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May 1, 2008 11:34 AM

Looking for the ultimate crunchy yeast doughnut recipe

Ok this is a bit of a bizarre request but maybe somebody has an idea.

I grew up in North Carolina and there was a small donut shop that made donuts like nowhere else I've ever found. They had a bumpy texture and were crunchy on the outside...not at all like a Krispy Kreme or a Dunkin Doughnuts type. The closest thing I can think of would be like an apple fritter, without the apples.

Now I live in Canada and the donut shop has long changed ownership, so no calling them to get the recipe...

Any ideas would be appreciated!!

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  1. It sounds like you had an old-fashioned doughnut... I thought perhaps a French Cruller, but those are very airy inside. The old-fashioned donuts are more like apple fritters, without the apples. More cakey and not as pillowy as Krispy Kreme?

    I've never made them, but most doughnut shops still make them.

    1. These doughnuts aren't yeast doughnuts, but they are crispy/crunchy on the outside and absolutely delicious.

      Favorite Doughnuts

      3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
      1 cup sugar
      3 teaspoons baking powder
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
      2 tablespoons shortening
      2 eggs
      3/4 cup milk

      Heat fat or oil (3 to 4 inches) to 375 degrees in deep fat fryer or kettle. Measure 1 1/2 cups flour and the remaining ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour.

      Turn dough onto well-floured cloth-covered board; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Roll dough gently 3/8 inch thick. Cut with floured doughnut cutter.

      With wide spatula, slide doughnuts into hot fat. Turn doughnuts as they rise to surface. Fry 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Carefully remove from fat; do not prick the surface. Drain. Serve plain, sugared, or frosted.
      Yields 2 dozen doughnuts.

      1 Reply
      1. re: janniecooks

        janniecooks please see my recent post below - i was talking about your recipe. Thanks.

      2. Thanks for the tips. The non-yeast recipe sounds yummy and I'll definitely try it but it's not what I'm looking for.

        As for the old-fashioned donuts, I live in Ontario and every donut shop I visit seems to model after Tim Hortons, a big chain here, which has donuts that look and taste exactly like Dunkin Donuts to me...very smooth with a transparent glaze, and very pillowy/airy.

        The donut I'm looking for is very crackly and has a real crunch to the outside. To show how obsessed I am, I've been looking at donut blogs and small donut shop websites for years, and this seems to look as close as I remember those NC donuts...

        Any more recipes would be very appreciated!!

        4 Replies
        1. re: 16crab

          Ah, yes, I see that you are definitely looking for a raised doughnut recipe. Never tried making them myself; suggest you start at a basic website like King Arthur or Betty Crocker and experiment with various raised doughnut recipes.

          Good luck in your search.

          1. re: janniecooks

            Would it be possible to get a bumpy surface with a raised dough. After the second rising the formed doughnut would have a smooth 'inflated' shape.

            1. re: paulj

              When I used the term raised doughnut, I meant yeasted dough, not necessarilyl the smooth doughtnut made from a yeast dough a la Krispy Kreme. Wrong terminology.

          2. re: 16crab

            Hmm... have you tried looking at apple fritter recipes, but leaving out the apples and making doughnuts with the plain dough? I'm guessing the "crunch" has to do with the temp of the oil and the type of glazed being used. Apple fritters are actually a non-yeast "doughnut".


          3. Could the "crunch" have something to do with cornmeal?

            1. I'm wondering if you're looking for baked do-nuts.

              Here are some recipes. I haven't done these. Just for a sample.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yayadave

                Wow thanks for the suggestions! Definitely was yeast, and definitely was fried. I am sure the oil was really hot because it was also a diner and they served french fries etc.
                I thought about trying the apple fritters but most of them are non-yeast, but the ones here at Tim Hortons are definitely yeast and I did find a recipe on cdkitchen that uses yeast and the pic looks nice and crunchy. Looks hard though, but I'm going to give it a try.
                Thank you again.

                1. re: 16crab

                  We used to have a doughnut in L.A. when I was growing up that was called, I think, a French doughnut. The outside was crusty and crunchy and the inside was light, but not airy like a raised doughnut. It was cake-like. The top was cut before it was cooked and so the outside top had peaks and valleys (tiny ones).

                  I haven't been near a doughnut store in so long I don't even know if they make these anymore.