You guys. I can’t believe this recipe is ready to post finally! I’ve been trying to work out a great yeast doughnut recipe for years, and I think I must have tried at least 15 recipes, no joke. The combination of a yeast dough and the method of frying has always proven too complicated here at altitude. Today is the day though!

High-Altitude Donuts

How to Make High-Altitude Donuts

So I’ve got tips and the method for you today, plus signs to look for as you go along to make sure you’re doing it right. First though, I will say, this is a recipe best done in a stand mixer. I believe you can do it by hand, but it’s quite a lot of kneading even in the mixer, so it’d be a ton of work!

Best High-Altitude Donuts

So, into the dough. It’s a brioche dough, so it has milk and butter, which enrich the dough and give it that yellow color. Figuring out this recipe has also revealed some things for me about making bread doughs, namely that I’m not spending enough time kneading the dough to develop the gluten.

Perfect High-Altitude Donuts

In a stand mixer, this dough kneads for about 20 whole minutes all said, which is a lot longer than I’m used to. But what you’re looking for in the end is to have a dough that is stretchy enough to create a thin window that you can almost see through without the dough tearing. This is really important for the texture of the dough!

High-Altitude Donuts | Raised Donuts

Here’s what the dough should look like right when you get started kneading:

How to Make High-Altitude Donuts

Once it looks like this, you can start adding the butter in:

High-Altitude Donuts Dough

When you’re adding in the butter, it takes some time. Here’s what it looks like:

Easy High-Altitude Donuts

And finally, here’s what it looks like when you’re done kneading!

Fluffy High-Altitude Donuts

And just a couple photos so you can see what it looks like when you start frying!

Raised High-Altitude Donuts
High-Altitude Donuts

Alright guys, those are my tips. Top these babies however you’d like- I chose a cinnamon and sugar mixture as well as a simple chocolate icing. You could also do a maple icing, vanilla icing, sprinkles, a whole doughnut glaze, whatever sounds best! Enjoy!

Tips For Making Perfect High-Altitude Donuts

Here are my tips on the dough:

  • Be sure that your yeast is properly activated. I do this by blooming the yeast as the first step in this recipe- this way you know it’s active and properly bloomed before you get too far into the recipe.
  • Be generous with your kneading time– and use the window pane test seriously. If you’re dough is breaking before you can stretch it into a pane-like section, you haven’t kneaded it enough. Seriously.
  • Keep everything warm. This helps to activate the yeast and keep it warm throughout. Take the bowl of your stand mixer and run it under hot water on the outside to warm the bowl before you use it. And make sure all your other ingredients are actually at room temp!
  • Keep a close eye on your dough as it rises. You don’t want to let the dough go too far- it should about double in size. For me this only takes about 30 minutes, but it may take a little more or less time for you!
  • On the second rise, use the spring test to make sure they are ready to fry. If you touch the dough with your finger, it should spring most of the way back right away. Then you’re ready to go! This takes about 10-15 minutes for me, about enough time to heat up your oil.
  • Keep that oil at 350-375 degrees. Use a candy or frying thermometer clipped to the side of your pan. The oil temp makes a big difference in how they cook up.
  • When you start to fry, if the doughnuts have properly risen, they will sit up on the oil- with slightly more than half above the oil. This is what creates that pale line in the middle when the doughnuts are finished that you see in the stores.
  • I’m at about 5,000 ft above sea-level, and I find that most people who live between 3,000-7,000 ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes.
Glazed High-Altitude Donuts
1 from 1 vote

High-Altitude Yeast Doughnuts


  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbs water
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3/4- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 4-5 cups vegetable oil


  1. In a small bowl, heat the milk and water to 115 degrees. Mix in the sugar and yeast, and set aside to bloom. If the yeast is active, the mixture will become foamy.

  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs and the yeast mixture together with a fork until just combined. Add in the bread flour, and 3/4 cup all purpose flour, and the salt. 

  3. Mix this together until a very sticky dough forms- it will still be sticking to the sides, but should be very thick. See photos above. Add more flour if the mixture is too wet- but not so much that it completely pulls away from the sides. 

  4. Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low-medium speed for about 5-10 minutes, or until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. 

  5. Add in the butter one tablespoon at a time, letting it knead into the dough before each addition. This process can take a while, and you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl some to ensure that the butter gets incorporated. 

  6. Return the speed to medium, and let the dough need for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the window pane test works. Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it is about double in size. For me this takes about 30 minutes, but pay attention to the size most of all.

  7. Once risen, scrape the dough onto a floured surface. It will still be fairly sticky at this point, so be generous with the flour. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into your desired shapes.

  8. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper, and a third sheet pan with several layers of paper towels. Place your cut doughnuts onto the parchment lined sheets, and cover with plastic. Let them rise for about 10-15 minutes, or until they spring back when touched. 

  9. Meanwhile, in a deep pot, heat about 4 cups of canola or vegetable oil to 350-375 degrees. 

  10. Fry the doughnuts for about 1 minute on each side, or until they become a deep golden brown. Remove from the oil and place onto the paper towel lined sheet pan to drain. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts- you only want to fry about 3 at a time. Coat in any icing or sugar mixture you prefer! 


  1. Katie Watts

    August 23, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I am SO excited to try this recipe! Thanks Nicole!

    • Dough-Eyed

      August 24, 2019 at 10:02 pm

      Yay!! Let me know how it goes!!

  2. Becca in the Mountains

    August 21, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Hi There!I'm at 7,000 feet elevation and can't wait to try this today. A few questions- can I use instant yeast? Also, can i use all purpose flour only or is bread flour required?

    Can't wait!

    • Dough-Eyed

      August 21, 2020 at 6:02 pm

      Hi there! You can use instant yeast, but it may rise faster, so you really want to keep an eye on the rise of the dough- don't let it go for too long! You can use all purpose flour, but it may be a little less chewy in the end. You may want to just knead it for a bit longer to try to get that extra gluten development though. They should still be wonderful!


        August 21, 2020 at 11:42 pm

        Thanks! Also, should the butter be softened or melted? It's not specified. Thank you!

        • Dough-Eyed

          August 22, 2020 at 1:53 am

          Oh thanks! I'll update it- it's softened!

  3. Leadville, CO

    December 6, 2021 at 7:15 am

    Im above 10,000 feet. I just make sure to see through dough and the strength of dough? Do i knead longer?

    • Dough-Eyed

      December 7, 2021 at 10:07 pm

      Hi there- I'm not sure exactly what your question is, but you want to gently stretch the dough to make sure that it can be stretched thin enough for light to pass through. Basically, we're going for a soft but very stretchy dough. I hope that helps!

  4. Jamie

    August 28, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Can this dough be made the night before?

    • Dough-Eyed

      August 30, 2022 at 9:29 am

      Hi there! Yes, you'll want to chill it during each phase of rising, and the rising process will take longer. I would say you don't want to let this dough rest in the fridge for more than 12 hours! Thanks!

  5. Kat

    December 17, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    1 star
    Mine stayed moist and did not rise. 🥹

  6. Blanca

    December 23, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Look awesome!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Never Miss a recipe