Keeping Up With The House: Biscuit Doughnuts

Monday, July 14, 2014


It's amazing how the best laid plans get tossed quicker than rancid oil. How's the phrase go? Man makes plans and God laughs? I see no place that this is more true than homeownership where the unexpected and the planned are as tangled as a knitting drawer.

For example, the decrepit windows were low on the To-Fix List. Sure, most of them didn't have any screens and what with the cats that meant they had to stay closed all the time even in the worst heat lest the wee demons decide to go out for an adventure via Homeward Bound minus the happy Disney ending. Sure, they were also cracked and broken, but they weren't a concern. 

Then winter came. Then window replacement shot right to the top of the list and our bank account was $3000 lighter. 

Do I regret it? Not a bit. These windows keep the house cool and temperate and boy they shut out the noise. I could barely hear my neighbor's quinceaƱera fireworks due to these things.

Still, I keep trying to save money to re-do the bathrooms and take them gloriously out of 1979 when they were built. For God's sake, the faux marble countertop has gold glitter mixed into the surface because for some reason people in 1979 though gold glitter countertops were cool. Then again, You Don't Bring Me Flowers was in the Top 40, so I don't have a lot of respect for 1979.

Unfortunately, the trees in the front yard were infected with borer beetles and those had to be removed. Then we needed to repair a few shingles. Oh, and the cover for the dilapidated hot tub the previous owners built a platform for and then craned the hell in, but then never hooked up collapsed and became a mosquito cesspool so it needs to be ripped apart. Then there's the fact that the house is four different colors due to reconstruction and the previous owners never deciding on a color. So the front is yellow, the sides are grey, and the back is blue and white.

So yes… plans are askew. I guess that wood burning pizza oven is at the bottom of the list now, as well.

As husband goes at the hot tub with hammer and saw attempting to save us some cash I'm escaping it all. Of course, this means cooking. Normally this would usually involve fresh produce or at least a handle of liquor so cheap and rough it could fuel an engine.

But no. Stress levels are too high for this shit.

We're going straight to doughnuts, motherfuckers.

-Fried dough makes the things that piss me off much quieter.-

These are biscuit doughnuts. A rare, if ever seen hybrid between cake and yeast doughnuts as they have both butter and yeast. They're pouffier than a cake doughnut and develop a very crispy exterior much unlike your average doughnut. They also have a very buttery flavor - one so intense that it can be off-putting to some, but if butter is your thing (because if it isn't why are you reading this blog?) then this is totally for you. They're also stupid easy to put together.

It's a project that's stupid easy, and will leave you feeling accomplished even when your bathrooms aren't done and your husband still hasn't finished taking that god damn hot tub apart.

Biscuit Doughnuts
Adapted from Food52
Makes 10

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
Oil, for frying

Mix the yeast into the room-temperature milk, and set it aside while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Mix briefly to combine.

Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until the butter is mostly incorporated into the flour, with some larger flakes of butter still visible.

Add the milk and yeast to the mixer, and mix on a medium speed, just until the mixture starts to cohere and there is no dry flour in the bottom of the bowl.

Dump the mixture out onto a floured surface, and pat and knead it together until it forms a smooth ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Roll the dough out to about 1/2-3/4-inch in thickness, staying thicker than thinner if you can. Cut them out 3-inches in diameter and reform and re-roll the dough as needed.

Place on a rack and allow to rest and rise for 45 minutes in a chill area. Not a warm space as you might normally allow bread to rise as you don't want the butter to melt.

As the doughnuts rise, fill a cooking pot with 2 inches of oil and bring to 350F. If you're not sure what this looks like and don't have a thermometer then take a chopstick or wooden spoon handle and pop it in the oil. When the oil begins to bubble around the wood then your oil is ready. (Look! You learned something today!)

Cook the doughnuts a few at a time so as not to crowd them for about 90 seconds on both sides. Place on a wire rack to drain and cool.

