• Kevoulee Sardar

My take on Bon Appetit's Sourdough Doughnuts




The idea of having and tending to my own sourdough starter was something that I had entertained for a while, and so began starting the starter…


For the Sourdough Starter (which can be fed and used for loaves of sourdough bread)

Day 1

  • 100g Rye Flour

  • 150g Water at 30 degrees Celcius

  1. To begin with, make sure you have a clean jar (500mL quantity, there should be adequate headspace, to allow the starter to rise).

  2. Record the weight of the jar without a lid.

  3. Add the rye flour and water to the jar and stir until all the flour is saturated.

  4. Once stirred, place the lid over the jar. Do not completely seal the jar as the carbon dioxide expelled will cause the jar to shatter. Leave the jar at room temperature, undisturbed for 24 hours.

Day 2

  • 70g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 115g Water at 30 degrees Celcius

  1. Since 70g of starter is needed, and the same jar will be used. Take the weight of the jar and add 70g to know how much starter to keep in the jar.

  2. Add the rye flour, all-purpose flour and water and stir until combined. Place the lid over the jar, and store, undisturbed for 24 hours.

Day 3

  • 70g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 115g Water at 30 degrees Celcius

  1. Follow the procedure from day 2.

Day 4

  • 70g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 100g Water at 30 degrees Celsius

  1. Follow the procedure from day 2, but reducing water to 100g.

Day 5

  • 70g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 100g Water at 30 degrees Celsius

  1. Follow the procedure from day 4.

Day 6

  • 50g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 100g Water at 30 degrees Celsius

  1. Follow the procedure from day 5, but reducing starter to 50g.

Day 7

  • 25g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 100g Water at 30 degrees Celsius

  1. Follow the procedure from day 5, but reducing starter to 25g.

Day 8 and Beyond

  • 25g Starter

  • 50g Rye Flour

  • 50g All-Purpose Flour

  • 100g Water at 30 degrees Celsius

  1. Follow the procedure from day 7.

Preparation of the Starter

  • 50g Starter

  • 200g All-Purpose Flour

  • 200g Water at 30 degrees Celsius

  1. When are you are about to feed your starter, in instead of discarding the excess mature starter, weigh 50g of it into a bowl (the surplus can be discarded.)

  2. Add the water and all-purpose flour and mix well.

  3. Cover loosely with plastic firm leave for 24 hours.

  4. Thereafter, take a 1/8 of a teaspoon of the starter and gently drop into a bowl of water. If the blob of starter floats, the starter has enough gas and can be used to make the doughnuts, if not, the starter needs more time to develop more carbon dioxide.

For the dough

  • 3/4 cup Caster Sugar

  • 5 Eggs and 1 Yolk

  • 3/4 cup Full-Fat Milk

  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • 3 Tbs Sunflower Oil

  • 2 Tbs Honey

  • 2 tsp Salt

  • 775g All-Purpose Flour

  • 250g Sourdough Starter

  • 226g Butter, room temperature

  • topping ingredients not included, see step 16

  1. Into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the caster sugar, eggs and yolk, milk, vanilla extract, oil, honey and salt.

  2. Add in the all-purpose flour and the sourdough starter and turn the mixer on to medium speed to begin kneading process.

  3. The dough will stick to the side of the bowl, and if your mixer is small (KitchenAid Artisan), it may even move up the dough hook, and the mixer may smoke (our's did :(, but don't worry, giving the mixer a break and scraping the dough often helps). The dough will feel tacky, but as the gluten develops, this will change.

  4. Continue to knead the dough in the mixer for 20 minutes or until you can create a windowpane with the dough, which is achieved by stretching the dough between both thumbs and index fingers. The dough should be stretchy enough not to tear and also be smooth and uniform to allow for light to pass through.

  5. Add in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. The butter will be emulsified into the dough.

  6. Once the butter has been absorbed by the dough, the dough should not be tacky and can be formed into a neat ball. (However, if the mixer and dough hook is hot, the dough will remain sticky. Gently fold the tacky dough into itself or leave in the mixing bowl.)

  7. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, in preparation for bulk fermentation.

  8. After an hour, place greased fingers under the dough and lift both hands containing the dough to chest height. The dough will stretch and pull away from the bowl as the dough is held in the middle. Once the dough on either side of the hands is at least 30cm long, allow the dough to fold upon itself in a concertina-like fashion.

  9. After an hour, turn the bowl slightly, pick up the dough and continue with the pulling and folding process described in step 8 and 9.Repeat this process for three hours.

  10. Once completed, put the bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for 8 hours.

  11. In preparation for rolling and cutting the doughnuts, cut 24 squares of baking paper.

  12. Remove the cold dough from the fridge and roll out to approximate 1.5cm in height. Using a round biscuit cutter (6cm in diameter), cut out doughnuts and stamp out centres (using a cutter- or piping nozzle 1.5cm in diameter). The dough yields approximately 24 doughnuts. Save the centres.

  13. Do not reroll the dough, instead pinch together to form a ball and leave to proof for 2 hours. Bake on a greased baking tray at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.

  14. Once the doughnuts have been cut, lay them on their individual squares of baking paper and place on baking trays. Cover each baking tray with plastic wrap, and proof for 2 hours.

  15. While the doughnuts proof, the toppings can be prepared.

  16. For the toppings, a) vanilla glaze: mix icing sugar, a dash of water and vanilla bean paste b) sugar-coated: mix cinnamon, sugar, cocoa powder and instant coffee granules c) Honey with a zip: mix honey with a dash of apple cider vinegar d) chocolate sprinkles: melted chocolate with a splash of cream, later to be topped with sprinkles

  17. Check that the doughnuts have been proofed enough by pressing a finger into the dough, the dough should spring back, but not entirely, leaving a small indent.

  18. In a large saucepan, heat sunflower oil to 140-170 degrees Celsius (checking with a sugar thermometer)

  19. While still on the baking paper, place the doughnut into the oil. As the doughnut touches the oil, it will slip off the paper. The doughnut will quickly float to the surface.

  20. The doughnut can then be fried on both sides until a golden brown cover is achieved. The doughnut will expand and have a pale-ish ring around the middle.

  21. Once fried, place the doughnuts on a wire rack to cool and then begin glazing.

  22. Eat and enjoy. (These doughnuts can be stored in an air-tight container for a few days and can even be frozen, and brought to room temperature.)



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Bakery serving in Pretoria and Johannesburg

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