Sourdough Donuts with Cinnamon Sugar

These are true homemade Sourdough Donuts, made without any commercial yeast. A slow fermentation gives these donuts a spectacular flavor and texture. They’re like no donuts you’ve ever tasted.

a stack of sourdough donuts with cinnamon sugar against a white background

It’s official, you guys – these are my favorite donuts ever! I mean, who doesn’t love a good donut? What’s your favorite donut style; cake or yeast? Some folks like the cake style donuts and, sure, they’re tasty.  But, me? I’m partial to the airy/chewy texture of a good yeast donut.

What makes Sourdough Donuts taste so good?

Making donuts with the natural yeast of a sourdough starter takes them into another stratosphere. Seriously, these donuts are GOOD. The starter gives the donuts a special chewy texture and deep flavor.

If you don’t have one, check out my post to learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter. Then check out my system to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter.

I’ve been mulling over the idea of a sourdough donut for a while now. Being a huge baking geek, I’m always thinking of the possibilities beyond bread-baking for my starter. I just knew that sourdough starter would be a great base for a yeast donut–if I could create a well-balanced recipe.

a sourdough donut on a white plate and a plate full of more donuts

How I created this Homemade Donut Recipe:

To create this recipe I looked to my Whole Grain Sourdough Waffle recipe and my Rhubarb Fritters.  I wanted a donut with a texture somewhere between those two; the open crumb and chewy texture of the waffle, with the sweet, spicy, enriched flavor of the fritter.

Because the starter doesn’t get a boost with commercial yeast, the recipe is a 2 day process. Don’t worry though, the vast majority of time is hands-off.

About working with Sourdough Starter:

A night in the refrigerator is essential for the flavor and texture of the dough. Also, since this is a fairly sticky dough, it’s much easier to roll and cut while it’s still cold from the refrigerator.

A long kneading time and two-day fermentation allows the dough to retain lots of air without collapsing. You’ll see a great “poof” when you drop the donuts into the fryer.

Even though these donuts are really big, they’re light and airy and not at all heavy or greasy (and, seriously, what sane person is going to complain that a donut is too big?). A roll in cinnamon sugar gives these babies a perfectly crunchy bite.

I bake a lot, really way too much for two people to eat. I don’t need to crave sweets since they’re always around. But I have actually caught myself dreamily remembering the crunchy bite and lightly chewy texture of these Sourdough Donuts.

I can’t wait to make them again. They’re totally worth the time and effort–and calories. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to jump on the elliptical…

A broken in half sourdough donut showing the inside crumb

a stack of cinnamon sugar donuts and one on a plate

Watch the recipe video to see how-to make true Sourdough Donuts.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star rating!

sourdough donuts
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4.64 from 369 reviews

Sourdough Donut Recipe

Start the day before to make a true Sourdough Donut without commercial yeast. The long fermentation of the dough gives these donuts fantastic flavor and texture.
Prep Time1 hour
Bake Time20 minutes
Rising Time12 hours
Total Time13 hours 20 minutes
12 large donuts
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole milk (1 cup, warmed to about 110°F)
  • 1 large egg (room temp)
  • 2 oz unsalted butter (melted)
  • 8 oz active sourdough starter (1 cup)
  • 17 ½ oz unbleached all-purpose flour (3 ½ cups, see note)
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • Cinnamon Sugar for coating

Instructions

Make the dough (day 1)

  • Combine 8 oz whole milk, 1 large egg and 2 oz unsalted butter with 8 oz active sourdough starter in a mixer bowl. With the mixer running, add 4 oz granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon table salt and 2.5 cups of the flour. Mix until it forms a thick batter.
  • Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flour (amount of flour may vary based on the hydration of your starter). The dough will start out quite sticky. Knead on medium low speed for 15 minutes (speed 2 on my stand mixer) until the dough clings to the hook and clears the sides of the bowl.
  • Scrape the dough into a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover and set the dough aside at room temperature for fermentation.
  • After 1 hour uncover the bowl, lift one edge of the dough over into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. Cover the bowl and set aside.
  • Every hour for another 2-3 hours repeat the folding as described above. After 3-4 hours of fermentation the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Make the Donuts (day 2)

