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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: Unbelievably soft, chewy, and warm Marple Bar Donuts made right at home are easier than you think — and even better than what you’d pick up from your favorite donut shop!
Have you ever made it to your favorite donut shop to receive a batch hot, fresh, and straight out of the fryer? It’s life altering. It’s what donuts are meant to be. I want that big comforting hug in the form of a donut every time I eat one — so I thought I’d start making my own with my homemade Maple Bar Donuts recipe! And if you want more bread and dough recipes, don’t miss my new cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day!
Maple Bars from scratch are a surprisingly simple treat to make at home. The dough comes out softer than air but still delightfully chewy, and the thick maple glaze has a slight crunch when you bite into it. And you don’t have to wait around for the chain donut stores to roll out their seasonal offerings to have one.
Don’t let cooking with frying oil intimidate you — it’s a beyond easy skill to master! But, if you prefer, I also have recipes for baked donuts!
Tips For Frying Donuts
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks when frying donuts, and you don’t need a fancy deep fryer.
- First, always be sure you are doing things safely! I suggest using a deep pot with high sides, which you fill with only a few inches of oil. You don’t want a pot so filled or short that you risk having the oil overflow.
- Keep a tight, well-fitting lid close. I always keep a lid that fits my pot nearby when frying, no matter what I’m cooking. If oil catches fire, never use water to attempt to put it out. Simply smother the flame from oxygen by putting the lid on your pot and waiting.
- Use a slotted metal spoon, kitchen spider, or tongs. If you’re afraid of dropping your donut dough into the oil, lower it in with a kitchen spider or spoon. These tools ensure your hands aren’t close to the oil. They’re also great for getting your donuts out of the oil and letting them drain some oil before moving them to your resting baking sheet.
- Never, ever, leave your hot oil unattended. Oil gets hot and can overheat quickly.
- Use a thermometer! Kitchen thermometers are fairly cheap and a tool I use all the time in my cooking and baking. Buy a candy thermometer with a clip on the side so you can keep it in your pan at all times to measure the heat of your oil.
- Don’t overfill your pot. Anything you are cooking needs space to cook, and adding raw ingredients to hot oil lowers the oil’s heat. If the oil isn’t hot enough, your donut dough will absorb the oil and give you a greasy, dense donut.
What Is The Best Oil For Frying Donuts?
The best oil for frying is always an oil with a high smoke point. Every oil has a temperature where it starts to smoke and burn and, inevitably, ruins your food and sets your fire alarm off. This is called a smoke point or burning point.
Since you need to cook your oil at a high temperature, you can’t use oils with low smoke points. Olive oil, for example, will smoke way before it gets to the point of properly cooking donuts.
I found that the best oils to fry donuts are vegetable oil and peanut oil. They are relatively cheap and have high smoke points. On top of that, they’re both neutral oil, so your donuts won’t end up tasting like something that is not a donut.
Tools You Need To Make Maple Bars
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Stand mixer or whisk
- Mixing bowls
- Baking sheets
- Wire rack
- Heavy-bottomed saucepan
- Candy Thermometer
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Homemade Maple Bars
- You can use all-purpose flour in place of the bread flour. The donuts will be slightly less chewy but still delicious.
- Oil for frying gets HOT! Never walk away from a pot of heating oil; if you are a child, please get an adult’s help to fry.
- When frying, use a thermometer and keep adjusting the temperature to keep it around 350°C (180°F) to properly (and safely) cook the donuts.
- These donuts are large, so it’s best to fry one at a time.
- To make filled donuts, fill a piping bag fitted with a small, round tip with Pastry Cream. Poke the tip through the bottom of each donut in 3 places, squeeze in some cream, and glaze after filling.
Maple Bar Donuts
For the Doughnut Dough
- I cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) lukewarm water
- ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) butter, softened
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3½ cups (17½ oz/497 g) bread flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- oil, for frying
For the Thick Maple Glaze
- 2 cups (8 oz/230 g) powdered sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon maple extract
To Make the Donuts
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large mixing bowl with a whisk), combine the water, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, yeast, salt, and vanilla extract on medium-low speed until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then gradually add to the yeast mixture until the dough is blended and pulling away from the sides of the bowl but still quite soft and sticky. Add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. (If blending by hand, use a wooden spoon until the dough becomes too thick, then switch to your hands. Knead for 10 minutes.)
- Continue to knead on medium-low speed for 5 minutes, then transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gently roll out to a 10x12-inch (25½x30½ -cm) rectangle. Trim any rounded edges if you wish, then cut the rectangle in half so you have two 5x12-inch (12½x30½-cm) strips. Cut each strip into 6 bars.
- Place the doughnuts on 2 floured, parchment-lined baking sheets and cover with another baking sheet to keep them from drying out. (You can also use plastic wrap or a tea towel, but this dough is quite soft and may get stuck to whatever is touching it.)
- Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
To Fry the Donuts
- Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and place near the stove. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 inches (5 cm) oil, then clip in a candy thermometer and turn the heat to medium until the temperature reaches 350°F (180°C).
- Fry the donuts, one at a time, for about 1 minute on each side, until golden. Let drain on the wire rack until completely cool.
To Make the Thick Maple Glaze
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, butter, and maple extract until smooth.
- Dip the top half of each maple bar into the glaze, letting the excess drip back into the bowl before returning it to the wire rack to set.
- Serve just after the glaze sets. These doughnuts are best just after they are made, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.