Sourdough Doughnuts Recipe

Sourdough Doughnuts

The Spruce Eats / Morgan Baker

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Fermentation: 9 hrs 30 mins
Total: 10 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 15 servings
Yield: 15 doughnuts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
232 Calories
7g Fat
36g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15
Amount per serving
Calories 232
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 73mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you’re looking for a new challenge in sourdough baking, doughnuts are a great option. You’ll need an active sourdough starter for this recipe so be sure you’ve fed your starter well before you begin.

This is also a customizable recipe where time is concerned. You can do it all in one day, or you can store your dough in the fridge before or after you roll it out. Remember putting the dough in the fridge at any stage slows the fermentation process, but it also intensifies the sour flavor. You can manipulate this recipe to fit your needs where time and flavor are concerned. You can glaze these doughnuts with a simple mixture of powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract or you can roll them in cinnamon sugar fresh from the frying pan. 

In this recipe, you’ll see the term autolyse. This is just a word for the gentle mixing of flour and water followed by a resting time. This allows the two ingredients to become one and yields a much better result.


  • 1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons, room temperature, divided

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting

  • 2 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for dusting

  • 200 grams active sourdough starter

  • 1/4 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, fine white bakers sugar is best

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

  • Glaze of your choice or cinnamon sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Sourdough Doughnut ingredients

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  2. In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of warm water, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup bread flour, and the active starter until well incorporated. The mixture will be dry and you may need to remove it from the bowl and use your hands to mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and form a dough ball. Cover and allow to autolyse (rest) for 1 hour. 

    Ingredients in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  3. Heat the milk, butter, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to 85 F.

  4. Transfer the flour mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.

  5. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mixture.

    Butter mixture in a glass measuring cup next to dough

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  6. Add the eggs one at a time. Slowly add the remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup bread flour.

  7. Once incorporated, raise the speed to medium-high and knead until the dough comes together fully, about 8 minutes. Scrape the excess dough from the dough hook and knead on a clean surface until the dough is only slightly sticky. You may need to add more flour, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.

  8. Once the dough is only slightly sticky and smooth, transfer to a clean and greased bowl and allow the dough to rest, covered for 30 minutes.

  9. Add the salt and remaining 2 tablespoons of water, then mix on medium speed with the dough hook for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is soft.

  10. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and continue to knead, adding more flour when necessary, until the dough is smooth.

  11. Form into a ball and let it rest in a greased bowl, covered, for about 5 hours. The dough should increase in size dramatically, about double. At this point, you can continue to the next step or cover the dough with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and place in the fridge overnight.

    Dough risen in a bowl

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  12. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. 

  13. Cut out the doughnuts using round cookie cutters or a doughnut cutter and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between to allow for rising. Re-roll any remaining dough and repeat until you’ve cut all of the dough into donuts.

  14. Cover with damp kitchen towels and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffed and the dough springs back when touched, about 3 hours. At this point, you can continue to the next step or cover the doughnuts with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and place in the fridge overnight.

    Sourdough Doughnuts cut out on a baking shet

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  15. When the doughnuts are ready to be fried, heat about 2 inches of oil in a large cast-iron pan or Dutch oven until it reaches 360 F on a thermometer.

    Sourdough Doughnuts

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  16. Once the oil is hot, fry them in batches of 3 or 4 until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side and about 30 seconds per side on the donut holes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

    Plain Sourdough Doughnuts

    The Spruce Eats / Morgan Baker

  17. Let the donuts cool slightly, then dip both sides in a hot glaze or toss in cinnamon sugar and transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

    Glazed Sourdough Doughnuts

    The Spruce Eats / Morgan Baker