Sourdough Apple Cider Donuts

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These sourdough apple cider donuts made from our fresh, homemade apple cider was a perfect way to kick off fall!

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I just shared that we made this delicious old fashioned apple cider to embrace fall. Of course with apple cider sitting in the fridge, I had to make a cakey, old fashioned, sourdough apple cider donut. A lot of my recipes on the blog are sourdough. It is my favorite to bake and eat. From sourdough bread to sourdough fried chicken– if it contains wheat, I’m probably fermenting it.

My favorite type of donut is the classic old fashioned donut. I love the dense cake type of donut. Now don’t get me wrong, I also love fluffy donuts too. I’m not a donut snob ­čśë

To me, an apple cider donut is meant to be like an old fashioned with a little twist. So that is just what we made. Mama decided breakfast was for dinner and justified making donuts for a meal!

But do not worry, I made these as healthy as well- I wanted to. I mean, you could sub sugar for maple syrup so it is refined sugar free (and i’m sure delicous with that maple flavor) but I wanted to try out using my favorite basic bread recipe to make these donuts and it is already fairly wet so I did not want to add any further liquid. You could adapt the recipe though. You could also sub coconut sugar for regular. They are fully fermented making the grain component good for the gut and easier to digest. Of course the eggs were from our flock and switching the milk out for local milk would make these even healthier. And so farm fresh!

My little one’s hands and bright red hair popped into the video footage and photos for this because she could not wait. She knows when mama is cooking and I often have to fight her off from eating raw dough or parts of a meal.

I love that this recipe is made from my regular ‘ole sandwich bread recipe with just a few ingredients swapped to make the dough a bit more… indulgent. One recipe for different baked goods is a homemaking win I’d say.

Let’s make donuts, folks!

Sourdough Apple Cider Donuts

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiled fresh apple cider (start with one cup)
1/2 cup fed starter
4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

Dutch oven or frying pan
Stand Mixer

First I started by boiling down my apple cider. Now you don’t have to do this step. But the final amount of cider should be 1/2 cup so if you choose not to, just use 1/2 cup cider. The final flavor will be stronger and better if you boil 1 cup to 1/2 cup though! Once boiled down, I allow to cool.

Next I combined my liquids and sugar in a stand mixture and mixed until well combined.

I like to add my spices and baking powder next. I like to add my flour last to make sure I add until it just pulls away from the bowl. This is usually right around 4 cups of flour but I like to add a cup at a time to make sure the texture is right.

I let the dough knead for a while (10-15 minutes) until it passes the window pane test.

You can move forward with cutting at this point for a quicker version. But for a fully fermented version of this recipe, I cover the dough in the bowl and let it ferment at room temperature for at least 12 hours.

When I’m ready to fry, I get my oil going. I do this before cutting to give the oil time to get nice and hot. Several inches deep, I like to do a combination of butter and coconut oil. I like a little of the butter flavor but the coconut oil is cheaper to fry in.

While my oil heats up, I cut my donuts. For a cake donut, there is not rise time. If you wanted a fluffier donut, you would want to really let these all rise after cutting.

To cut, I roll out my dough about 1/4 inch thick. Then I use a biscuit cutter to cut the outside circle. Then I used the container to our candy thermometer to cut the inner circle. They make special donut cutters but we do not have one so I found things I already had that were the right size. Once cut, I take the donuts and cut triangle shaped slits on one side of the donuts for that old fashioned look.

This is a stickier dough so I leave mine on a parchment lined baking sheet and fry, then dip in sugar, then place back on the baking sheet. This is just a nice large surface that makes frying these donuts up a little easier.

Now, if you want a fluffier donut be sure and let these rise until at least doubled before frying. This could take a few hours. You can also omit the baking powder if you choose this route. I wanted that dense, cake donut so baking powder for a little rise but no extra rising time is the way to go.

I add sugar and cinnamon to a baking pan before I start frying.

Once the oil is hot, I drop my donuts and donut holes in without crowding the pan too much. They should only cook until golden on each side. Once done, I dip them in my cinnamon sugar mix. You can also dip them in melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar coating to a thicker coating that sticks a bit better.

These sourdough apple cider donuts were so yummy and we will be making these again. I love how versatile the dough is to change the cider out for milk or any other liquid to make different flavored donuts. I use this same basic dough to also make cinnamon rolls, desserts like these donuts, and even for sandwich bread. Sugar is added for sweeter baked goods and removed for bread. Eggs and milk subbed for water depending on what it is I’m making but the ratio and basic ingredients are the same! Simple.

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