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Raised sourdough donuts on a cooling rack

Glazed Sourdough Donuts

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.

Ingredients

The Dough:

  • 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.

The Glaze:

  • 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.
A fresh glazed sourdough donut with a bite taken.

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.

More Sourdough Treats

Glazed Sourdough Donuts

4 from 107 votes
Recipe by Samantha Citro
Servings

12

servings
Cooking time

15

minutes
Total Time

13

hours

Looking for an extra special treat for the family? These Glazed Sourdough Donuts are soft, fluffy, and perfectly sweet with a slight tang, giving traditional raised donuts a run for their money. Plus, with they can be baked or fried!

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.

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 1 cup 1 100% hydration sourdough starter (250g)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 whole milk (115g)

  • 1 large 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 raw cane sugar (55g)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 melted unsalted butter (50g)

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla (3g)

  • 1 tsp 1 salt (4g)

  • 2 1/4 cup 2 1/4 organic bread flour (290g)

  • Glaze
  • 2 cups 2 powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 whole milk

  • Other
  • 1-3 cups 1-3 coconut oil for frying

Directions

  • 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 your flour and salt and mix until no lumps remain.
  • 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. For instructions on how to stretch and fold click here.
  • 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.
  • Roll and Cut
  • Turn the dough 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 try 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. Alternatively, pierce a hole and use your fingers to stretch the dough and form a donut shape.
  • 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 room temperature for about 2 hours, or until they have risen by 50% of their original size. See below tip for speeding up second rise.
  • Instructions for Baked Sourdough Donuts
  • 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.
  • Instructions for Fried Sourdough Donuts
  • Heat 1″ of coconut oil in a deep sided frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 350°F(180°C). The amount of oil needed will vary based on the size of your pan. I recommend starting with one cup and adding more if needed.
  • 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.
  • 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 donuts glaze side up on a drying rack, and allow the glaze to set for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Speed up proofing time: To speed up the second rise significantly, set your oven to the lowest temp setting, 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.

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38 Comments

  1. These look so good! I have a daughter with a dairy allergy. Do you know if we can substitute the milk for almond milk? And the butter with non-dairy butter? Any tips with these types of substitutions? Thanks for your help!

    • I think rice milk and coconut butter would be awesome substitutes and compliment the taste nicely, but any dairy alternative should work! I would love to hear what substitutions you end up making and how they turn out.

      • We made these with vanilla almond milk and country crock plant butter as substitutes for the diary. They turned out amazing! My gluten and dairy intolerant daughter loved them so much. She hasn’t had a good donut for years and these hit the spot! Next time I make them, I will be sure that they are a more even thickness. The thicker ones were almost too thick to cook the whole way through. But even with that, they turned out delicious. That is my fault, not the recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi! Planning to make your recipe. What’s the temperature in your kitchen for the overnight bulk fermentation?

  3. What type of coconut oil? I’ve never used it to cook before so I’m not sure if I should use unrefined or refined? Also, how many is 1” of coconut oil? I want to buy the right amount to fry the donuts. Thank you!

    • I apologize for the confusion! The amount of oil needed will vary based on the size of the pan. I would start with one cup and add more as needed. You could end up using anywhere from 1-3 cups.

  4. Also, how do I make the glaze? I don’t see exact measurements for that! Thank you. How much coconut oil do I need for frying the donuts (I don’t know what 1” means”.

    • Thank you for catching this! I updated the recipe with exact measurements for the glaze. The oil needs to be about 1″ deep. Just enough that the donuts float on the top as they fry and aren’t touching the bottom of the pan.

      • Hi! Excited to see how these turn out for us — I started later than planned and I’m wondering if I can put them in the fridge halfway through the first bulk rise or even for the second ride? And if so how long? They are currently a couple hours into the first ride and I want to serve them fresh tomorrow morning. Thanks!

  5. These sourdough donuts could not have been any more delicious!!! So soft and fluffy in the middle with gorgeous air pockets, and that wonderful slight tang from the sourdough. My husband, three kids, and several friends all raved about them!!! Some said they were the best donuts they’ve ever had- and we happen to have several very good local donut shops in our area, so that’s saying a lot! One of my favorite things about this recipe has to be the sample baker’s schedule you provide. That is what every sourdough recipe needs! Made the timing stress free, which I so appreciate. Can’t wait to make these again!!

    • Thank you so much for sharing Ariel! I’m happy to hear everyone loved them so much! Every recipe and baker deserves a sample bakers schedule. 😉

  6. I don’t know what I did wrong but the dough was very sticky and hard to roll out. I don’t think the stretch and fold are enough to build the gluten. I think I might have to use a standard mixer. I’m not sure. I would appreciate a few suggests on how to fix that.

    Otherwise, I found that donuts that I was able to make delicious and my family loved them as well.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this Sig. It is a very sticky dough. Liberally flouring your counter before rolling helps. I can update the post with stand mixer instructions. Thank you for the feedback!

  7. I love this dough. Honestly I forgot to do the 2 and 3 fold. But just saying nice recipe!!

  8. Oh. My. Word. These are amazing. We ended up having a super busy day and I couldn’t finish them for dessert like I’d planned. So I stuck the bowl in the fridge overnight and shaped them in the morning and continued on with the normal recipe. They fried up SO nice. Soft. Chewy. Just amazing. I also used the stand mixer for 10 minutes and the keep warm oven rise. THANK YOU.

    • Thank you for sharing Morgan! I am so happy to hear you loved these! The warm oven rise is my favorite trick for breakfast sourdough recipes. ;P

  9. How do they turn out if you bake them instead of frying them?

    • Hey Ruth! Baked sourdough donuts are quite delicious! You will miss that oily high fat taste that comes with a fried donut, but you can brush the baked donuts with melted butter before glazing to get some of that same quality.

  10. The flavor is there but I had a few roadblocks I would like to ask about. Re-rolling out the dough was hard, even after letting it sit. It was very elastic and would just bounce back. The other roadblock I encountered was the skewer spin, mine just became a blob not as show how they turned out. for you, I used the backend of an icing tip and just cut out the center! Finally mine were pretty lightly colored where yours have that golden brown glaze donut appearance. Any constructive criticism is welcome! My family loves donuts and the flavor is there but I just want to perfect them!! Thank you!

    • Hey Jenn! When the dough gets too difficult to roll back out I like to use a bench scraper and cut it into small donut pieces for the kids. If the skewer trick isn’t working out try piercing a hole in the center of the dough and using your fingers to pull and shape it. When the donuts are baked they do have a much lighter color, but if you are frying try giving them 15-30 extra seconds on each side o achieve the color you like. Practice makes perfect! I hope I was of some help.

  11. Hello…I am interested in trying your recipe but I am still fairly new with my sourdough starter. What is 100% hydration starter? Right now I just eye ball my starter and put in flour and water until I get the consistency I want during the feeding. Most directions I have followed use too much water for me (maybe because I live in a tropical humid climate). So I have found what works for me for bread but don’t really know the measurements.

  12. Just made these. They turned out okay. They aren’t fluffy and soft. I baked some and put some in the air fryer

  13. Looking forward to trying your recipe! I have been scouring the internet and love the long ferment, option for baking and not having to use a mixer or a donut pan.
    Question about the stretch and folds by hand. Do you need to rest the dough between sets and if so how long?
    Thank you!

  14. I need to make these for Christmas brunch.

  15. Do you do the long ferment with eggs in your dough??

  16. In ur second proof saving time u wrote
    170f (180c)
    It’s 76c ! 🥰

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