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. While the dough is still cold, without kneading, roll to 1/2" thick on a lightly floured surface.
  • Use a 4" round cutter to cut donuts. Use a 1.5" cutter to cut center hole. Line the donuts on a well-oiled, parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, leaving space between the donuts for the dough to rise (I used 2 baking sheets). Reroll the scraps of dough and continue cutting donuts until all the dough is used up. Brush the tops of the donuts lightly with oil.
  • Cover the sheet pans with plastic wrap and set aside to rise. The donuts are ready when you poke the dough and the dent slowly fills in. If the dough bounces right back it’s not quite ready. This rise should take about 1 1/2 hours. The time will vary based on the temperature of the room.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 quarts of oil to °350 °F in a large heavy pot. Fry the donuts a couple at a time, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and puffy.
  • As you take each donut out of the oil, immediately roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat the entire donut. Set on a cooling rack while you fry the rest of the donuts.
  • Best eaten warm or within a couple of hours of frying.

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Video

Notes

If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating




194 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This are easy and just awesome. After overnight in fridge I took out, to cut and rise and potentially cook 1st thing in the morning and after they sat for an hour, raisini…. I had to leave quickly so i ended freezing the dough for about 8 hours!!!
    Came back home and let it thaw for about 4 hrs… they rose fine… they bounced back. I air fried at 425 for 5 mins each side. They were fluffy and yu.my and I’m making it again!!!
    Made them custard filled with chocolate on top

    1. Wonderful, good to know that freezing the cut donuts works. I can imagine making a batch and freezing half for later.

  2. Hello! My daughter has Lyme and is unable to eat any sugar or yeast, so traditional cider donuts are not an option this year. We make sourdough bread every week, so I thought I might be able to try sourdough donuts. Do you have any thoughts about whether it would work to replace the sugar with either a Truvia sweetener or with honey or maple syrup? Thank you for your time. Your recipe looks amazing and I’m sorry I can’t simply follow it as written. Blessings.

    1. Hi Jenny. You could replace the sugar with honey. You might need to reduce the liquid in the recipe. Try using 1/2 cup honey in place of the sugar. Reduce the milk by half a cup. Adjust the flour if needed.

  3. 5 stars
    I baked mine. And they are absolutely delicious!
    I doubled the batch, and made half with holes and half without. Top iced the ones with holes and filled and iced the full doughnuts.
    Baking was so much quicker, cleaner, easier, safer and hasn’t taken from the flavour.
    Best recipe

  4. For your sourdough donuts would it work to use coconut oil or would canola oil be better?
    Thank you for your great looking recipe!

  5. I have a household of 1 so would they do ok being frozen after the last rise so I could just thaw & fry a couple at a time later?
    Or would it be better to fry then freeze and just add topping as I thaw later?

    1. I would fry then freeze. Defrost then rewarm in a low oven before topping. Alternately, if you want to freeze unbaked I would freeze the cut donuts before the final rise. Allow them to defrost and rise at room temperature before frying.

  6. These look so good! Would it work to replace the butter with oil in the recipe? I’m almost out and want to make these right away.

  7. Hi there
    I have a donut baking. Would it be ok if I bake them instead of frying? And the sprinkle the sugar when they are hot.

    1. I don’t really use coconut oil, but I don’t see why not. As long as the smoke point is high enough for frying.

  8. The first two times I made these they turned out perfect! The most recent time my poor dough took ages to rise to the top, any idea why this may have happened? I did half the recipe but did everything to weight measurements so should have been ok.

    Also, Would I need more proving time for the 2nd rise if I am making filled donuts as opposed to ring donuts?

    Thank you!

    1. As with all things sourdough, the condition of your starter is likely the reason this dough was different. If it was less active or needed a feeding that could definitely make the rise take longer. Also, ambient temp and temp of the dough affects the rise time. Halving the recipe shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to make filled donuts (assuming you are filling after they’re fried) you shouldn’t need extra rising time. See my apple filled donut recipe to see how I do it.

    1. @Eileen Gray, thanks! I tried these and they were absolutely delicious. My husband wants to bring some to work. I wonder if I baked them the night before if they would still taste good the next morning.

      1. Sadly, donuts wait for no man. I like them best still slightly warm from the oil, or at least within a few hours of being fried. Are you baking the donuts? Even if they’re baked, they’d need a warm up in the oven to get the texture back. These donuts are more like bread than cake, and like bread they don’t keep that well.

