Looking for an extra special treat for the family? These Glazed Sourdough Donuts are soft, fluffy, and perfectly sweet with a slight tang, giving Krispy Kreme a run for their money. Plus, this recipe gives you the option to make baked sourdough donuts or fried.
Is it sourdough donuts or sourdough doughnuts? Either way, these glazed rings of fried dough are everything a raised donut should be, but better. This recipe uses sourdough starter instead of bakers yeast, packing them with all the wonderful benefits of long fermented grains, and making them a much better alternative to store bought donuts. To make a good thing better, this recipe turns out great baked or fried!
Making donuts at home can be a bit daunting, but don’t worry. You don’t need any fancy equipment when making homemade sourdough donuts. I will show you a simple method for how to shape the donuts without a donut cutter or donut pan.
- Sourdough Starter – Sourdough starter is used to leaven the dough and make these donuts light and fluffy. If you don’t have a starter, check out my How to Make a Sourdough Starter post to get started.
- Milk – I like to use full fat raw milk when cooking, but any milk will work for this recipe.
- Egg – Eggs help to make your donuts soft and rich in flavor.
- Sugar – Sugar is used to sweeten the dough and help it brown when frying. I used raw organic cane sugar when making this recipe.
- Butter – Butter, like egg, helps to make the donuts soft and rich tasting.
- Vanilla – Choose real vanilla extract over imitation vanilla for the best flavor.
- Salt – Salt in this recipe is used to help strengthen the dough and act as a flavor enhancer without making the donuts salty.
- Flour – This recipe calls for bread flour for best results. Using all-purpose flour will result in a overly sticky dough that is very hard to handle.
- Coconut Oil – Optional for frying.
- Powdered Sugar – I use organic powdered sugar to avoid unnecessary additives, but any powdered sugar will work.
- Milk – Milk helps to thin the glaze. I used full fat raw milk for its amazing health benefits.
How to Make Glazed Sourdough Donuts
Tip: These overnight sourdough donuts need to be made the night before. Take a look at my Sample Bakers Schedule before you begin so you have a better idea on when to start and how to plan ahead.
Step 1: Mix the Dough
In a Large bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter and milk until the starter is fully dissolved. Add in the egg, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla until everything is well incorporated. Next, sift in the flour and salt and mix until no lumps remain.
Step 2: Strengthen the Dough
After mixing, cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
After the rest period, uncover the dough and knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook on medium speed for 12 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If working without a stand mixer, perform stretch and folds to develop the gluten and strengthen the dough.
How to Stretch and Fold:
- Lightly wet your hands before handling the dough to prevent sticking.
- Scoop up an edge of the dough and gently pull it upwards.
- Once the dough reaches a point where it resists being pulled go ahead and fold the dough over itself.
- Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat this stretching and folding motion.
- You will turn the bowl, stretch and fold until the bowl comes full circle. These four stretch and folds are called a set.
- Repeat this process of resting the dough and performing stretch and folds two more times. You will have performed three total sets.
Step 3: Bulk Rise
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise overnight for 8-10 hours at 70°F(21°C). This will take more or less time depending on the temperature of your home. When the dough is ready it will be light, airy, and have doubled in size.
Step 4: Roll & Cut
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a well floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into 1/2″ thickness. If the dough resists being rolled, allow it to relax for 10 minutes and roll again.
Use a 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter to cut out the donuts. Gather and scraps and allow them to rest for 30 minutes. This will allow you to re-roll the dough and cut more donuts.
Take a cut donut and pierce the center with a chopstick or skewer. Spin the dough around the chopstick until the center hole has stretched to a 1″ width.
Step 5: Second Rise
Place the donuts on a parchment lined surface 2″ apart and cover them with a damp cloth. Allow the donuts to rise at 70°F(21°C) for about 2 hours, or until they have risen by 50% of their original size. This will take more or less time depending on the temperature of your home.
My dirty trick to speed up proofing time: To speed up the second rise significantly, set your oven to the, typically 170°F(80°C). Place the donuts on a large baking sheet and let them rest inside the oven with the oven door propped open for 15 minutes.
Step 6: Bake or Fry
Baked sourdough donut Instructions: After the donuts have risen, preheat the oven to 350°F(180°C). Transfer the parchment paper and donuts onto a large baking sheet. Bake on the center of the oven for 13-15 minutes.
Fried sourdough donut instructions: Heat 1″ of coconut oil in a deep sided frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 350°F(180°C). Add a few donuts to the oil at a time, and heat for one minute, or just until the bottoms begin to turn golden in color. Flip the donuts and heat the other side for one minute, or until they begin to turn golden in color. Transfer the cooked donuts to a cooling rack lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.
Step 7: Glaze
Mix the glaze together at the end of second rise just before you plan to cook the donuts. In a small bowl stir together the milk and powdered sugar until you have a thin runny mixture with no lumps.
After cooking, allow your donuts to cool for a few minutes and then dip one side into the glaze. Place the freshly glazed sourdough donuts glazed side up on a drying rack, and allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes before serving.
Sample Bakers Schedule
7 AM The day before: Feed your sourdough starter.
7 PM The day before: Mix your dough.
7:30 PM The day before: Stretch and fold.
8 PM The day before: Stretch and fold.
8:15 PM The day before: Bulk ferment.
6 AM The morning of: Cut and shape the donuts.
6:15 AM The morning of: Second rise.
8 AM The morning of: Bake or fry.
8:20 AM The morning of: Glaze the donuts.
8:30 AM The morning of: Serve.