I was inspired by Bon Appetit’s It’s Alive Youtube series to make these apple cider sourdoughnuts. If you’re into food and cooking, it’s worth binge-watching! What I love about their sourdough doughnut episodes is that it shows some real trial and error. Sourdough can be tricky to work with!
What I love about this recipe is that it’s not too tangy for sourdough. The flavors of sweet apple cider, spice, and yeast come together to make quite possibly the best apple cider doughnut of your life. It’s definitely worth the long preparation process!
How to make a sourdough starter
As I learn more about sourdough and fermentation, I’m realizing that I have barely started to understand how it all works. But, the basic idea is that you take flour and water, which already have bacteria and wild yeast in them, and you “culture” it. Provide ideal conditions for the bacteria and wild yeast to grow, and in exchange, they’ll help bread rise, eliminate bad bacteria, and improve flavor.
Sourdough starter is pretty easy to make, but it can take a few weeks to really get going. You can buy a pre-made sourdough starter or make your own using these simple steps:
- In a 1-quart mason jar or another non-metal container, mix 1 cup of whole wheat or rye flour with 1/2 cup of room temperature water. Let it sit, loosely covered in a warm spot, for 24 hours.
- Once a day, for 5-7 days, take 1/2 cup of starter and add 1/2 cup of room temperature water. Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and mix well with a wooden utensil (just don’t use metal). Let it sit, loosely covered in a warm spot, the entire time. You can compost the discarded starter or use it to replace 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup liquid in bread recipes.
- If it’s not rising after seven days, give it 1/4 cup wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour instead of 1/2 cup white flour. That should introduce more wild yeast that will provide the “rise.” Once it’s ready, give it a final feeding and put it in the fridge in a container that has a little airflow. Continue to feed it once a week.
That’s it! There are a few ways to tell if the starter is ready to cook with. First and foremost, you need a dramatic rise after each feeding; at least double in volume. I place a rubber band around the jar at the top of the starter right after feeding so I can see how much it’s rising. Next, it should smell “yeasty” – not just sour, but kind of like wine. The sourness comes from lactobacillus bacteria, but the rise comes from wild yeast which smells like wine to me. The final test is to take 1/2 teaspoon of starter and see if it floats in a glass of water. If it floats, you’re good to go!
How to make apple cider sourdoughnuts
Disclaimer: This is a lazy sourdough method – if you know what you’re doing, feel free to stretch and fold just like you would a regular sourdough!
The night before
Mix all your ingredients together the night before, and place the dough in a loosely covered bowl and let it rise overnight on the counter. The apple cider will help to feed the wild yeast and impart the apple flavor. If you want to boost this flavor, try replacing 1/4 cup of the apple cider with apple butter!
The next morning
Your dough should have puffed up but not quite doubled. Turn the dough out onto well-floured parchment paper. Sourdough is delicate and stickier than other doughs, so don’t skip this step! Shape the dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle, then cut it however you’d like.
I forgot that I don’t have a doughnut cutter when I decided to make these! So I just cut them into squares and used a small cookie cutter to make donut holes. Leave them whole for a beignet or bomboloni-style donut (get wild and fill them with an apple pie pastry cream!).
Next, let them proof for a couple of hours. You won’t see a big rise at first, but they’ll puff up like crazy in the fryer.
Time to fry
Put three inches of oil in whatever frying vessel you’re using and heat it to 375º F/190ºC. I use a Fry Daddy that’s been in my family for as long as I can remember! Use a wooden spatula to carefully transfer doughnuts, one or two at a time (the Fry Daddy could only fit one at a time) to the hot oil. If you have donut holes, start with those as a test fry. The doughnut should begin floating within ten or fifteen seconds of entering the oil.**
Fry for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a shallow, wide bowl filled with cinnamon sugar and coat. Let the doughnuts cool a few minutes, then enjoy the best apple cider sourdoughnuts of your life!Print
Apple Cider Sourdoughnuts
These rustic apple cider sourdoughnuts are some of the best-tasting doughnuts I’ve ever had!
- Prep Time: 12 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 massive doughnuts
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
The next morning
Time to fry
Keywords: apple cider doughnuts, apple, cider, fall doughnuts, fried, fall recipes