Natural Yeast Doughnuts: Whole Wheat & Honey Sweet

It is against the nature of a doughnut to be healthy, but these Natural Yeast Doughnuts are as close as you can get! Properly treated grains, naturally leavened and lightly sweetened with honey, combine with yogurt and potatoes to bring you a mouthwatering old-world delight bursting with goodness. Weekend mornings will never be the same again.

When I made the doughnuts to photograph for this post, I invited some friends over to enjoy them with us. They showed up just as the doughnuts were hitting the table, glazed and hot. They stepped inside, breathed deep, and sighed “We could smell them all the way down your street!” Which brings me to another good point. There is no way to secretly make doughnuts. Either make them to share or not at all, friends. 🙂

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Natural Yeast Doughnuts

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Ingredients

1 medium potato (enough to make about 1 cup mashed)

1/2 cup yogurt

1/4 cup milk

3 eggs

3 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup natural yeast starter*

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

dash cinnamon optional

3- 3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup honey

1/8 cup water

1/2 tsp baking soda

*Learn More: What is Natural Yeast,   How to Make Natural Yeast from Scratch

Instructions:

(At least 8 hours before frying/baking)

Peel, dice, and boil the potato. When soft, mash/puree together potato, yogurt and milk. I use my magic bullet for this to get it extra creamy, but mashing it well will do the trick. Using masher or hand mixer, add eggs, butter, starter, and honey (again, I use my magic bullet for this).

In a separate bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour, salt, nutmeg. Pour potato mixture into center of flour mixture and stir, pulling flour into wet mixture in the middle until all the flour is incorporated. Dough should be able to clump together, but will be very tacky and shaggy looking. Add extra flour if your dough cannot be clumped into a rough lump in the middle of your bowl. This will be quite a bit “wetter” than bread dough, but with whole wheat flour we do not want it too dry! Cover and set in a warm spot to rise for at least 6 hours or overnight*. (If your starter is very active, consider proofing your dough in a cooler location to prevent it getting over-proofed during the long rise).

*This dough contains eggs. I have never had eggs spoil during a long rise, and bakers I have questioned say the same. If you are concerned about eggs spoiling, proof the dough in the refrigerator for a longer time (12-24 hours depending on the activity of your dough). Salmonella is killed instantly at frying temperatures, but rolling and cutting surfaces should be sanitized after use.

(In the morning, or at least 6 hours later)

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Pour 1 tsp water into a small dish or cup. Dissolve baking soda into water, and pour into dough (this will help diminish the sour of the starter and give the leavening a boost). Stir gently to incorporate water into dough.

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Pull dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently roll dough out to no thinner than 1/4 inch thickness. Using biscuit cutters, cut larger circles, then go back through and cut out holes. Place cut dough onto parchment to rise*. Clump and re-roll leftover dough until all dough has been used.

Cover and let cut doughnuts rise at least 1 hour in a warm spot.*

*Setting the cut dough to rise is optional if you are frying your doughnuts. I have fried them without a rise and they seemed to do just fine.

Natural yeast doughnuts whole wheat flour| via www.TheBreadGeek.com natural yeast doughnuts whole wheat cutting| via www.TheBreadGeek.com Frying:

The amount of frying oil you will need will depend on the size of your pot. You should have at least 2 inches of oil in the pot. Your dough should float at least 1 inch above the bottom of the pot. Heat oil on medium heat until a small bit of dough (like a doughnut hole) dropped in the oil rises to the top within 5 seconds and the oil bubbles furiously around it. Dough that sits on the bottom longer than that means the oil is too cool, too much faster and your oil is too hot.

natural yeast doughnuts whole wheat oil test| via www.TheBreadGeek.com

When your oil is ready, put enough doughnuts into the oil so they all sit on top of the oil. They will immediately begin to puff. Once they have stopped puffing, flip them over. Cook for a few more seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. Let oil heat a few seconds before adding next batch.

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Baking:

Make sure that doughnuts double in size during second rise. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once dough has risen well, place doughnuts in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned on bottom.