  9. This is the best cinnamon doughnut that I have made and I have been a quest to find the best! I hadn’t had much luck using the starter to make doughnuts, until this recipe. Beautiful inner texture; This doughnut rose so nicely while frying I could hardly believe it, it tripled in thickness. I followed the instructions and perfect. I found myself thinking about these doughnut, even though I bake many deserts and artisan breads, pastas, pizzas; always wanting to use my starters.

    Thank you so much,

    TAsha

  10. Hi, I followed the instruction for day 1 and made the dough. But did not have time to make the donuts on day 2. is it okay to keep the dough in the fridge and make them on day 3? would the dough be over proof ?

    1. Yes, you can keep the dough refrigerated for another day. If it looks like the dough is over-rising just take it out, knead out the air and return it to the fridge.

    2. Omg, these came out perfect! The texture is so pillowy. I even baked it in an air fryer. This recipe is a keeper! Will be making this often. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe.

  11. Finally got to try your recipe which I have had among my bookmarks for a long time .. thank you very much. First og all, they were much easier to make than I had anticipated, and the texture and taste are just really good! definitely not the last time I make them .. thanks again.

  12. I am definitely going to make it with my starter, Margaret, but I wanted to know if this recipe would be fine using the standard 1-2% commercial yeast in baker’s percentages? This is just so in the future if I want to use Commercial yeast I can do so properly without the trial and error. This recipe calls for about 44% starter, which is much higher than usual but milk has been known to slow down yeast production.

    1. I’m probably going to lower the amount of starter to 25-30% instead. I think she’ll give plenty of rise in no time especially since it’s summer. I’m excited to make this.

  13. Can’t wait to make this! Finally a website with grams. So hard to find. I’ll write a review when I make it. Thanks for this. Would it be the normal 1-2% baker’s percentage in regards to industrialized yeast?

    1. Are you asking how to make these donuts with commercial yeast instead of sourdough starter?

    2. @Eileen Gray, sorry for the extra comments. I added another comment because I didn’t see the reply button and then I refreshed the page then my comment went back to pending and yours disappeared so I added another comment. I then could reply to my comment and others. It was a caching issue so after I cleared my cache everything is back to normal.

      But yes, I figured I’d add 1-2% of commercial yeast eventually in the distant future. Just wondering if that would be the proper baker’s percentage for this recipe? I love using my sourdough starter especially in sweets (I mainly bake breads/batards); it gives sweets a great contrast. And it’s healthier in a sense.

      Thank you for making this recipe. I appreciate it.

      1. Do you mean to use yeast as a supplement to the sourdough starter or instead of sourdough starter? As a supplement I would keep it to maybe a 1/2 tsp of dry yeast to boost the rise of the dough. If you mean to use yeast instead of sourdough starter than add a 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of flour to the dough and use a packet of dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp).

  14. This is a great recipe! I didn’t have cardamom so I upped the cinnamon, the texture was light and fluffy, and they weren’t too sweet. I didn’t think sourdough donuts were a thing, or that they’d be good, but you’ve changed my view

  15. donuts were delicious. I use my own sourdough but it was too strong. I’d love to make it with yeast. Is there a recipe for it

    1. Do you mean there was a strong sour taste? If so, generally a freshly fed starter will have a much milder flavor. If you give your starter a couple of feedings a day or two before making the dough there should be no “sour” taste.

  16. I have made these a few times and they are amazing, they were light and fluffy and tasted so good!

    I did make them in the air fryer and I added a custard and jam filling (I made them round with no hole). I didn’t have cardamom but I did add about 1Tbs of orange rind.

    If you make them in the air fryer, spray with oil and cook for 3-6min per side. After they were cooked I sprayed them again with oil to make the cinnamon and sugar stick.

  17. Wow. Just made these this morning and they were perfect! The dough was a little difficult to roll out to 1/2” but I did my best and there was no problem. This is the second recipe I’ve made from you and I’m so delighted with both. I’m just gonna work my way through all your recipes

  18. Following this recipe and made these donuts. I was a little skeptic watching the dough raise thinking they were going to be heavy donuts. I couldn’t of been more wrong. These donuts were a big hit. Probably the best donut I have ever eaten. I will make them again.

  19. I have made these quite a few times and they never disappoint! Is it possible to freeze this dough for later use?

    1. Hmmm, sometimes I don’t have great results when freezing sourdoughs. Personally, I would fry the donuts (don’t roll them in the sugar) then freeze. When you want to eat them re-warm them in the oven then roll in the cinnamon sugar. You can try freezing the cut, unfried donuts, but I can’t guarantee the outcome since sourdough can be so variable. If you try it and it works let us know how they turned out.

