Pumpkin purée and classic pumpkin pie spices give these doughnuts a soft, comforting texture and taste.
¼ ounce (1 envelope; 7g) dry yeast
¼ cup (60ml) warm water
¼ cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
⅓ cup (80ml) soy milk
2 tablespoons (28g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
1 large egg
½ cup (120g) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3–3¼ cups (375–405g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
canola oil for frying
¼ cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar for dusting
IN A LARGE BOWL, place the yeast, warm water, and one teaspoon of sugar and stir. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until thick.
ADD THE REMAINING SUGAR, brown sugar, soy milk, margarine, egg, pumpkin purée, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and 2 cups (250g) of the flour to the bowl and mix on low speed with either a dough hook in a stand mixer or a wooden spoon. Add another cup (125g) of flour and mix well. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, and mix it in until the dough becomes smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time before adding more flour.
COVER THE DOUGH with a clean dishtowel and let it rise for one hour in a warm place. I use a warming drawer on a low setting, or you can turn your oven on to its lowest setting, wait until it reaches that temperature, place the bowl in the oven, and then turn off the oven.
PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH by folding it over a few times and reshaping it into a ball. Then re-cover the dough and let it rise for 10 minutes.
DUST A COOKIE SHEET with some flour. Sprinkle some flour on your counter or on a piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out until it’s about ½ inch (1.25cm) thick. Use a 2½-inch (6cm) round cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Reroll any scraps. Cover the doughnuts with the towel. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven (warm but turned off) or warming drawer. Let the doughnuts rise for 45 minutes.
HEAT 1½ inches (4cm) of oil in a medium saucepan for a few minutes and use a candy thermometer to see when the temperature stays between 365°F and 375°F (185°C and 190°C); adjust the flame so the oil stays in that temperature range.
COVER A COOKIE SHEET with foil. Place a wire rack on top of it and set it near your stovetop. Gently slide no more than four doughnuts, top side down, into the oil and fry for 1½ minutes. Turn the doughnuts over and cook another 1½ minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, letting excess oil drip off, and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar and serve. Store covered at room temperature for up to one day and reheat to serve.
Reprinted with permission from Holiday Kosher Baker © 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress