Instant Sourdough Doughnuts

Instant Sourdough Doughnuts | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In 2005 when my co-author, Jeff, and I wrote the first edition of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, people were just coming out of the Atkins Diet fog and were longing desperately for bread. We offered a simple, fast and delicious approach to baking bread that ANYONE could embrace. Fast forward to today and half my Instagram feed is filled with the most gorgeous loaves of sourdough bread, being baked in shops and at home. But, not everyone has the time to devote to creating, feeding and maintaining a starter. I have one and it mostly sits dehydrated in my pantry. So, when Red Star Yeast* came out with an Instant Sourdough Yeast, complete with real rye-based sourdough culture, I was super excited to give it a try. I’ve used Red Star Yeast products for decades and trust their yeast to ALWAYS get the job done, and with the highest quality. I was thrilled with the results and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants all the flavor of sourdough without the wait.

Because I love sweets more than anything, I wanted to play with the Instant Sourdough Yeast in our no-knead Brioche Dough, based on a recipe from our newest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day. And, well, doughnuts are always top of mind for me. Adding Instant Sourdough Yeast to doughnuts gives them a spectacular flavor and wonderful rise. You can always control the depth of flavor you want. By using the stored Brioche dough just after it is mixed and refrigerated, you’ll have a really mellow sour flavor from the Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast, that adds a hint of complexity to the doughnuts, but is subtle. If you make more doughnuts from that same batch 24 hours later (you’ll have enough dough for a few batches) the sour flavor increases as the dough ferments, which is true in all of our stored Five Minute doughs. You can also freeze the dough to lock in the flavor you like best. Since there is also instant yeast in the mix, it will ALWAYS rise, without fail. 

I made a Berry Icing to go with the Instant Sourdough Doughnuts, because it is so fresh and sweet. You can dust the doughnuts in confectioners’ sugar or top with a chocolate ganache. 

Coffe, Doughnut and Red Star Yeast Packets | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Red Star Yeast Instant Sourdough | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Instant Sourdough Doughnuts 

Adapted from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day using Instant Sourdough Yeast

1 1/2 pounds Instant Sourdough Brioche Recipe

Neutral-flavored oil for frying (peanut, canola, vegetable)

To shape the doughnuts:

Instant Sourdough Doughnuts | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pull out a 1 1/2-pound piece of dough and roll it out to a 1/2-inch thick. Use a doughnut cutter or round cookie or biscuit cutters. Allow the dough to sit for at least 20 minutes (and up to one hour) while the oil heats up. – see my Instagram Video to watch me shape and fry the doughnuts.

Instant Sourdough Doughnuts | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, heat about 3 inches of oil over medium heat until it reaches 370°F on a candy thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towel. Once the oil it hot, carefully slide the dough into the oil. Only put a couple in at a time, so they have plenty of room to float. Allow to fry for about 2 minutes, then flip them over to cook the other side. See my video for tips on frying. Drain the doughnuts on the paper towel for a few minutes to cool, repeat with the rest of the dough. Dredge the doughnuts in the icing (recipe below). 

Instant Sourdough Doughnuts | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Berry Confectioners’ Sugar Icing

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream (maybe more to reach proper consistency)

2 small ripe strawberries or 4 raspberries 

Mix the powdered sugar, berry and cream together in a small bowl. Dip the doughnuts in the icing and set on a cooling rack to set.

Icing Variations: add spices, extracts, food colors or other smashed fruit in place of the berries. If the flavoring is liquid, adjust the amount of cream.

Instant Sourdough Doughnuts | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Go nuts with the toppings! You can dust them with confectioners’ sugar, flavored sugars or coat them in ganache.

*This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast in promotion of their new product, Instant Sourdough Yeast. All of the opinions are 100% mine. 

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2 thoughts to “Instant Sourdough Doughnuts”

  1. Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day gave me the basic recipe for the worlds best New York Deli Style Caraway Onion Rye Bread ever! I make 4 appetizer size loaves for my Rosh Hashanah chopped liver and for Break the Fast Chopped Pickled Herring Salad. Thanks Zoe and Jeff…

  2. Hi Zoe, I’m so excited to use the new sourdough yeast. I bought 6 packets at the store today. In your normal bread in five recipes, would you substitute the regular yeast with 2 packets of the sourdough yeast?

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