    2. @Eileen Gray, I was wondering about freezing as well. It’s just way too many. I only want to make half a dozen at the most.

    3. @Eileen Gray, I let them completely cool then freeze them on a cookie sheet. After a couple of hours, I put them in a freezer bag with any remaining cinnamon sugar and store in the freezer, pulling out individual doughnuts as desired. Not as good as freshly fried but still super tasty.

    4. @Eileen Gray, when you say you don’t have great results when freezing dough, what do you mean? The dough deflates? I would like to freeze the dough and fry them when I’m ready for them in a couple of weeks.

      1. Well, sourdough leavened dough can be more fussy than a yeast raised dough. With commercial yeast, there’s so much yeast and it’s so active that even after freezing the dough there’s plenty of yeast activity to leaven the dough after freezing. I have frozen some sourdough successfully (cinnamon buns) but I’ve also frozen sourdough pizza dough and it was like a lead balloon after defrosting. If you want to freeze just make sure to use a very active starter to make the dough. I’m not saying it won’t work. Just that it’s a little more hit or miss than with commercial yeast.

  20. Made these this morning. Awesome, came out perfectly – thanks for sharing the recipe. Next batch I might try baking them

  21. Hi! After diagnosing (with your help) that my dense donuts were due to underproofing them once they’d been cut (and also that hubby had inadvertently refilled my plain flour bucket with cake flour so they may also have been suffering from low gluten), I decided to try again. This time they have behaved totally differently! I made the dough last night and gave it its proofing time over four hours then put them in the fridge (where they will stay until tomorrow morning, when I will cut and fry them). But when I woke up this morning, the dough had risen enormously in the fridge! Is this normal?
    I’m concerned that if they have somehow overproofed in the fridge then they may have run out of oomph by the time it comes to the final proof and fry. Do they usually rise in the fridge overnight, or does this suggest maybe my fridge was too warm? And do you think this will impact their rise once fried? I’m trying to decide if I need to plan for the possibility of making an emergency batch of yeast donuts tomorrow morning if these ones don’t work….

    1. Ahh, using cake flour will make donuts with weak gluten and cake flour absorbs much less water so the dough will also be way sticky. If the dough is rising is the fridge, that’s great. It means the yeast is active and happy. I do not think a day in the fridge will not kill off the happy yeasties.

  22. Hi! I made the dough for these two days ago and fried them this morning. The flavour is great but they’re quite dense, not really at all fluffy like other (commercial yeast) donuts I’ve made or purchased. I make sourdough bread every week so I know my starter is active.
    When I first dropped them into the deep fryer, they sank all the way to the bottom and took about 5sec to float to the surface, in contrast to previous (commercial yeast) donuts I’ve made where they floated almost immediately. Does this mean maybe they were underproofed, and this also contributed to the density issue when fried? After cutting them they proofed for over an hour and I followed your cues of a fingerprint very slowly filling back out, but they weren’t as puffy as my yeasted donuts usually are at that stage. I don’t want to give up on the idea of sourdough donuts but these weren’t the amazing success I was hoping for!

    1. Did you watch the recipe video? You can see that the donuts do not sink when they go into the oil. The finished donuts should be fluffy and light. I would say either your dough was not sufficiently proofed or possibly over-proofed. If you dough is over-proofed you can loose volume when you pick it up to transfer to the oil. Did the donuts feel dense when you picked them up? Another problem could be weak gluten development. Without strong gluten the dough can’t maintain air as it rises in the oil. Did the dough feel springy when you roll it to cut the donuts?

    2. @Eileen Gray, thanks so much for the quick response! I actually looked for the video when making as it was mentioned in the recipe post, but on my mobile browser could not see it – the only video visible on the page was for a brandy fruit cake. I’m on a desktop browser now and can see the video so I’m not sure what the issue was, but unfortunately it means I didn’t get to watch it.
      I don’t believe the dough was over-proofed – they proofed for less time than you recommended and the room wasn’t excessively warm (it was early in the morning), and they if anything felt a little on the dense side when I picked them up (although puffier than when first cut). The dough was extremely springy when I rolled it out, so I don’t think gluten development was the issue. I need to produce donuts for a client this week and given your advice am now undecided as to whether I should try this again (and aim for better proofing) or revert to my usual yeasted recipe (which I was not entirely happy with, but at least came out fluffier than these)… Such a dilemna!

