from the (okinawan) kitchen: father’s day old fashioned donuts

old fashioned glazed yeast donuts

Well, this past month has been very busy! We’ve been visiting family in the states and showing off our little munchkin for the very first time to everyone. It’s been such a whirlwind of travel, playdates, and crazy nap schedules that now we actually have a moment to regroup before heading into the normal routine in Okinawa again. I’ll have more on the trip to Chicago and Indianapolis later, but for now, it’s all about our decompression Father’s Day weekend.

Being the first weekend back in Okinawa, I was so glad for it to be Father’s Day…The perfect opportunity for puttering around the house and cooking. Plus, if I know anything about my husband, it’s that he likes a good project, and he likes his donuts. Enter “let’s make second breakfast while Dad puts the new crib together” day! The donuts were started first thing in the morning, rose twice while we played with the munchkin, and finished up as Dad breezed through the crib instructions.

milk & donuts

The babe’s new big boy crib took all of about an hour to put together (perfect size for a midday project), and I’m so glad to have a bigger, sturdier bed for our boy. He was sleeping in the rocking mini crib until this point, but it’s time to say so long to that one and move up. For his first night in it, I think he actually slept a full eleven hours! I think that made us all happy about this little weekend project.

Now, for the other weekend project…The donuts! While I’m a cakey donut kind of girl, my husband likes the yeast variety. He would be happy with a mound of plain glazed old fashioned style donuts to gobble up any day. So that’s what he got for Father’s Day! I dug the recipe out of my cookbook from Seattle’s Top Pot donut shop and make a few adjustments. With a plateful of these beauties to compliment his little handyman project, I’m pretty sure he was happy as a clam (or a Dad eating donuts)!

plated glazed donuts ready to eat


Old Fashioned Glazed Yeast Donuts.

Adapted from Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts.


For the donuts.

3 Tbsp active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup (plus 1 Tbsp) sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground mace

2 tsp salt

4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 large egg yolks

1/2 tsp vanilla

vegetable oil for frying


For the glaze.

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp corn starch

1/2 cup (plus 1Tbsp) water



In a large bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, mace, salt, and four. Cover and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, whisk the yeast, water, and 1 Tbsp of sugar together and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed for a minute. Add a third of the dry flour mixture while mixing. Then, add a second third of the dry ingredients until incorporated.

Switch to using a dough hook attachment for the mixer, and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix on low until completely  incorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet sprinkled with a bit of flour. Flatten out the dough and shape into a disk about 6 inches in diameter.

Warm an oven at the lowest temperature. Using a 9×13 inch pan, pour boiling water into the pan and place on the lowest rack of the oven to steam the dough. Place the baking sheet with the dough on the oven rack in the center, turn the oven off, and let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured cutting board and roll into a 12 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. The thickness is the key to a well-shaped donut. Cut the dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter into 12-15 donuts, re-rolling the dough for additional donuts. Place the cut donuts on a floured baking tray about 2 inches apart. Warm the oven again and replace the boiling water in the 9×13 inch pan. Place the donut try on the middle oven rack, turn off the oven, and let rise for a second time for about 30 minutes.

Heat a couple inches of oil on the stove in a large stockpot. Use a candy thermometer to bring the oil to about 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F over medium heat. Place a few donuts in the oil at a time, frying them for 20 seconds on each side and then placing on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all of the donuts have been fried.

For the glaze, mix the confectioner’s sugar, conn syrup, salt, and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, corn starch, and water on the stove. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to medium heat to simmer for a minute. Add the mixture to the confectioner’s sugar bowl. Whisk until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Let cool for a couple minutes.

Dip the tops of the warm donuts into the glaze and set on a cookie rack to cool for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!


The ground mace can be substituted with nutmeg.

The donuts may be kept in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.

yeast donut stack


2 thoughts on “from the (okinawan) kitchen: father’s day old fashioned donuts

  1. These donuts have one Opa drooling and jealous that HE didn’t get any for Father’s Day! They look SOOOOOOO good!

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