Making donuts at home can be a lot of fun. While buying donuts from a local bakery can help to satiate a craving for sweets, it can be even more satisfying to make your own.
Sadly, some people find making homemade donuts to be a bit tricky. Once you get things down, you should be able to get good results, though.
Are you having an issue where the donuts come out too hard? This is going to be frustrating, but you’ll need to figure out what went wrong so you can remedy things.
Continue reading to learn about why this sometimes happens, so you can prevent it from happening the next time you make them.
1 – Handling the Dough Too Much
Handling the dough too much is the most common reason why homemade donuts turn out hard. You might have kneaded the door or otherwise messed with it more than you should have.
One of the most important aspects of getting the dough to turn out right is keeping the air in it. When you handle the dough more than you’re supposed to, it makes it lose the airy texture that you need.
You’ll be left with dough that isn’t anywhere near as soft as you want it to be. The donuts might turn out quite hard if you’ve handled the dough too much.
Only handle the dough as much as necessary. So long as you don’t go overboard, you shouldn’t encounter problems such as this.
2 – Frying at a Low Temperature
Frying the donuts at a low temperature can lead to poor results, too. You might not know this, but you must fry donuts at a high enough temperature or they will turn out too tough.
No one wants to eat donuts that are tough and hard. Therefore, it’s imperative to fry them at an appropriate temperature so that you can get the right results.
Monitoring the temperature of the oil is an important part of the process. You’ll have to adjust the heat to ensure that the oil stays between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’d actually be best to add the donuts to oil that is slightly too hot since the addition of the dough will naturally bring the temperature down slightly. You never want to fry them in oil that is too cool.
3 – Not Continuing to Monitor the Temperature of the Oil
You can’t just start frying the donuts and then stop worrying about the temperature of the oil. The temperature can fluctuate, and this might cause it to get too low.
As mentioned above, you need the oil temperature to stay between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit. If the oil temperature gets too low, you must turn up the heat.
To successfully make homemade donuts in your air fryer, you need to use some type of thermometer. This will give you the ability to constantly assess the temperature of the oil.
When the temperature starts to dip, you’ll be able to take the right steps to keep it hot enough. Failure to monitor the temperature will lead to hard donuts.
Always check the temperature before adding more donuts to the oil. You must be proactive if you wish to get good results.
4 – Not Having a Thermometer
Of course, not having a thermometer is going to make it very hard to make homemade donuts. The temperature of the oil plays such an important role in getting things to turn out right.
Simply put, trying to make donuts without a thermometer would be a poor choice. You’d have no way of knowing if the oil is hot enough to fry the donuts.
Luckily, it’s easy to get the type of thermometer that you need without breaking the bank. You can purchase a deep fryer thermometer or a candy thermometer to get the job done.
Use the thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature and you can expect good things. This will make it much simpler to fry homemade donuts and have them turn out great.
5 – Your Pot Might Be Too Small
Another thing to consider is whether your pot is too small. Trying to fry donuts in a pot that’s undersized can lead to poor results.
When you put the donuts in the pot, oil is going to be displaced. You also have to consider that donuts will expand as they heat up.
It’s important to have a pot that’s large enough to handle what you’re trying to do. Ideally, you should be using one that can hold at least two quarts of oil.
Even if you’re only using one quart of oil, having that extra space as a buffer zone will come in handy. Many choose to use Dutch oven pans for frying donuts since they’re so spacious.
6 – Could the Donuts Be Stale?
It’s also worth mentioning that stale donuts are going to be pretty hard. Just the same as other types of bread and pastries, donuts will get hard if they sit out for too long without being eaten.
If you made the donuts days ago and they’re now hard, they’ve probably started to go stale. You might have simply waited too long to finish them off.
Most people will still eat the donuts so long as they taste good. You can revive them a bit by putting them in the microwave.
Microwaving a stale donut for approximately 15 seconds will make it much softer and easier to eat. This handy trick can help you to finish the last few homemade donuts that you made when they have started to become stale.
Some recommend placing them on a damp paper towel before microwaving them. This might help you to get the best results, but it works fine without using paper towels as well.
If you follow the advice above, it’ll be less likely that your donuts will turn out too hard. You should be able to get soft donuts that will taste just as good as the ones that you buy at the bakery.
Donuts are a great treat that the entire family will love. You just have to take the time to get things right.
Be careful when handling the dough because handling it too much can cause it to become hard. You want to keep the air in the dough so that it will have the soft texture that you desire.
It’s also very important to fry the dough at the right temperature. If you fry the donuts at temperatures lower than 350 degrees Fahrenheit, everything will turn out tough and greasy.
You don’t want that to happen, so be careful and keep an eye on the temperature of the oil so that you can adjust things as necessary.
Go out and purchase a good candy thermometer that will allow you to monitor the oil temperature constantly. Remember that you will have to adjust the temperature during the frying process to keep everything in the right range.
It’s also wise to use a pot that can hold at least two quarts of oil. Using one that’s too small might cause your donuts to turn out wrong since oil is constantly being displaced by the donuts.
If you keep all of these tips in mind, it’ll be easy to enjoy delicious homemade donuts. Share them with friends and family members once they’re done.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.