      1. It does sound like they were underproofed. How did the previous days’ fermentation go? Did you get a nice rise during the long fermentation? With sourdough, I find the entire process affects the final outcome. As far as the video, after the donut video the player will continue to play a series of other videos. If you miss the donut video, you can reload the page and the player should start over again. Good luck.

    1. Yes, that should work fine. I just cut them in the morning because I find the dough a little easier to work with when it’s cold.

  23. If I want to wake up and just fry these, is there a way to do that? Can I cut them then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight and then fry the next morning after 30-60 minutes at room temp? We eat breakfast early so tying to avoid a 5AM wake up on the weekend 🙂 thanks!

    1. Yes, the dough might be too sticky to knead by hand. You can mix the dough by hand and then the folding and turning of the dough should help develop the gluten, like a “no knead” bread.

    2. @Irene, I kneaded the dough by hand for about 10 mins until it didn’t stick to my hands or the counter anymore and it turned out great! Just let the dough stick to your hands while kneading it and eventually it will not stick 🙂

    1. Yes. The dough might be a little drier since higher protein bread flour absorbs more liquid. Try holding back 1/4 cup of flour and then add it if the dough seems too wet.

  24. Wow, these turned out amazing! The cinnamon sugar was a bit too much for us, so I made a lemon glaze and oooh they are the perfect xmas morning treat! I was a bit worried about deep frying them, but it went really well, easy in a deep fry pan and the kitchen didn’t fill with smoke even!!!! Win win!! Thanks, its a keeper recipe.

  25. Hello, I would like to make these donuts with filling? Do you think this recipe will work for me to not cut out the middle and then fill it with jam after they are cooked?
    thanks. Alyssa

    1. To tell you the truth I don’t have experience with spelt flour so I couldn’t give you great instructions. Some things I’ve read say it can replace ap flour cup for cup. But other articles say the gluten behaves differently than regular flour.

  26. —–Reinventing the wheel—–
    Hello, I just finished frying the donuts and this recipe is fantastic!
    – they come out huge and fluffy
    -they don’t take in oil (at all)
    – I gave the dough one extra night in the fridge and the sourdough ate all of the sugar so when rolled in the sugar coating they were just perfect

    For those like me who wonder what happens if you don’t cover the cut out rounds with the plastic: they dry even with oil on top, and end up looking like crullers. (But otherwise still excellent) My mother used to tell me to stop reinventing the wheel, but I cant help myself.

  27. Hi there,
    I was wondering if this dough could be made in chocolate ? I wonder how much cocoa powder should I use on it.
    Thanks a lot!

    1. I haven’t tried it so I couldn’t say for sure. I would start with about 1/2 cup of cocoa to replace 1/2 cup of the flour. I replace flour with cocoa all the time in cake recipes. But weird things can happen with sourdough, so let me know how it works out.

  28. Hello! Thanks for this recipe! I love your sight and have made a few of your sourdough recipes. I’m wondering how long the dough can sit in the fridge before you form and fry the donuts? I want to mix up the dough on a Friday but not not fry them til Sunday. Can I leave the dough in the fridge for two nights before frying it? Thanks!

  29. Hi Eileen, I’m excited to make this recipe but I was wondering if I should Feed my sourdough before using it or use unfed discard? Thank you

    1. Unless it specifically says “unfed” or “discard” assume it should be a fed and active starter.

  30. Hi,
    I’m wanting to make Amish sourdough donuts using a potato flake starter, which is more of a liquid starter. Do you have any suggestions on how I would incorporate this type of starter into your recipe? Thanks!

    1. You would have to adjust the amount of liquid or flour in the recipe to accommodate the starter. You could add a little more flour to get the dough to the right consistency.

  31. Has anyone tried using this with half whole wheat flour and half I bleached flour? I did quite a bit of baking off Glenda Groff’s site aroundthefamilytable.com and wondered if I could adapt this to whole wheat.

  32. Hi Eileen!
    I’m going to try out your doughnut recipe this weekend for Father’s Day! Do I need to do anything different to the dough if I want to make mini doughnuts? Also, have you ever filled these doughnuts?

    1. No change for mini donuts except that they might rise faster, especially in the warmer weather. I haven’t filled this donut recipe, but I believe if you look through the comments and reviews another reader did fill these donuts with good results. There is no reason you can fill them.

