Homemade Vegan Donuts

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2 pkgs. Yeast
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
First, “yeast proof” The most important part of the doughnut
4-4 1/2 cups bleached spelt pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp. potato starch
1/4 cup melted vegan margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 24-oz. bottle vegetable oil
Powdered sugar sufficient for dusting
Cinnamon sufficient for dusting

• In a nonreactive (glass or ceramic) bowl, mix the yeast, 1 Tbsp. of the sugar, and the water until dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes.
• In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Set aside.
• In a large glass bowl, mix the remaining sugar, the soy milk, potato starch, vegan margarine, and vanilla extract. Add the yeast mixture and gradually beat in the flour mixture until the mix is stiff but still sticky.
• Cover with a cloth and let sit in an unheated oven for 1 hour.
• Turn out onto a floured surface and knead with 15 to 30 strokes.
• Quickly roll out the dough and cut into donuts. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 15 to 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
• While the dough is rising, heat the oil in a deep pan for 20 minutes. To test the oil’s temperature, drop in a small piece of the dough. The temperature is perfect if the dough rises to the top almost immediately and browns in approximately 1 minute. It’s too hot if the dough burns and too cool if it doesn’t rise.
• Cook the donuts in the oil, flipping after 1 minute, or when browned. When browned on both sides, remove to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
• Dust with the powdered sugar and the cinnamon.

Makes 12 servings

Variations: Create a glaze for the donuts by thinning out your favorite frosting with melted vegan margarine and soy milk or by combining 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 tsp. of vanilla extract or lemon extract and enough soy milk to thin.

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