The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sourdough Doughnuts and 油条(Chinese Doughnuts) - with a twist, yes, there's always a twist

txfarmer's picture

Sourdough Doughnuts and 油条(Chinese Doughnuts) - with a twist, yes, there's always a twist

I am part of the wildly popular monthly "Daring Bakers" challenge. Joined this past April, since then, we've done some very interesting pastry recipes(I post my "official" DB post at my Chinese blog site). This month I did my first "yeast-y" challenge with them, so I want to shared it with TFL. The theme of Oct is doughnuts, so I picked the yeast doughnut recipe by Alton Brown (his recipe always works), and added my own Autumn twist by adding pumpkin puree and spices, as well as maple glaze and maple creme filling. Oh, also added a bit of my sourdough starter just for the extra flavor.

Pumpkin Sourdough doughnuts (adapted from AB's recipe)

Makes 12 to 13 doughnuts

AP flour, 280g

milk, 146g'

starter (55%), 71g

salt, 6g

instant yeast, 7g

egg, 1

butter, 35g

sugar, 25g

pumpkin puree, 82g


clove, 1/8tsp

ginger, 1/2tsp

nutmeg, 1/4tsp


1. Mix everything but salt and yeast, autolyse 30min, add salt and yeast, mix/knead until the dough is smooth and strong. It's a very very very wet sticky dough, try not to add flour. I mixed until it pass the window pane test. Very strong gluten structure. However you'll still get soft doughnuts if you knead less, crumb would just be slightly less open.

2. Cover and rise for one hour (~73F), there's a lot of yeast in the dough, it rises fast. The dough needs the extra yeast to expand properly in the short fry process. 

3. Punch down, cover and put in fridge so that we can fry them next morning and have fresh doughnuts for breakfast!

4. Next morning, pat out dough into 0.8inch thickness and cut out any shapes you like. At this time, you can fill them with maple cream (put in between two rounds and seal), or you can fill them after frying.

5. Let rise for 30 to 40 min until puffy, fry in 375F oil for 30 to 60 seconds until golden.

6. Fill with maple cream if you wish, then roll in cinnamon sugar or maple glaze.

The incredibly open, soft, rich crumb is brioche-like, due to the enriched dough, as welll as a lot of kneading.

Maple glaze and cream went perfectly with pumpkin spice, classic.

Maple cream:

cream cheese, 113g

butter, 28g

powdered sugar, 50g

maple syrup, 1tbsp

- Beat until smooth


Maple Glaze:

powdered sugar, 100g

maple syrup, 80g

vanilla: 1tsp

- Beat until smooth



I particularly liked these doughnut holes, went down a little too easy. :P

--------------The Asian Twist -----------------

Since I had all that oil left, I decided to make 油条 - a popular traditional Chinese deep fried pastry. I grew up having it for breakfast, they are sold during morning rush hour by street vendors, wrapped in cheap plastic bags. Similar to doughnuts, they are deep fried, delicious, cheap, popular, and utterly void of nutritional value. :P  Yet, this is one of the comfort foods that I dream of often.

There are various ways to make 油条, in a home setting, we don't need those extra stuff to make it extra fluffy (less dough, more volume, hence more profit), so it can be made easily with a process similar to doughnuts, the difference is that the dough is plain without any fat or sugar.


AP flour, 258g

milk, 180g+15g

starter (55%), 65g

salt, 5g

instant yeast, 6g

baking soda, 1/4tsp

1. Mix flour, starter, 180g of milk, autolyse 30min. Add salt and yeast, mix until smooth and pass windowpane.

2. Let rise until double, about one hour. Mix baking soda with 15g ofmilk, knead into the dough. Cover and fridge.

3. Next morning, roll out dough into rectangle, let rise for 40min

4. cut into 1.5inch wide stripes

Lay one stripe on top of another, use chopstick to press an indentation in the middle

Stretch them longer (no longer than the size of your pot though)

5. 375F hot oil, deep fry until golden, flip as necessary.

They are the most delicious fresh. There are many way of eating them. My family used to dip them in "salted fermentated tofu"(sounds strange? very yummy!). A popular way is to eat them with (or soaked in) warm sweet soy milk. In fact they are good with most dipping and sauces.

A popular street food combo is to wrap it with an egg crepe, finished with sweet sauce. Yum, just like my memory from Shanghai.

The leftover can even be cooked into dishes. I stirfried some with Chinese squash and meatballs.


I am very happy about this challenge. This is my first time to deep fry anything, I got to eat fresh doughnuts, AND relive some of my favorite food memories from Shanghai.



wassisname's picture

As hungry as I am right now I should have known better than to logon, but this... Wow!  It's not enough that your making deep-fried breadsticks, but then you go and wrap them with the egg crepe and give them a sauce!?!?  I've never had anything like it but I swear I can taste it.  Brilliant!  If it wasn't pizza night tonight I would be making this for dinner.


txfarmer's picture

Maybe throw some pizza topping with the crepe wrap, I bet that would be delicious!

arlo's picture

Oh gosh! Another post from you making me want to lick the computer screen. Eek!