  33. Hi Eileen!

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. It’s the best doughnuts I’ve ever made – fluffy, not oily and the addition of cardamom is divine!!! I have made this twice already and your recipe is now in my “recipes-to-keep” folder. At these very moment, I’m going trough your pita bread recipe. I will defo update you how it will turn out. Again, thanks a lot!

    Grace

  34. These turned out beautifully! Delicious! Wondering if you could leave it in the fridge longer than overnight…say 2 days? Great recipe!

      1. Hi Amy,

        I left mine (the other half) for at least 4 days It was still good. It was more fluffy and I have decided to make it into “beignets “ with salted caramel filling. They were divine!!!

        Thank you Eileen. Your recipe is the best

  35. What can I use to replace the milk in this recipe? My grandson has dairy, soy and tree nut allergies and would love to make some for him. Thank you in advance
    Just starting my sourdough journey and can’t wait to try all your recipes. I will be making your sourdough semolina bread tomorrow. Wish me luck

  36. Hi Eileen,
    I was wondering about steps 3 and 4 on day 1. Do I let it sit for 4-5 hours first and then every hour fold the dough? Or am I folding the dough every hour in the 4-5 hours in step 3? Sorry if I’m making it more confusing than it is! Thanks!
    Britiany

  37. Hi Eileen, Thanks for the recipe! I just wanted to double check that Unbleached All Purpose Flour is Plain Flour as it is known in the UK?

    1. I assume it’s plain flour. As I understand it, there is no “bleached” flour in Europe and the UK. All purpose is a medium protein flour.

  38. Hi Eileen
    I just finished these doughnuts, they are delicious but when reading to see how to store I messed up and used a cup of my discard. I am new at this and have been reading so many things on sourdough starter, luckily they turned out.
    How should I store them for a few days without freezing?
    Thanks again for the recipe.

    1. Hi,
      I’ve made those and they are super delicious. They are light and incomparable to any of the commercial ones.

      I live in Dubai, the temp here is around 27-30celsius in Nov.
      1st alteration was to reduce the milk – I ended up using 197g.
      Also, I used my discard ( which is kept in fridge) and it worked beautifully.

      Thank you so much for all details mentioned in this post. Appreciate it.

  39. Hi there, do I let the dough rest for 4 hours and then after the 4 hours start folding every hour on the hour? Or do I let the dough sit for 4 hours but each hour fold? Thanks for clarifying!

  40. Would like to try this recipe
    . Is there any substitute for egg. Would appreciate. Thanks in advance dear

    1. Did you end up trying these with an egg substitute? We are egg free and I was going to try to find a way to make these.

  41. Hello. Thanks for the recipe. I’m just starting to get comfy working with sourdough starter.

    When you say you need 1 cup starter for this recipe, are you talking about a levain type of situation or just straight up starter from the jar?

    1. This should be an active starter that has been fed and is actively rising or just beginning to recede. If by “levain type of situation” you mean starter that has been fed and is active, then yes. I wouldn’t take the starter “straight up” from the jar if it hasn’t been fed within a day or less (depending on how active your starter is).

    1. they were totally yummy!!!! English muffins next…. looked for a crumpet recipe?

      Thank you thank you thank you

  42. Hi Eileen

    Thank you for these recipes I am a novice Sourdougher- so far I had success with my loaves so getting more adventurous with my discard.

    I don’t have unbleached flour do you think normal AP flour is OK to use or should I use the Organic white bread flour?

    Thanks in Advance

    1. I think bleached ap flour would work. The dough might be a bit softer since bleached flour has a finer grain and softens the texture a little. The best bet might be to use 3 cups of the bleached ap flour and 1/2 cup of the bread flour to help strengthen the dough a bit.

  43. Used this recipe a few times now and it works every time! I’ve tried a number of your recipes using my sourdough starter and being a newbie, I must say they’re super easy to follow. Really enjoying this sourdough journey during these testing times! Thank you! 🙂

  44. These turned out incredible! Everyone was shocked we made these at home. We made a simple chocolate glaze too and that was delicious. So far I’ve tried the sourdough pretzel recipe from here and these donuts and they were both great! Really the only problem I’ve had or change I’ve made is the amount of starter used. I only used about 160g. Over 200g is a lot of starter and that could possibly be all of my starter. Anyway, they still turned out great.

