Fresh Strawberry Donuts

Fresh Strawberry Donuts recipe from
Happy National Donut Day! Now, you could be celebrating with free donuts at the nation's big chains....but.....okay, fine, I confess to considering a stop at one on my way to work. But why? Why do that to myself unless it is one of the top 10 donut shops in the US, of which zero are in DC? Why not just make my own? [Why not, indeed? I think tomorrow is National Make Butchie Treats day. --B.] But which kind of donut...that is the real question.

I went to visit my friend Kimberly in NYC a few weeks ago, and we took a little trip over to Clinton Street Bakery.....Longest.Wait. Ever. That is probably my personal definition for hell....if you add snow, and a thinly lined jacket. With two hours to kill Kim and I walked a couple blocks over to Doughnut Plant to grab a pre-brunch snack. Best decision we made all day. Doughnut Plant has let me down in the past (that is NOT tres leches in that tres leches donut-- it is delicious, but not tres leches) but that morning the fresh strawberry donut was spot on. As soon as I returned to DC and told Butchie about it, she made sure that fresh strawberry donuts made a debut in my kitchen. [I make these orders a lot. Pretty soon she is just going to stop telling me about the delicious things she eats. --B.]

Strawberry glazes are a little rough. Strawberries when combined with sugar simply expel all their juice. It's a surprising amount, since the strawberry is like a sponge soaking up all the moisture it can. Getting them into a sugar glaze, without cooking them, without creating a syrupy mess of oozing juicy strawberries is a nightmare. Some people like that, so, if you are them, go ahead and throw some strawberries and sugar together and call that a day, but, if you want a glaze that isn't going to drip in your lap you're in luck. It's doable, very doable, after trial, error, and a few goopy glaze misgivings.

At first Butchie and I tried the glaze that was only strawberries and confectioners sugar. We added enough arrowroot powder to try to thicken it to sink a ship. [Or sink a donut. --B.] It didn't even dent the amount of juice the strawberries were putting out. New plan: fight fire with fire. When sugared strawberries give you juice, make a real glaze with it! Throw in some butter, some sugar and cook it down, then add the fresh macerated and strained strawberries. Problem solved and yummy yummy fresh strawberry donuts ready in time for National Donut Day!


Fresh Strawberry Donuts

1/2 ounce packages yeast
1/4 cup hot water, roughly 110 degrees in temperature
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
canola oil

Fresh Strawberry Frosting

1 lb. strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup strawberry juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Hull and slice strawberries. Put slices into a bowl. Pour granulated sugar over the berries. Set aside.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently to incorporate. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth.

Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes.

While dough is rising strain the strawberries, reserving the juice. Set both aside until you are ready to make the glaze. Continue straining the strawberries as needed.

Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2-inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured doughnut cutter, or round cookie cutters. (I enjoy cutting fun shaped out of the donut holes).

Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes. At 25 minutes, begin to heat vegetable oil in high-sided stock pot to 350°.

While donuts are rising, make the Fresh Strawberry glaze. Reduce strawberry juice to 3/4 cup over medium heat. In a separate pan, heat butter over low heat until it is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. This will take a little arm work! Stir in tablespoons of strawberry juice one at a time, until slightly more thick than your desired consistency. Add in vanilla extract. Set aside until ready to glaze. Warm the glaze gently if necessary. Pulverize the macerated strawberries and mix into to glaze, just enough according to your preference.

When the vegetable oil is ready, slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide wooden slotted spatula. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove carefully from oil and drain well.

Dip the doughnuts into the fresh strawberry glaze and set on rack. Sprinkle glazed donuts with additional macerated strawberries to garnish if desired.

Enjoy! I know we sure did!