Always with the amazing bakes and more!

Thank you for sharing : D

txfarmer's picture

Thanks! :)

LeeYong's picture

OMG! These are just too good to be true!!!! Thank you for posting the chinese doughnuts... brings back so many fond memories I have when I was young... my mom or dad would get them from Chinatown, NYC... and we would eat them along with rice poddridge... oh so GOOOOOOOD!!!

I need to make these!

wonderful job!

Happy baking! LeeYong

txfarmer's picture

Yeah,  I think it's common in Canton, and other southern parts of China to have it with congee (porridge), I liked it too!

SylviaH's picture

What a Gorgeous bake, everything looks so fantastic!  Maple glazed doughnuts is always a big hit.  Your doughnuts look mouthwatering and with the pumpkin, caramel glaze,ADDED: I meant maple, but caramel would be good too! perfect!  Oh my, do you deep fry them in peanut oil? 

Doughnuts are a real weakness around here, Mike absolutely loves them and I do too, so I just have to refuse to make them, we would hurt ourselves.  So what does he do...when we pass by this very popular mexican doughnut shop...he has to get some....I usually get a coconut one..they are hugh. 

One of these days, I'll give in and almost did the other day, I was looking at the DBC site and all the doughnut photos...and now your's sooo tempting.  I bet they are so fun to make, I love your shaping of the long twisted ones. 

What a delicious looking egg crepe stir fry.  I've never had one, looks like it would be fast and not to difficult for a great tasting meal.  Would you share your recipe for the egg crepe, looks wonderful and extra eggy, what a tasty way to eat the stir fry? 

OK, I've been out most the day, Mike's eating at work, it's after 6pm and I have not had a thing to eat all day : ) not even toast.  I may whip up a stir fry crepe :)


txfarmer's picture

The crepe is NOT stirfried, just the "chinese doughnut" is in the stirfry. As for the crepe itself, I don't have an exact recipe, just copy what I saw from the street venders. A very runny batter (just flour + water), pour into a hot pan, when it's almost set, crack an egg on top, add some diced green onion, use chopsticks to break the yolk a bit. When the egg is semi-set, flip, so the egg is on the OUTSIDE. Put the "chinese doughnut" in the middle, add sauce and other condiments, wrap, eat.

SylviaH's picture

Now I understand the addition of the sweet sauce, my misunderstanding!  I was so hungry last night, I made a super thin egg crepe and put in some of my garlic,eggplant and peppers, I already had saute'd, was delicious, tasted like an omlet!  I'll give your crepe version a go...sounds good either with the donut or veggies.


dmsnyder's picture

I've only had the Chinese doughnuts for dipping in congee (called something like "chuk" in Shangainese, I think). I didn't know they were so versatile.


txfarmer's picture

Yeah, it's common in Canton, Hongkong, and southern parts of China to have this with congee, not in Shanghai though. I only saw this way of eating when I moved to Canada, and went to dim sum restaurants (dim sum is also a Hongkong/Canton specialty). Delicious all the same!

LindyD's picture

The doughnuts look great, but the Asian twists even better!

Got to try that one - hopefully this will be the last weekend cleaning up the leaves and garden, stashing away the toys of summer, and getting the place shipshape for the soon to come onslaught of winter.  Then I can do some serious baking.

What type of oil did you use, txfarmer?

txfarmer's picture

I just used generic vegetable oil, since that's what I had on hand. I bet penut oil would be even better.

MadAboutB8's picture

Great looking donuts. They all look so delish.

Thank you for the chinese donut recipe too. I feel nostalgic looking at .them. They were my favorite as a kid. I loved dipping them (more like smothering actually) in condense milk...umm, the oily and sugarly milky goodness. It's hard to find the fresh chinese donuts in Australia. All I can find is an old, rancid ones in chinese restaurant. Now, I can have my own fresh ones if I want to. Thanks for that, txfarmer


txfarmer's picture

Soaked in condense milk! What a decadent but delicious idea! Woah, now I must try it!

SylviaH's picture

You are killing me.  I thought I was the only one with such a sweet tooth.  If you heat up condensed milk, it becomes caramel...yummm!


MadAboutB8's picture

That's more donuts...I can just take a couple spoonful of caramel on it own!


ananda's picture

Hi tx farmer,

This is what our UK supermarkets pass off for what you have made here: and they call them "yum yums"!!!   How sad!

Your work is fantastic; I just so wish that food manufacturers would waken up to the possible.   We all deserve better really

Thank you for posting consistently great baking in all dimensions



AdelK's picture

Finally. A recipe for Yiu Tiao. May I ask at what stage should the starter be incorporated into the dough? There doesn't seem to be any mentioning of the starter in the instructions. Also could I leave the starter out as well considering I haven't got a 55% starter?

I hope to hear from you soon!

txfarmer's picture

Fixed to add starter info. if you don't use starter, you need to replace it with same amount of water/flour to make up for the missing ingredients. 

AdelK's picture

I'm going to give this recipe a go next week. Can't wait!