I'm not sure why I have not tried to make a vegan donut before now. I think I was convinced that eggs were absolutely essential to the dough but they totally are not. Having baked quite a few yeasted sweet doughs in the past year I now know that eggs really aren't needed for leavening, but are just another way to enrich the dough (along with the shortening and milk). So, I went with flax seed to give the dough some pliability and cohesion. Worked like a charm. I veganized Alton Brown's recipe on the Food Network site, mainly because he only called for 2 eggs and other recipes asked for 5. The end result was perfection: a tender and tasty donut that kicks the butt of anything they serve at Tim Horton's (or Dunkin' Donuts for those outside Canada).
Makes at least 24 small donuts
- 3/4 cups soy milk
- 1 1/4 oz vegetable shortening
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 11.5 oz all purpose flour
- canola oil for frying
1. Heat soy milk, shortening, salt, and sugar in the microwave, or on the stove, stirring regularly until shortening melts. Set aside.
2. Whisk flax into water. Let sit a few minutes, then whisk again until thick. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, mix together yeast and flour. Add soy milk mixture (making sure it is between 95 and 105 degrees F) and flax mixture. Mix together into a rough dough, then knead for about 5 mins until smooth, adding more flour or more water as needed to make a nice soft and tender dough.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with oil.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3/8" thick. Cut out 2" circles with a biscuit cutter, then cut out a 5/8" centre (or use a donut cutter. I cut the end off a kid's medicine syringe. It was the perfect size and I use the plunger to push out the dough). Dough scraps (and holes) can be re-rolled and cut. Place on prepared baking sheet, spray with oil, and cover. Let rise for 1/2 hour.
7. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry donuts in batches (30-60 seconds per side) until golden, drain on paper towel or paper bags, then let cool on wire rack. Let fully cool before glazing.
For the glaze, I used this recipe, subbing margarine for butter and soy milk for milk. This recipe makes a lot, so cut it in half.
The donuts (glaze and all) freeze and thaw very well. Place on a sheet pan to freeze. Once frozen, they can be placed in a bag and they won't stick together.