Tangzhong: 1/3 c. all purpose flour 1 c. water Glaze: 2 c. powdered sugar 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 2 T. water 1. Make the tangzhong and the dough. For detailed instructions, see my post on Japanese Milk Bread (this is the same dough recipe – just with all purpose flour instead of bread flour). Basically, the tangzhong is a water roux made from cooking the flour and water over medium heat until thick and swirl lines appear – then you let it cool. Then, dump all of the dough ingredients into a bread machine, and set it to the “basic dough” function. (You can make this dough by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook – knead about 15 minutes until the dough can be stretched to form a windowpane. Cover and allow to rise 45 minutes, then punch down and allow to rise another 30-45 minutes.)
2. When the dough is done, roll it out into a rectangle on a floured surface – somewhere between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick.
3. Use a large 3″ round biscuit or cookie cutter to cut large circles, then use a smaller 1″ cutter to cut the middle. I got about 14 donuts from my dough. (With the remaining dough scraps you can knead them together and use to make dinner rolls or a small loaf of milk bread. Or, you CAN re-roll the scraps and cut out more donuts if you like – but I wouldn’t re-roll the scraps more than once, otherwise the dough will get too tough. If you re-roll the scraps for donuts, you might need more glaze – consider doubling the glaze recipe so that you have enough.)
4. Use a flat spatula to move the cut out donuts to a floured baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (don’t let the donuts touch each other!), then set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, loosely covered with plastic wrap. (I put them in a cold oven, close the door, and turn on the oven light – the heat from the light is usually enough to make a nice environment for the rising donut dough.)
5. Make the glaze by whisking all the ingredients together.
6. Heat about 1-2″ of oil in a large pot or pan. (I used canola oil, and decided to fry the donuts in a wok.) Heat the oil up to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees Celsius) – this is the proper temperature for deep frying.
7. Carefully lower a few donuts into the hot oil, and fry for 30-45 seconds
8. Insert a chopstick into the hole, then flip over. Fry for another 30-45 seconds, then remove to a rack to cool.
9. When done – and cool enough to handle without burning your fingers, dunk each donut halfway into the glaze to coat.
10. Flip over, then set on a clean rack – allow the glaze to set for about 5 minutes before serving. It’s best to make these right before you want to eat them so that they are fresh.