Yields approximately two dozen doughnuts
- 2 ¼ tsp (one .25-oz package) active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ c nondairy milk, warmed to slightly above lukewarm (nut-free, if desired)
- 2/3 c granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice, divided (possibly more for rolling)
- 2 T milled flax seed
- ¼ c lukewarm water
- ¼ c vegan mayonnaise or nondairy yogurt
- zest of ½ lemon, finely grated
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 c whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose flour)
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- Place the warm milk and 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl and mix to dissolve some of the sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture and gently stir just to combine. Allow the yeast to proof (approximately five minutes).
- In a small bowl, whisk the milled flax seed with the lukewarm water, allowing it to rest until viscous. Stir in vegan mayonnaise and lemon zest. Add to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flours and salt. Add to the yeast mixture and stir until well-combined. The dough will be thick and very sticky. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free space to rise until doubled (approximately one hour). Once the dough has doubled, deflate it, then cover the bowl to allow the dough to rise a second time.*
- Heat canola oil (enough to fill a pot approximately 2 ½ to 3 inches deep) in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low to medium heat until it reaches 360°F; you want to fry the doughnuts between 350°F and 360°F, so toggle the heat to maintain the appropriate temperature. To make a doughnut, use an ice cream scoop or two large spoons to carefully drop a heaping 2 to 3 tablespoons’ worth of dough into the hot oil. The dough will puff up a bit, so fry just a few doughnuts at a time in order to prevent crowding and drastically dropping the oil temperature. Fry the doughnuts until they begin to just turn golden brown (approximately one minute), flip them over, and allow them to fry until deep golden brown (a few minutes more), flipping again to cook the doughnuts to a uniform color. Do not allow them to become darker (e.g., chestnut brown); at that point, the dough will taste noticeably burnt. Remove the doughnuts to a paper towel-lined tray and allow them to cool slightly.** Carefully roll the hot doughnuts in reserved sugar. They are best enjoyed hot and fresh.
*After the initial rise and deflation, the dough may be stored in a well-covered bowl in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, then fried the next day. Unused dough may also be refrigerated in the same manner for an additional day. **Once fried, the doughnuts may be frozen and reheated in the oven at another time. Simply allow non-sugar-coated doughnuts to cool completely before storing. After reheating, roll the doughnuts in sugar.