The Key To Easier-Than-Ever Donuts Is Probably In Your Freezer

Does the mere idea of making donuts from scratch give you a headache? It should. Sure, there's nothing as rewarding as chowing down on a breakfast made from freshly-fried dough, but homemade donuts are a whole lot of work. The fact that traditional donuts are a type of yeast bread is to blame. Half of making yeast donuts at home boils down to waiting around like Victor Frankenstein, hoping the pastry dough will rise. However, unlike Frankenstein, baking homemade donuts involves ensuring the dough rises to life not once, but two times. So yeah, homemade donuts aren't exactly an easy-peasy breakfast idea — unless you use an ingredient that's likely already in your freezer.

Remember that puff pastry sheet you bought forever ago? Forget using the pre-made baking essential to make tarts or pies — you should roll it out to make an easy (and yeastless) batch of donuts. Here's why it works and how to do it.

Puff pastry donuts are a tasty and simple breakfast

So, how can puff pastry dough go from a flat sheet of carbs to a bunch of fat donuts in a matter of minutes? The secret lies in the fact that puff pastry dough is capable of rising without yeast, because it's made of multiple buttery layers. When puff pastry is baked, the heat creates steam, which makes the dough rise. Dropping this pastry base into oil will also cause the butter in it to swell the dough into delicious round donuts. 

Prepping your puff pastry donut to fry is just as easy as getting the dough to rise. You start by rolling out your puff pastry sheet as normal. Then, you stamp donut shapes into the dough with a cookie cutter, which will also cut out a donut hole in the middle of your dough rings. After that, you fry each donut in a neutral oil at 360 degrees. Be sure to flip the donuts so that they're fully cooked on both sides — you don't want to end up with lopsided donuts. Once they look golden, you can then finish your donuts off with your topping of choice. There are plenty of ways you can build on this low-effort recipe — the sky is truly the limit.

Customizing your puff pastry donuts is a breeze

What type of donut are you hungry for? Whatever your answer, you can probably make it with this puff pastry-centric recipe. You can keep things simple and simply sprinkle cinnamon sugar over your freshly fried treat. Or you can enjoy donuts with a classic glaze, by combining milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. You can even make a chocoholic-friendly topping by melting chocolate chips, cream, butter, and salt together to drizzle over your breakfast pastries.

Craving jelly-filled donuts? With a batch of puff pastry sheet dough at hand, even these seemingly complex donuts are achievable — though baking, rather than frying these donuts is ideal. After shaping your dough into circles, lay finely cut and sugar-dusted fruit or jam atop each. Then coat the edges of each pastry's bottom half with an egg and water mixture before folding another piece of dough over the top, to create something like a donut sandwich. Make two slits at the top of the donut, then bake the treats at 400 degrees in the oven for around 15 minutes. You'll be amazed by the fact that you've made fruit-filled donuts without having to sweat over whether or not your dough would rise.