Potato Donuts

This recipe comes from one of my favorite TikTokers, B Dylan Hollis. I made them with my friend Birdie one rainy afternoon using her electric deep fryer. They make a rather heavy, but melt-in-your-mouth donut that’s not quite a cake donut and not quite a raised donut. The cashiers at Trader Joe’s loved them!!

Varieties: While the powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar were nice toppings, we thought that in our next batch we should try chocolate (just mix in some cocoa powder) or lemon (mix in some lemon zest and the juice of a lemon).

Makes 24 donuts + 24 donuts holes

2 russet potatoes, boiled, cooled and mashed
1c buttermilk
1/2c butter, melted (let it cool some so it doesn’t kill the yeast)
4t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t cinnamon
4 eggs
1 packet yeast
2c sugar
6-1/2 c flour
enough canola oil to deep fry in (2 bottles?)
powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar, for dusting the finished donuts in
paper bags, to shake the donuts in

B Dylan Hollis’ directions said to add everything to the bowl of your mixmaster, more or less in order, and combine til you get a soft dough. While the recipe seemed to work okay, cooking best practices would dictate you should combine all your dry ingredients first. Of course you would keep your flour separate, since you don’t know exactly how much flour you’re going to need until you’re mixing it in. You would also think you’d soften the yeast in a bit of warm water… Maybe if we had done all that they might have turned out a bit lighter??

Transfer to a greased bowl to rise for an hour in a warm spot. (If you cover it with a dishtowel, make sure it’s a dishtowel that doesn’t have a strong smell of laundry detergent!!)

Roll out the dough on a sheet of parchment paper to about an inch thick (the donuts keep getting thicker at each step) and cut into donut shapes. We didn’t have a special donut-shaped cutter, so instead we used a glass bowl for the outside part and the lid from a bottle of Rumchata to cut out the hole! (both dipped in flour first so they don’t stick)

We tried a few with no hole cut out and they worked well. Of course those could become jelly donuts! 😉

Heat the oil in your fryer to 350° and cook each donut for about 3.5 minutes, flipping halfway through to cook on both sides. One batch of donut holes turned out a wee bit tough, and we think maybe we cooked them longer than the others. But our first pair of donuts came out slightly raw in the middle. So timing really is important!

Taking them out of the fryer. Our first attempt was to let the donuts drain for a minute on a paper towel, then roll them in sugar. But that didn’t allow very much sugar to stick. Our next method worked better: Put your powdered sugar (or cinnamon sugar) into a paper lunch bag and throw the hot donuts into the bag straight from the oil to coat. Tap off the excess sugar and put on a paper towel to cool.

We also tried a version of a lemon glaze where we stirred a few drops of water into some powdered sugar with a bunch of lemon juice. It gave nice lemony flavor; but since the glaze was pretty watery, we were afraid the donuts would be soggy later. Unfortunately they didn’t last long enough to test the theory!

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