For the Donut Holes:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 cups vegetable oil
For the Sugar Coating:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons melted butter until just combined.
- Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla pod open lengthwise and scrape seeds into the milk/sugar/butter mixture. Whisk until vanilla beans are thoroughly incorporated into the mixture.
- Combine the small bowl of dry ingredients with the medium bowl of wet ingredients, using a rubber spatula to stir in the dry ingredients and mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, or you will get dense donut holes and I will cry for you. The texture of the dough should be sticky.
- Preheat 2 cups of oil over medium heat in a 10 inch pan (I used an iron skillet).
- Once the oil has reached 350 (F), measure out 1 tablespoon of dough using a 1-tablespoon sized cookie scoop. The cookie scoop should by default make a round shape, so there's no need to roll the dough into balls unless you want perfect looking donuts. I didn't do any rolling and mine turned out okay :-)
- Drop the dough into the pan of oil. Fry until golden brown on bottom then flip and cook on the reverse side until golden brown.
- When the donut hole is finished frying, carefully remove with metal tongs or a fork and place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- When the donut hole has cooled down enough so that it doesn't burn you when you pick it up, roll in a small bowl filled with 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
- Repeat this proces with remaining dough. You can cook more than one donut hole at a time. I was able to cook six in one go.