  45. Hey Eileen! This recipe looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it. Two questions, when it says to oil the bowl and to brush the tops of the donuts lightly with oil, do you recommend vegetable oil for that? And could this recipe be made as donut holes? If so, how would you adjust? Thanks so much!

    1. Yes, I use vegetable oil. I make donut holes form the center pieces. The only adjustment is that they’ll probably rise faster and will fry faster.

  46. I just did the day one process, up to putting my dough in a bowl but am concerned that my dough is too sticky..is it pretty sticky when it goes into the bowl or should it be relatively easy to knead into a ball at that point? Wondering if I should knead with more flour until it is less sticky? I probably added another half cup of flour just to get it into the bowl, but had a lot of sticky batter on my fingers still. Thank you!!

    1. It is a wetter batter. You should be able to see the texture of the batter in the recipe video. Did you weigh your flour or measure with a cup. If you use a cup make sure to “dip and sweep” for measuring. That is you dip the cup into the bin and then sweep away the excess flour. If you spoon the flour into the cup you have less flour by weight. Also, if your starter is a wetter starter that can make a difference.

  47. Hi! Would it be possible to half this recipe? Would the proportions still be the same? 12 large donuts is way too much to eat warm with just two of us!

    1. Yes, you can make half the recipe. Roll the dough to the same thickness, etc. You could also freeze extras (before rolling them in sugar). Take them out of the freezer and warm in the oven and then roll in sugar.

  48. Hi! This tecipe sounds amazing!! Im currently out of oil, is the dough firm enough i could use the air fryer to make them, do you think? Thank you!

      1. Just in case anyone is wondering, 350 F degrees in air fryer for same time recipe calls for!! Then i brushed with butter and shook them in a bag with cinnamon and sugar. Turned out GREAT!!!

  49. Hi !! I’m in the process to let them rise after I cut them (they looked so beautiful!)… it’s been about 3hrs and they are still flat 🙁 My starter is bublee again, so not sure what happened. Is it worth it to keep them at RT a few more hours, or are they already ruined?

    1. Hi Paula, Was the dough cold when you cut the donuts? If so, it will take longer to rise. Did you go through the fermentation process on the first day and then refrigerate overnight or are you making them all in one day. The starter will rise faster than the donuts because it’s just flour and water. The Donut dough has sugar and other ingredients that make the dough behave differently. I would not start over. I’m sure the donuts are fine. Give them a poke to see if they feel light and puffy or dense. See if the dent when you poke springs right back or slowly fills in. If it springs right back give them more time to rise. If the dent fills in slowly the dough is ready.

  50. Hi!

    Im in the process of letting it sit out for 4~5 hours before going in the fridge. I usually let my starter sit in the oven with the light on to optimize temperature. Would you say I should do that for the dough or should i just leave it out in room temp? I live in Los Angeles and it some what warm these days 🙂

    Thanks a lot!

    1. I like the dough to ferment at a warm room temp, 70-75F. Sometimes if my kitchen is very chilly I’ll turn on the oven just long enough to take off the chill. So leaving it in the oven with the light would be similar. P.S. It’s cold and rainy here in PA so I’m very jealous of your warm days.

  51. Thanks for the lovely recipe and video. Donuts turned out fantastic!! I did some in glazed also! I’m not sure how to upload pics. I read up on frying donuts first and watching the temp and adjusting was super important. Also I didn’t have cardamom so I added some allspice to the dough. Oh and a touch of brown sugar to the coating.

    1. Sounds wonderful. If you post pics on either Facebook (bakingsenseblog) or Instagram (eileen.bakingsense) you can tag me.

    1. I use basic vegetable oil. I’m afraid beef lard would impart a strong flavor. But to tell the truth I haven’t used beef lard.

  52. After making the dough, my family requested I make cinnamon rolls instead of donuts. The dough seems sweet enough that I’m going to give it a try!! Hoping for great success!!

  53. Was the starter used fed or discard for this recipe? I’m assuming fed, but it doesn’t state. Thanks?

    1. The starter should be fed and active. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve updated the recipe.

  54. Don’t you think 2-3 minutes per side is much too long? I find 60-75 seconds is perfect. Also when I fry them they turn black almost within seconds what causes this

  55. If I wanted to make these as a chocolate doughnut, how much cocoa powder would you recommend using? My kids have been begging for doughnuts so I’m really excited to try these!

