Here’s my copycat recipe for the popular Pon de Ring Donut from Mr. Donut in Japan! They are soft, airy, bouncy, and chewy all at the same time! The mochi-like texture is unique and different from traditional donuts. Enjoy them with either a classic or matcha glaze.
Author: Namiko Chen
2large eggs (50 g each w/o shell)
1cupwhole milk(heat to 110ºF or 43ºC--slightly warmer than body temperature; use whole milk for the best results; I do not recommend low-fat or skim milk)
2½cupstapioca flour(2½ cups + 2½ Tbsp for 24 donuts, to be precise; I strongly encourage you to use a kitchen scale; if you're using a measuring cup, please follow this method to measure; otherwise, the amount of flour tends to be more than you need; 1 cup should weigh 120 g)
1¼cupsall-purpose flour (plain flour)(1¼ cups + 1 Tbsp for 24 donuts, to be precise; I strongly encourage you to use a kitchen scale; if you're using a measuring cup, please follow this method to measure; otherwise, the amount of flour tends to be more than you need; 1 cup should weigh 120 g)
½tspkosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
4cupssafflower oil(for deep-frying; see Notes for the amount of oil to use)
Gather all the ingredients and measure everything ahead of time. I strongly encourage you to use a kitchen scale to measure my flours. Prepare one square of parchment paper for each donut you're making. Each square should measure 4 inches x 4 inches (10 x 10 cm). For this recipe, I DO NOT double/triple the recipe. Make in batches, if needed.
Melt the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove and let it cool slightly. Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat them with a whisk. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), combine the whole milk (110ºF or 43ºC--slightly warmer than body temperature) and instant yeast. Then, take ½ tsp sugar from the sugar you measured earlier for every 24 donuts you're making and add it to the milk and yeast. Whisk the mixture well. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. Note: If you wonder why I hydrated the instant yeast (even though it’s not active dry yeast), please read the post.
Prepare a large mixing bowl and sift the tapioca flour and all-purpose flour through a fine-mesh sieve. Whisk to combine.
Set the stand mixer with a flat beater attachment. Add the rest of the sugar and beaten egg to the milk mixture.
Add the melted butter and vanilla.
Beat on low speed (Speed 2 on my KitchenAid Professional HD stand mixer) for 1 minute until combined (or, stir with a wooden spoon).
Add roughly 2 cups of the flour mixture and beat on low speed (Speed 2) until well combined.
With the stand mixer running on low speed (Speed 2), add the salt and the remaining flour mixture one scoop at a time. Set aside the mixing bowl that the flour mixture was in for the next step (you'll put the dough in it). Meanwhile, you'll notice that the dough mixture has thickened.
To Knead the Dough
Now, increase to medium-high speed (Speed 6) and knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Note that this is a sticky dough, so do not add additional flour. Tip: Kneading develops the structure of the dough by folding and stretching the strands of gluten. Hand Kneading: Because of the wet nature of this dough, it’s hard to knead the dough by hand. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of flour if it’s too wet to handle, but do not add any more flour than that. Knead by hand for 5-6 minutes.
While the dough is kneading in the mixer, add a little oil to the large mixing bowl that held the flour mixture and grease it with a paper towel.
Stop the mixer after 3 or 4 minutes or when the dough is smooth. The dough should be sticky and stretchy when you remove the flat beater from the mixer.
To Proof the Dough
Using a dough scraper, scrape down the dough from the sides of the stand mixer bowl. Collect the dough into one big mass, then gently scrape it into the greased bowl. The key here is to make sure the surface of the dough is mostly smooth (so that it will rise well). Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a clean shower cap) and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 70-80 minutes. I use the Proof setting of my oven at 100ºF (38ºC). I place a bowl of warm/hot water inside the oven, but away from the dough, to keep the oven environment moist. Tip: Make sure the proof temperature is not too high. If the dough gets too warm, it will ferment too quickly (or overferment) and impair the flavor.
After 70-80 minutes, pour the oil into the Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot (see Notes for the amount of oil to use). If you have a thermometer, set it up. I used ThermoWork’s ChefAlarm. A clip attaches the probe to the side of the Dutch oven, holding it securely in place and keeping it from flopping around. Set the alarm on your thermometer to a low of 325ºF (168ºC) and a high of 350ºF (177ºC).