This cooking method probably works best with white flour doughnuts. If you are using whole wheat, the doughnuts will still be amazing, but the texture will be a bit more like a very soft bagel. Which just goes to prove that you can’t have junk food without some level of unhealthiness involved. If you skip the white flour, you have to use oil. If you skip the oil you have to use white flour. Just give in. They’re doughnuts, after all!

Glaze:

2 T cream cheese (softened)

1 T butter (softened)

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup powdered sugar

milk

Mix together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and stir. Add milk a little bit at a time to form a thin glaze. Brush or pour over doughnuts.

Here are some other great doughnut frosting/glaze ideas you should try:

Martha’s Chocolate Glaze

Martha’s Coconut Glaze

Pumpkin Glaze

Lavender Glaze

 

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Natural Yeast Doughnuts: Whole Wheat & Honey Sweet
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The healthiest <g class="gr_ gr_267 gr-alert gr_spell ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="267" data-gr-id="267">doughnuts</g> you will ever eat!
Ingredients
  • 1 medium potato (enough to make about 1 cup mashed)
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup starter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • dash cinnamon optional
  • 3- 3½ cups flour
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ⅛ cup water
  • ½ tsp baking soda
Instructions
  1. (At least 8 hours before frying/baking)
  2. Peel, dice, and boil the potato. When soft, mash/puree together potato, yogurt and milk. I use my magic bullet for this to get it extra creamy, but mashing it well will do the trick. Using masher or hand mixer, add eggs, butter, starter, and honey (again, I use my magic bullet for this).
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour, salt, nutmeg. Pour potato mixture into center of flour mixture and stir, pulling flour into wet mixture in the middle until all the flour is incorporated. Dough should be able to clump together, but will be very tacky and shaggy looking. Add extra flour if your dough cannot be clumped into a rough lump in the middle of your bowl. This will be quite a bit "wetter" than bread dough, but with whole wheat flour we do not want it too dry! Cover and set in a warm spot to rise for at least 6 hours or overnight*. (If your starter is very active, consider proofing your dough in a cooler location to prevent it getting over-proofed during the long rise).
  4. *This dough contains eggs. I have never had eggs spoil during a long rise, and bakers I have questioned say the same. If you are concerned about eggs spoiling, proof the dough in the refrigerator for a longer time (12-24 hours depending on the activity of your dough). Salmonella is killed instantly at frying temperatures, but rolling and cutting surfaces should be sanitized after use.
  5. (In the morning, or at least 6 hours later)
  6. Pour 1 tsp water into a small dish or cup. Dissolve baking soda into water, and pour into dough (this will help diminish the sour of the starter and give the leavening a boost). Stir gently to incorporate water into dough. Pull dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently roll dough out to no thinner than ¼ inch thickness. Using biscuit cutters, cut larger circles, then go back through and cut out holes. Place cut dough onto parchment to rise*. Clump and re-roll leftover dough until all dough has been used.
  7. Let dough rise at least 1 hour in a warm spot.*
  8. *Setting the cut dough to rise is optional if you are frying your doughnuts. I have fried them without a rise and they seemed to do just fine.
  9. Frying:
  10. The amount of frying oil you will need will depend on the size of your pot. You should have at least 2 inches of oil in the pot. Your dough should float at least 1 inch above the bottom of the pot. Heat oil on medium heat until a small bit of dough (like a doughnut hole) dropped in the oil rises to the top within 5 seconds and the oil bubbles furiously around it. Dough that sits on the bottom longer than that means the oil is too cool, too much faster and your oil is too hot.
  11. When your oil is ready, put enough doughnuts into the oil so they all sit on top of the oil. They will immediately begin to puff. Once they have stopped puffing, flip them over. Cook for a few more seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. Let oil heat a few seconds before adding next batch.
  12. Baking:
  13. Make sure that doughnuts double in size during second rise. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once dough has risen well, place doughnuts in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned on bottom.

 

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