Light and fluffy glazed sourdough donuts are the BEST morning treat (or any-time-of-day treat!) and they’re so fun to make!
For the Dough:
- 1/4 cup milk (whole or 2%)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 2/3 cup active bubbly sourdough starter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/3 to 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 quarts vegetable or canola oil
For the Glaze:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
- Heat the milk, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container, just until the milk is warm and the butter is melted. If it gets overly hot, let it cool before using. You’ll want it to be only warm to the touch when adding it to your sourdough starter. If it’s too hot, it’ll kill your natural yeast, and your donuts won’t rise.
- Add the milk mixture, the sourdough starter, salt, 2 eggs, and 2 cups of flour to the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Mix with the dough hook on low speed until the mixture forms a very wet dough, and then mix on medium-low speed to knead very well for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes in the bowl with the mixer turned off.
- After 10 minutes have passed, add a little more flour to the mixture, about 1/3 cup, and let the machine knead the mixture for another 4 to 5 minutes.
- Turn the very soft dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand until the dough is no longer sticky, but is still very tender, adding a little flour, as needed, as you knead. You may add up to another 1/3 cup of flour. Form the dough into a smooth ball.
- Lightly grease the mixing bowl, and return the dough to the bowl.
- Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel, and let it rise for 3 to 6 hours at room temperature.
- Gently remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Roll dough so that it’s ¾- to ½-inch thick, adding a bit of flour as needed to prevent it from sticking.
- Using a donut cutter or 3-inch and a ¾-inch circle cutters, cut out your donuts and donut holes.
- Place the cut-out donuts on a baking sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray (you’ll need 2 baking sheets), so that they are at least 1 inch apart.
- Re-roll any remaining dough, and repeat until you’ve cut all of the dough into donuts.
- Cover the baking sheets with damp kitchen towels, and let them rest in a warm spot for 1 to 3 hours; they should be slightly puffy when ready.
- Preheat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.
- While the oil is heating up, make your glaze by melting the butter in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the powdered sugar and stir to form a thick paste. Thin out the paste with milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is about as thick as school glue. It’s ok if it’s a little on the thick side; the hot donuts will melt it, and it will coat them well.
- To fry the donuts, when the oil reaches 350 to 375 degrees F. (use a thermometer), carefully add the donuts to the hot oil, and fry until golden-brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. The donut holes will only take about 30 seconds per side.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the donuts from the hot oil, and place them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to remove extra grease.
- Let them cool slightly. Dip the hot donuts in the glaze (I like to flip on both sides so it’s fully covered), and enjoy right away.
- You can set a wire baking rack inside of a rimmed cookie sheet, and then place the glazed donuts on top of the wire rack to cool. The baking sheet will catch the drips.
- These donuts don’t store great. They are best eaten fresh.
- These donuts won’t work if you try to bake them or air-fry them, they need that instant burst of heat to make them puff up, and those two cooking options don’t provide that. You’ll end up with flat and gummy donuts.
- Category: sourdough
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: sourdough donuts, homemade sourdough donuts, sourdough donut recipe. sourdough doughnuts