarine, egg (if using), and vanilla extract (if using). Pour in the activated yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms.
  3. Knead Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour as needed.
  4. First Rise: Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Shape Doughnuts: Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter or a round cookie cutter to cut out doughnut shapes. You can also use a small round cutter to make doughnut holes.
  6. Second Rise: Place the shaped doughnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with a kitchen towel, and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes, or until puffed up.
  7. Fry Doughnuts: Heat the frying oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350°F (175°C). Carefully add the risen doughnuts to the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry them for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried doughnuts from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  8. Serve: Serve the freshly fried pillow doughnuts warm, either plain or dusted with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or glazed with your favorite icing.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Flavor Variations: Get creative with your doughnut flavors by adding spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough. You can also fill the doughnuts with your favorite jam, custard, or chocolate spread for a delicious surprise inside.
  • Glazing Options: Experiment with different glazes for your doughnuts, such as chocolate, vanilla, maple, or fruit-flavored glazes. Dip the cooled doughnuts into the glaze of your choice and let them set before serving.
  • Baking Option: If you prefer a healthier alternative to frying, you can bake the doughnuts in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto: To make keto-friendly pillow doughnuts, you can substitute almond flour or coconut flour for the all-purpose flour and use a sugar substitute instead of granulated sugar. Be sure to adjust the quantities accordingly to maintain the desired consistency of the dough.
  • Low-Carb: Similarly, for a low-carb version, replace the sugar with a low-carb sweetener such as erythritol or stevia. You can also use coconut oil or butter instead of margarine for frying, and opt for baking instead of frying to reduce the carb content further.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use active dry yeast instead of instant dry yeast? A: Yes, you can use active dry yeast instead of instant dry yeast in this recipe. However, you’ll need to activate it in warm water with a pinch of sugar before adding it to the dough.

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Q: Can I make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight? A: Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight after the first rise. Let the dough come to room temperature before shaping and frying the doughnuts the next day.

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Q: Can I freeze the doughnuts after frying them? A: Yes, you can freeze the fried doughnuts in an airtight container for up to one month. To reheat, simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and warm them in the oven or microwave before serving.

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Q: Can I make this recipe without eggs? A: Yes, you can omit the egg from the dough if desired. The egg adds richness and helps bind the dough, but the recipe will still work without it.

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Satisfy your sweet cravings with homemade pillow doughnuts that are fluffy, golden, and utterly delicious. Whether enjoyed as a breakfast treat, dessert, or snack, these doughnuts are sure to bring joy to your taste buds. With their soft texture, sweet flavor, and endless customization options, they’re perfect for sharing with family and friends or indulging in a moment of pure bliss all to yourself. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to experience the magic of homemade pillow doughnuts – a delightful treat that’s sure to become a cherished favorite in your kitchen!

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