Dredge in sugar or a frosting of some kind. For the maple glaze we used maple syrup and confectioner sugar and mixed the two until we got a thick, but spoonable paste. As for the berry glaze we just blitzed and strained some berries and then took the juice and mixed it with confectioner sugar. The chai-spice sugar mix is simple sugar tossed with ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground fennel, ground star anise, and ground cloves. Easy-peasy!


  1. We did these with cheap canned biscuits that you had to bang on the counter to get open. Fried them, dropped them on a paper bag with cinnamon and sugar and called them,"ghetto" donuts! Fabulous! Yours are much more sophisticated!!

    1. I have heard of that and may have to try it. ;)

  2. I feel your pain dear sir- almost to the letter- I have housecats, and missing screens, leaking this and that and oh gawd, the old hot tub cesspool once sat on a concrete pad in the yard. I got my nephew to get rid of the hot tub but I now have a slightly less beautiful concrete pad in the yard- outdoor kitchen? eventually....... Love this story, I could have written it myself, cuss words included !!

    1. Yeah, the slab the hot tub sits on is getting a patio table or a pizza oven.

  3. Those sound amazing! i never knew you could make doughnuts out of biscuits.

  4. I can only imagine the buttery squish when you bite into it. Man...I love donuts and have to try these!

  5. Homeownder ship effing sucks. I, too, hide in the kitchen and make delicious things. Else, I'd have to touch things with my bare hands. I do not like dirty hands.

    1. Agreed. It's why the hubby takes on the dirtier tasks.

  6. We had an all Garrett meal last night/ no we didn't actually Eat Garrett we reveled in his glorious sobs noodle salad and Guinness cake. They were both spectacular. Portland sings your praises! You must visit- and if you have already and I've missed it I'm devastated.

  7. Still a relatively new homeowner - well, condo - at only 2 months in so haven't stress baked anything, yet. Sure it will happen sooner or later. Also, good to know I'm not the only one who stress bakes. Most people give me a raised eyebrow as they take a cookie when I explain I had to stress-bake the night before.

  8. yum,what oil do you use to fry?

  9. Not sure if you got the hot tub out yet, but we had the same issue, previous owners actually built a room around the hot tub. We ended up paying a couple guys from Craigslist about $400 to come and take it out and haul it to the dumps. Their only job was going around taking out hot tubs and they used a sawzall to take it out. Even with the experience and tools it took them a good 6 hours to get it all out.

  10. i am so craving donuts right now.. ive never made my own before. definitely need to give it a go! thanks for the idea!

  11. omg. i literally this week moved my whole life into a truck. the broken or no screens, the hot tub filled with skeeters, and a tree, plus weeds so high the dog couldnt find a place to poo, every appliance broken and fixed with string and gum, plus the asshole that lived in the house......i escaped him too. im homeless with my great dane waiting for my new house to close, staying with friends and my parents here and there. hard with a giant senior dog. i think i am going to make my parents these donuts. my dad will get a kick out of them.

    1. Garrett had several descriptions of how life goes wrong at the top of the blog. Another that my sister uses is "Home Moanership." At least you have a loyal and loving companion - Great Danes are wonderful dogs, even if they take up two-thirds of your car (I have a Lab mix who is ENORMOUS and weighs well over 100 lbs.) Best of luck on your upcoming life-changes!

  12. Just got home from a crazy night at work and this post was just what a needed - hilarious and with an eggless donut recipe to boot. Perfect!
    - Sari

  13. I like doughnuts, but never try to make it at home. It seems not too difficult. I think the tricky part is how to deep fry the doughnut and it is not too oily when serving. :)

  14. dont know how I got here, but infinitely glad I did... wonderful, wonderful!

    It's amazing how the best laid plans get tossed quicker than rancid oil. How's the phrase go? Man makes plans and God laughs? I see no place that this is more true than homeownership where the unexpected and the planned are as tangled as a knitting drawer.:) I like this


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