    1. You can replace a 1/2 cup of the flour with cocoa. So instead of using 3 1/2 cups of AP flour try using 3 cups of flour and a 1/2 cup of cocoa. Otherwise keep the recipe the same.

  56. Eileen…..hi….this may seem a dumb question but i will ask it anyway!

    Today someone at work brought in a batch of Krispy Kreme’s. As i was eating one, which is just sweet on sweet on sweet, i thought, “I’d like this so much more if there was a *division* of flavors, like sourdough”

    so, my question, lame or not, is: do these donuts have the piquant sourdough flavor i love so much?

    thank you for the recipe….never have made sourdough bread before, so this will be an adventure!

    1. Hi Jan. Thanks for the question. I would say these donuts are less sweet than an average donut. The flavor is a little more bready than cakey and it’s a nice contrast with the cinnamon sugar. As far as getting the “piquant” sourdough flavor, that would depend on your starter. There’s some great information on this website about adjusting your starter for more or less acidity.

  57. My current sourdough starter is made using a whole wheat flour. Will it still rise properly if I use it with the white flour in this recipe?

    1. You want to use the whole wheat starter but otherwise follow this recipe? If so, yes, sure. That shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, I kind of like the idea of a little whole wheat in this donut. I’d love to see a photo if you made them. Enjoy!

      1. Hi there – mid making these in NZ! Is there a good time/way to freeze them for later? It’s just the two of us and we are in lockdown so bit tricky to share them!

        1. If it were me, I would fry and donuts, but not roll them in sugar. Freeze. To eat later, warm them in the oven and then roll them in the sugar while they’re still warm. Enjoy!

      2. First off… excellent donut. Everyone loved them.
        I am not one to read directions very carefully. I usually make sure I have all the ingredients and that I have enough time to make the recipe. I used some of the ‘friendship Amish bread’ starter that everyone seems to be giving me. I had already started and had the dough in the bowl before I read that it had to be turned every 2-3 hours. I was headed out for the day. It didn’t get turned. Then I didn’t read that it needed to rise a second time after the fridge (didn’t do that either, I wanted donuts NOW!) I was too lazy to roll out the dough, so I just pinched off some and rolled into balls. The only proof it had after the fridge was the amount of time it took me to heat the oil.
        Made 6-7 of some Of the best homemade donuts I’ve ever had. Thank you for this recipe!

  58. When you say refrigerate over night about how much time do you mean? Typically I let my sourdough breads sit overnight for 12 hours in the fridge. Is that ok for this recipe as well?

  59. These sound amazing. Do you have any thoughts about how to make these without milk? Like using almond milk or Greek yogurt? Trying to think of how to make these a little more friendly for lactose allergies.

    1. Hi Bailey. I think that almond milk would probably be a good substitute. If you want to try Greek yogurt I would suggest using half yogurt and half water to get it closer to the consistency of milk.

    1. Hi Shawn. At the time I created this recipe I had been replenishing my starter with equal volume water and flour, which means that by weight I had 166% water to flour. Actually, I’ve recently switched to replenishing my starter with equal weights since I’ve been doing a lot more sourdough recipes. But for this donut recipe my starter was at 166% hydration. So if you’re starter is at 100% you might need a little less flour. I would add the last bit of flour 1/2 cup at a time until you get a soft yet not super-sticky dough. If you watch the video you can see that the dough does gather on the hook, but it is not stiff.

        1. Sorry for the delayed response, I was away on vacation. Just skip the refrigeration step and go ahead with the cutting and frying. The dough might be a little stickier since it won’t be cold.

          1. Can I leave these longer then overnight in the fridge? I made the dough then was in unable to cook them the next day.

  60. Hi there,

    I was wondering if it’s safe to let an enriched dough like this sit out at room temperature for so many hours? 4-5 hours and then again for an 1.5 hours seems like a long time for raw egg and milk…or is it safe because of the sourdough starter? I wouldn’t be concerned if i didn’t want to give one to my 9 month old baby as an Easter treat.

    1. Hi Danilelle, thanks for the questions. Any enriched dough sits out for hours to proof – brioche, croissants, danish, etc. Also, the donuts are cooked and the temperature goes well over the 140F danger zone for bacteria. Yeast is a living thing (it’s a type of fungus) and that’s why it grows at room temperature and then stops when the dough is cooked. These donuts are safe to eat!