This copycat recipe will keep your doughnut demons at bay while you argue the perennial doughnut debate — Dunkin’ Doughnuts or Krispy Kreme (sorry, Dunkie’s loyalists). For the recipe, we went to the source — New Orleans — and found that Krispy Kreme doughnuts might have more to do with beignets then their shape suggest.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Then, combine the yeast/water with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to marinate for five minutes or until frothy. Then, add the salt and evaporated milk, and mix on a low-speed with the dough hook. Next, add half of the flour and mix until a dough forms. Add the shortening and continue mixing. Once the shortening is incorporated, add the remaining flour in small batches until all of the flour is fully incorporated. Continue to knead the dough with the stand mixer until the dough appears elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.
Place the kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator. The dough should double in volume. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead briefly on a floured work surface. Next, roll the dough out until it’s about a ½-inch thick. Using a two-inch ring cutter, cut out circles. Then use a smaller ring cutter to cut out the doughnut holes. Place the doughnuts and doughnut holes on a floured baking sheet and allow to rise for 30 to 40 minutes in a warm location.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a heavy pan. The sides of the pan should be high enough to prevent splatter but not difficult to flip the doughnuts. Make sure the oil comes 2 to 3 inches up the sides. When the oil in the pan reaches 350 degrees F, place 2 to 3 doughnuts (or as many as will fit without over-crowding) into the pan. Fry until golden brown, flipping them halfway through. Remove, and let rest on paper towels or a rack to drain excess oil.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift the sugar. Slowly add the milk or water, whisking to incorporate. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the glaze over the doughnuts while still warm. Allow to cool slightly to set.