May 30, 2019


Sometimes one just needs to make doughnuts. I don’t often deep fry foods, but being rather underwhelmed by baked doughnuts on a number of occasions, these fried doughnuts have become an occasional treat in my kitchen.

The oil can be re-used several times, as long as it doesn’t smoke while cooking. I store it in a jar in the pantry for my occasional doughnut sessions. For this recent doughnut episode, I added roasted beetroot to the dough with vibrant results.

I have developed the recipe using my favourite sourdough starter but a small amount (1/2 teaspoon) of dried instant yeast can also be used (variation included with the recipe). I tested the recipe again this last week (I had to double-check the quantities ;-)) with roasted pumpkin and warming spices, and rolled in sugar rather than chocolate-dipped – yum! – I have included this version below.

Enjoy – this is a fun recipe for the long weekend ahead.

Sourdough Beetroot Doughnuts with Chocolate Olive Oil Glaze

This is slow-rise dough, which improves flavour and digestibility. I make the dough after dinner (when I pre-roast the beetroot), leaving to rise at room temperature until bedtime, then place in the fridge to slow-rise until the next day. The doughnuts can be shaped anytime the next day, depending on when you plan to serve them.
Servings 18 small doughnuts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rising Time 10 hours


  • 100 g roasted beetroot flesh - see directions below
  • 1/3 cup (85g) milk
  • 1/3 cup (65g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 425 g high-grade flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 150 g bubbly sourdough starter (fed 6 hours prior)*
  • 80 g soft butter, cut into 1cm cubes
  • Neutral oil such as light olive oil or rice bran oil for frying

Chocolate Glaze

  • 150 g quality dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dried edible rose petals or chopped pistachios to decorate

*Yeast Variation

  • Increase the flour to 500g and add 1/2 teaspoon (2g) active dried yeast (not Surebake) to the dry ingredients, plus 1/4 cup (60g) natural yoghurt to the wet ingredients.


  • To roast the beetroot, place whole beets into a baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes until the flesh is soft. I always roast extra to add to salads and sandwiches.
  • Peel a medium beetroot and weigh out 100g. Puree in a food processor, along with the milk, sugar, egg, and egg yolk.
  • Weigh out the flour and salt into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or knead by hand). Add the beetroot puree and sourdough starter and mix on a low speed until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, about two minutes. Cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes.
  • After this time continue to knead on a low speed while adding cubes of butter, one at a time, until incorporated into the dough, about 10 minutes. Tip the dough into a bowl and cover. Place somewhere warm to bulk ferment (rise) for two hours, then put the bowl into the fridge to slow-rise overnight.
  • The next day, about two hours before you plan to cook the doughnuts, remove the dough from the fridge. Tip on to the bench and roll to a 1cm thickness. Use a 6cm cookie cutter or glass to cut the dough into rounds. To make the holes I used an apple corer. Re-roll and cut the off-cuts.
  • Arrange doughnuts on a tray, cover with a tea towel, and rise for about two hours until doubled in size.
  • Fill a heavy-based frying pan with 4cm oil and heat to around 180 degrees Celsius. If you don't have a thermometer, use a wooden spoon handle to check, once small bubbles gather around the inserted handle, the oil is ready.
  • Fry doughnuts in batches of five to six. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden and puffy. Use a slotted spoon to drain, and move the doughnuts on to a cooling rack.
  • Make the Chocolate Glaze: Melt the chocolate and olive oil together in a small bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat and dip in the top half of each doughnut. Scatter with rose petals or chopped pistachios. Best served just a little warm.


Spiced Pumpkin Doughnuts - replace the beetroot with 100g roasted pumpkin and add 1 teaspoon each of mixed spice and ground ginger to the dry ingredients. Roll in cinnamon spiced sugar.
Author: Nicola Galloway

Join the Conversation

  1. Hi. These look delicious! Could I replace the flour with spelt flour in this recipe?

    1. Hi Rachel, yes you can. I have also made them with spelt flour, you will need to increase the flour content by 30g to account for Spelt being a softer flour. The extra flour will make the dough more managable when rolling and cutting into doughnut shapes.
      Enjoy 🙂

  2. Georgina Morrison says:

    These were so amazing. I made a double batch because I’d over done the beetroot and had half a cup of reduced boysenberries in the fridge that I needed to use. The result was just so delicious. It was our first go at doughnuts and a firm family favourite.

    1. Hi Georgina, this is so great to hear! And what a good idea to add the boysenberries, I can imagine they added a lovely flavour to the doughnuts. Aren’t doughnuts so fun to make? I don’t make them often, but it is always a treat when I do 😉 Maybe try the spiced pumpkin version next, so good!
      Happiest cooking, Nicola

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