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Homemade Whole Wheat Donuts

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As I shared in a previous post, when my cousin and his family were here my cousin’s son made donuts for us.  Oh they were good!  He inspired me to give donut-making a try.  However, I wanted to try to make a healthier version that would not only satisfy our love for donuts, but be better for us at the same time.  This recipe is what I came up with…and they were SO good!  I do want to note that I used my own ground hard white wheat flour in this recipe.  Fresh ground wheat flour is different than store-bought flour in that it seems to produce much lighter bread.  I just wanted to warn you that if you use all whole wheat flour from the store, the donuts may be a bit on the heavy side.  If so, just use a combination of whole wheat flour and unbleached white flour.  This should give you a lighter texture for your donuts.

I also used coconut oil to fry the donuts in.  You can use whatever oil you prefer, but I chose coconut oil for its health benefits.  Hint:  Once I was done frying the donuts, I let the oil cool a bit and then poured it into a wide-mouth canning jar to cool.  Once it cooled, I put a lid and rim on it and put it on my shelf to re-use the next time I make donuts!  No wasting the coconut oil!

Enjoy the recipe!


2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons yeast

coconut oil for frying
sugar (Sucanat or organic sugar)
paper lunch sack

1.  In your Bosch or heavy-duty mixer (with dough hook attachment), place the warm water, olive oil, honey, salt, lemon juice, flour, and yeast.  Start the mixer and immediately add in another cup of flour.  Keep adding flour until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl (you want the dough to be a bit sticky).  Knead on Speed 2 for about 7-8 minutes.

2.  Remove dough from mixer and roll out on a greased surface to about 1/2-inch thick.  Cut out donuts and donut holes with a cutter and place on a greased cookie sheet or cutting board.  Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to raise for about an hour.

3.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Once donuts are raised, fry in oil until each side is nicely browned.  You can fry several at the same time, depending on how big your pan is.  Once browned, remove from oil with a fork and place on paper towels on your counter to cool a bit.  Then start the next batch of donuts browning in the oil.

4.  Mix up a batch of cinnamon-sugar (make the sugar as cinnamony as you like it!) and pour it into a paper lunch sack.  While the donuts are still warm, drop them into the bag, close at the top, and shake to coat with sugar.  Remove from the bag and place on a serving plate or tray.

5.  These are best served immediately (but do warm up nicely as left-overs!).

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  1. These are incredible! I never in a million years would have guessed a doughnut so light and fluffy could be whole wheat! I used half hard white wheat and half soft white and that worked fantastic. I ended up using closet to 8 cups of flour too. I made two cookie sheets full of doughnuts and still had plenty leftover so I froze that dough for another weekend. I also made Alton Brown's chocolate doughnut glaze recipe. Thanks for sharing!
    1. Hi Karen, I'm so glad you liked this recipe! This makes a huge batch and most of the time I just make a half batch. That is usually just right for our family of 7. Have a great weekend!
  2. Well, I made these yesterday afternoon. I have wanted to try making homemade donuts for a while, but haven't because they are always so bad for you. These, however, sounded yummy as well as healthier so I gave them a try. They were wonderful! All of my family loved them along with all the friends at the gathering I took them to last night. I will share two things. One was that while they were terrific and tasty and I would totally make them again, they are not exactly the same consistency as a typical store bought donut. There is more chew to these. Sort of like a cross between a donut and a bagel. Secondly, we found out the hard way that you do not want to store them in a ziplock bag. They were a bit soggy or wet today. They still ate them so I guess it wasn't too bad, and perhaps if you heated them up in the toaster oven or something that would help. Don't know. Sheri, how did you all store them, or maybe you didn't have any leftovers. LOL
    1. Hi Karin, So glad you liked the donuts! I don't remember ours being really chewy though...maybe use a little less flour? As far as storing them, they don't keep really well. I put our leftovers in a tupperware with a lid. Make sure they are totally cooled off though. They do tend to get a big soggy, but you can heat them a little before you eat them. That softens them....but they won't ever be as good as fresh ;).
  3. These sound perfect! I can't wait to try them. I have been searching for a healthy donut recipe. I also love your tip about saving the oil in a jar for next time. One question - Is it possible to bake these, rather than fry them?
    1. Hello! You could bake them, but they would be more like a roll. You also could not shake them in the cinnamon sugar, as they would not have the bit of oil on the outside for it to stick to.
  4. Okay, clearly i have some learnin' to do, 'cuz i couldn't get these to stop sticking when we tried to lift them off the cutters and again when i lifted them off the pans they were rising on. Oiled everything, including our hands, followed the recipe, used the mixer.... So, they were a bit, shall we say, unique looking. My, but they sure taste YUMMY!! Oh, and i got tired of fighting the little buggers and made a bunch of donut 'holes' instead, then when i got tired of standing at the stove frying dozens of wily balls, i rolled a bunch of balls in the cinnamon-sugar and tossed them into my bundt pan and we had ourselves some Donut-style Monkey Bread. :) Thanks for sharing - these are so much healthier than the other recipe i have made.... now, if i can just figure out how to make them LOOK like donuts....
    1. Hi Angie, I think you probably just needed to add in a bit more flour. It sounds like your dough was too sticky. I also sprayed my donut cutter with cooking spray so it wouldn't stick as bad. But I think the real problem is that you needed more flour. The dough will be a little sticky, but don't add so much flour that the dough gets really hard. Keep trying...you'll get the hang of how the dough should feel...you'll be glad you did! These are SO good!

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