Bread Machine Donuts

Hello Bakers!

This week I have an awesome recipe for homemade donuts that rocked my world and I can’t wait to share it with you. I spent too many years of my life not embracing the donut lifestyle. I thought they were too fatty, too sugary, too greasy. Now I’m not saying donuts aren’t all of those things, it’s just that now I don’t care! Every time there is a staff breakfast I tend to “volunteer” to bring the donuts just so I can be sure the right ones are purchased.I love donuts, especially those soft, pillowy, clouds-of-love kinds. My favorite donuts are airy, soft, and squishy all at the same time.

I’ve been musing upon the idea of making my own donuts for a while, but the risk of making my house smell like oil and ending up with inedible soggy grease donuts just seemed to make it not worth the effort. But then I found this recipe for a donut that looked light, airy, and fairly easy.

Start by making a tangzhong. Yah. I know. Sounds weird and super hard. Trust me, it’s not a big deal. Just mix 1/3 cup ap flour and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan and whisk over medium heat until it thickens up a bit and swirl lines start to form. Then set it to the side to cool off.


Here’s the wonderful part about this recipe for me, you use a bread machine to make the dough! NO NEEDING. NO GUESS WORK. Yay! I got a bread machine for my wedding and haven’t used it much, but now I’m pumped to use it more often! You just dump 2 1/2 cups flour, 4 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp butter (softened), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 2 tsp dry active yeast, and 1/2 cup of the tangzhong you made into the bread machine and set to the “dough” setting. Set it and forget it until the timer goes off. My machine took about 1.5 hours to go through the setting, but I’m not sure if all are alike.


When it’s done sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and without handling it too much roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thick. Then cut out some donuts! I don’t have circular cookie cutters…crazy, I know…so I used this mason jar top and this little citrus squeezer!


Worked like a charm. Use whatever you’ve got that will make a donutty shaped donut. Save the middles because donut holes rock too.


Put your donuts and donut holes on a parchment-lined or flour-sprinkled cookie sheet and cover with a clean cloth to rise for another hour.



When your hour is up heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven (I like how well it holds and distributes the heat) over medium heat until it is at 350 degrees. Having a candy or deep frying thermometer is super helpful! Keep it at this heat as closely as you can otherwise you’ll end up with browned bits!


While your oil is heating up whip up a quick glaze using 3 cups powdered sugar, 4 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup milk or water.

Now it’s time to fry! I started with a couple of donut holes to get the timing right. Go until one side is brown (30 seconds-1 min) and then flip. The spider utensil made it super easy!


When done transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease.

While still hot dip into the glaze and rest on a cookie cooling rack to dry and harden.


You’ll see some of my donut holes were super hard to keep flipped so they ended up a little too brown on one side and too light on the other…they were still delicious. I also had a few donuts that were in too hot oil so they’re brown…they were still delicious. Moral of the story…delicious.


These little guys were so amazing.


I wish I could have eaten more without going into a sugar coma.


I’m not gonna lie, there is some major waiting involved with these beauties, but it is TOTALLY worth it!


Let me know what you think of them or if you try any new icings/sprinkles/toppings.

Happy Baking!




For Tangzhong

  • 1/3 cup ap flour
  • 1 cup water

For Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup tangzhong 
  • Oil for frying

For Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup water or milk
  • 4 tsp vanilla


  1. Start off by making the tangzhong. Whisk the flour and water in a small sauce pan until swirl lines begin to form. Set it aside to cool. 
  2. Put all of the remaining dough ingredients (minus the oil) in a bread machine and set to “dough”.
  3. When it has finished roll out the dough on a flour surface to about 1/4″ thick. Try to handle and roll it as gently as possible. Cut out donuts and donut holes. Place on a cookie sheet under a clean dish cloth to rise for 1 hour. 
  4. Heat oil in a dutch oven or deep frying pan over medium heat to 350 degrees. Fry the dough for about 30 seconds to one minute on each side. Drain on a dish lined with paper towels. 
  5. Dip each donut while still warm in the icing (simply mix the powdered sugar, water/milk, and vanilla together). 
  6. Drain and let dry for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack and enjoy! 


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