You know how they say every dog has its day? Well, today is that day for donuts. It’s National Donut Day (or Doughnut Day – however you want to spell it). The first Friday in June has been donned as such since 1938 when donuts were served to soldiers in World War I. Today, many donut shops will even give patrons free donuts in honor of this day. There’s a rumor that Canadians are jealous of this American holiday. Maybe we should ask Grace from her lovely La Mia Vita Dolce blog if she agrees with this.
Personally, I wish every day was a donut day. Why? Because this is the one food item that can saunter its way around me and I’m not remotely tempted to indulge. Well, I might be slightly tempted (I have a tendency to exaggerate sometimes).
Donuts for me are like coffee: smells intoxicating, but I don’t like to consume it. I wish I had this kind of willpower around more sweets, but I’ll take what I can get. I think my main beef with donuts is that after I eat them I feel rotten. It must be the combination of sugar and oil on an empty stomach that does it. The pleasure is not worth the pain.
But my life may have forever changed because I found a recipe for vegan donuts. Does that statement make you stop and ponder: what is in regular donuts that makes them non-vegan? Don’t worry, regular donuts don’t have pork particles in them, but they do have eggs. Vegans eschew eggs. The problem is eggs are a good binding agent in the doughy part of the donut, so finding a good vegan recipe hasn’t been easy.
However, I recently stumbled upon this delicious donut recipe which is not only vegan, but baked! That means the final product has a greatly reduced fat content (I don’t know about the sugar though; I think that part was left intact). Even with these changes, it’s not a guilt-free indulgence. First of all, they’re a little bit of work, and second I don’t think they can be listed as health-food. But they are definitely a healthier version of a tried-and-true favorite. So, Happy Donut Day to All – vegans included!
(Adapted from a recipe found at Vegan Verve)
2 cups soymilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons yeast (1 package)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 ¾ cups Flour, (1 C whole wheat)
Combine soy milk, vegetable oil, maple syrup, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and let it cool until it is about 110 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wash your hands and dip your finger in the liquid. It should be about as warm as your finger. Please, wait about 30 minutes before doing this. I don’t want any second degree burns here! This cooling process can take an hour or more.
Once the soy milk mixture has reached the right temperature, stir in the yeast and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, add 4 cups of flour (I used 3 cups of white unbleached and 1 cup of whole wheat) and the 1 teaspoon of salt – stir these two together. Next, add the soy milk/yeast mix to the flour. Mix well and let the dough rise until its about double in size (about an hour).
After the dough has risen, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix well and then let the dough sit for about 10 minutes.
This dough is very sticky, but this will give you the results you want so work with it! I floured my working surface (and my hands) and began creating dough balls – about 2″ seemed to work best. You can make some of them smaller if you’d like to have donut holes. Place these on greased cookie sheets and be sure to allow room for expansion as these little fellas will grow to at least twice their size. Place a light-weight kitchen towel over your cookie sheets and place in your refrigerator overnight.
When you get up the next morning, turn your oven on to its lowest setting. Next, remove the cookie sheets from the fridge, wash your hands and use your finger to poke a hole in the middle of each of the mounds to give them a donut-like center. Next, put the cookie sheets in the oven and then turn the heat off and shut the door.
Give the donuts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to finish their growth spurt and then turn the oven up to about 350 and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
While the donuts are baking, mix your glazes. Once the donuts are out of the oven, let them cool enough so you can handle them, and then dip them directly into the glaze. Icing the donuts while they’re still warms helps the glaze settle into its new home. You can add sprinkles or nuts, whatever your favorite donut topping is today. Most importantly? Enjoy!
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk
1 cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup cocoa
3 tablespoons soy milk