In a medium bowl, combine all the glaze ingredients except for the matcha powder. Whisk it really well to make sure there are no lumps of confectioners’ sugar. Keep the matcha powder to the side for now.
The image below shows that the dough has doubled in size after 75 minutes of proofing.
To Shape the Dough Balls
Prepare 1-2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour and put it at the corner of your work surface. Lightly flour the work surface and your hands.
Using the dough scraper, remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to the lightly floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and press the dough down with your hands to release any air bubbles.
Use the dough scraper to form the dough into a rough log shape. Cut the log into two equal pieces.
Set one piece of dough on your work surface. Shape the other piece into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Cut the piece on your work surface into quarters and roll them into balls. Work with one dough ball at a time, and keep the other balls under plastic wrap so they don't dry out.
Each dough ball will make roughly 3 Pon de Ring donuts. Using the dough scraper, cut the first dough ball into 24 small balls. Each ball size should be ½ to ¾ inch (1.5 cm) in diameter. If you have a digital kitchen scale, each ball should weigh 5 grams.
Roll each small dough ball between your hands, but try not to spend too much time. Overkneaded dough often results in a hard crust and a dense, dry interior. Since the dough is very sticky, the dough scraper is very helpful for picking up each piece of dough.
To Form the Donuts
Now, form the donuts. Use one square of parchment paper to hold each donut. Using the dough scraper, transfer one ball at a time to the parchment square, forming a ring as you go. You will need 8 balls to make a Pon de Ring shape.
The total weight of the Pon de Ring should be roughly 40 grams (8 balls at 5 g each).
Continue with the rest of the dough.
To make sure the balls won’t separate in the hot oil, use a pastry brush to dab water on the dough where each ball attaches to the neighboring one (make sure they are connected). Cover the donuts with a damp paper towel or light cloth (make sure it’s not heavy) and allow them to rest for 15-20 minutes. Continue with the rest of the dough. If you are taking a very long time, it’s very helpful to work with a partner or keep the donuts in the refrigerator to slow down the proofing so the dough doesn't overproof.
When you’re finishing up with the last batch of dough, start heating the oil in the Dutch oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line one baking sheet with a paper towel. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper and put a wire rack on top.
Pick up one parchment square with a donut ring on top. Using your hand or fine-mesh skimmer (the kind that has a flat mesh), carefully place the donut with the parchment paper into the hot oil.
Let go of the donut and paper and set the timer for 1 minute 15 seconds for the first side. Tip: Only add enough donuts for a 5-10 degree drop in temperature. I only add 2 donuts per batch. If the oil cools down too much, the donuts won’t fry properly.
When the timer beeps, flip the donuts quickly using chopsticks or tongs. Fry the second side for 45 seconds; set a timer. Using tongs or chopsticks, carefully remove the parchment square from the donut and discard.
When the 45-second timer beeps, scoop up the donuts with the skimmer or tongs and drain the oil well. Then, transfer to the paper towel to drain any additional oil. Repeat with the remaining donuts, then turn off the heat.
While the donuts are still hot, dip each one into the glaze, making sure to coat both sides well.
Place the glazed donuts onto the prepared rack to allow the excess glaze to drip down. The glaze will set and harden on the donuts after 30 minutes.
After making 12 glazed donuts, you can add the matcha to the leftover glaze. Whisk really well to combine.
Dip each donut into the matcha glaze, making sure to coat well. Place them onto the rack to allow the excess glaze to drip down. The glaze will set and harden on the donuts after 30 minutes.
Just like any other deep-fried food, it’s best to eat the donuts while they are warm. Enjoy!
Enjoy the donuts on the same day you made them. You can keep them at room temperature for a day in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before eating.
Oil: Avoid using vegetable oil (read my post). Please adjust the amount of the oil based on how wide and tall your pot is. My Dutch oven is 3.5 QT and I used 1 QT (1000 ml, 4 cups) of safflower oil. The Dutch oven is heavy and thick, and it conducts and retains heat very efficiently. The high sides also help prevent splatters during frying. What to do with leftover oil? Please read this post.
Helpful Tools: Stand mixer, dough scraper/pastry card, kitchen scale, thermometer, Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Please read the post.