You’ve heard of canned biscuit donuts, right? (like these)
Well, that’s basically what I did here. Except I actually made the biscuit dough myself using Bisquick baking mix. I usually have the baking mix on hand more often than I do canned biscuits, and so I was curious if frying up “my own” fresh biscuit dough would yield the same fluffy, buttery donuts that canned biscuit dough makes…
Turns out, they’re just as good! And maybe even a little better since you can use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes with your biscuit dough before frying (like these cute Valentine’s Day Hearts).
Speaking of frying….. let’s talk about that for a minute.
I’ve noticed a lot of my readers shy away from frying donuts, because they think it’s going to be difficult or really messy. But the truth is: it doesn’t have to be either one of those! I made this entire batch today without getting a single oil splatter on my stove (although, admittedly, that’s not always the case), without dripping any oil from the stove to the drying rack, without burning the oil, and without under-frying the donuts. It’s totally do-able.
Here are a few key tips in successfully frying donuts without a disaster:
- I like to use a 2-quart saucepan to about 3 cups of oil. I find that I can fry about 2 donuts at a time like this. The handle makes managing drips a cinch (you can simply lift the whole pan and carry it over to the wire rack where the donuts will cool), and the oil level is low enough that it doesn’t splatter outside the pan.
- Heat the oil on medium for about 5 minutes, and then start water drop testing (splatter cold water drops in the oil; if the oil bubbles and spats, it’s hot enough. If it doesn’t react, it needs more heat time). When the water drop test starts to yield slow bubbles, I turn the heat up just a notch (my medium heat is at a ‘5,’ and I’ll move it up to a ‘6’). It usually only takes about a minute after that.
- Use tongs to flip the donuts and remove them from the pan. Using a fork or spoon is just going to make things messy. And you’ll probably burn yourself.
- Removing the pot from the stove while removing the donuts to the wire rack is actually more than just preventing oil drips– it helps manage the oil temperature too. By taking it off the heat for a moment or two in between rounds of frying, you keep the oil from getting too hot and burning the donuts.
- If the donuts don’t float to the top immediately after placing them in the oil, your donuts are not hot enough and will get too oily from sitting in the oil before actually starting to fry.
- Place a layer of foil AND paper towels under the wire rack. The paper towels are perfect for absorbing the oil drips, and the foil will keep the glaze from dripping onto your counter top (and seeping through the paper towel).
These really are SO simple to make. It’s all the goodness of homemade, fresh donuts but without having to make the dough and wait for it to rise!
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart Baking Mix
- 1/2 cup low fat milk
- Chocolate ganache, canned frosting, or a powdered sugar glaze for coating and topping
Pour the oil into a 2-quart saucepan and turn on medium heat.
Meanwhile, mix together the Bisquick baking mix and the milk to form a soft dough. Use floured hands to gently press the dough flat onto a non-stick surface (about 1/4" thick). Cut out the dough using a 3-4" cookie or biscuit cutter.
Test the oil (see the post above for detailed instructions) with water drops to see if it's hot enough.
Add to pieces of dough at a time to the pot. Watch the underside of the donuts; once they have turned golden brown, use tongs to flip and fry the other side. Remove when both sides are a deep golden brown (about a minute on each side).
Remove the donuts to a wire rack so the excess oil can drip and donuts can cool. Repeat until all dough has been used.
Glaze with a powdered sugar glaze and frost with homemade chocolate ganache or even melted canned frosting.