Saturday, August 1, 2009

Recipe: Sourdough Doughnuts

First, a little background.

My Dad has an amazing variety of skills. In many accounts, he's the typical OCD computer nerd. But he can also fix cars, tile a kitchen, hike up a mountain and cook. Yes, Dad is actually pretty good in the kitchen! One thing he made a lot when I was growing up was sourdough doughnuts. I remember watching Dad feed the sourdough starter for a few days (I always wanted to stir it up), and then clean off the counter - as only an OCD engineer could - in preparation for making doughnuts. We'd roll out the dough and use a glass to cut out the doughnuts. A little cup from the top of a bottle of cough syrup was used to cut out the doughnut holes. Then he'd fry them and roll them in sugar and cinnamon. YUM!

Ok, now that you're drooling, here's the recipe:


2 c. sifted flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg (I usually put in a bit of both!)
1 egg
1/2 c. sourdough starter
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. oil (+ additional oil for frying)

Resift flour with baking powder, soda, salt and spice. Beat egg, beat in sugar. Combine with starter, milk and oil. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix to moderately stiff dough. On floured surface, knead to smooth out and round up dough. (I usually knead less than 5 minutes or so.) Roll out to 3/8" thickness. Cut with doughnut cutter. Place on a cookie sheet and let rise for about 30-45 minutes. Drop in heated oil (~370F). Fry til golden brown. Let drip onto paper towel and then roll in cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.

Best when they are straight out of the fryer! But they will last a day or two (if you can resist your urges) in a sealed container.


  1. Having read your background sounds like you might have a nice set of skills yourself. I love sourdough and a friend has requested that I make some for her family. I am doing recipe research and will be looking over yours as well as 20 or so others and come up with a composite that I begin with and mess with it from there until it suits me. Its just a hobby that is following me into retirement. I too have been several things in my life, the best of which is cook. All the others are really just a way to make a living.

    Thanks for the recipe and the words about your dad. They are really special guys.


  2. These are wonderful. We made them and could not stop eating them! My daughter won't eat store bought donuts, but she ate plenty of these. Thank you for the recipe. It is a family favorite of ours now.