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I promise these aren’t bagels!  :)

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!  Every year after Thanksgiving I start thinking about interesting new ways to use leftovers since it’s the one holiday meal that seems to generate a few weeks’ worth of extra food.  There are many delicious ways to remake turkey (turkey croquettes, tortilla soup, musakhan, and quesadillas, to name a few), but sometimes reinventing Thanksgiving side dishes can be more difficult. 

When it comes to using leftover mashed potatoes, there are the usual options, including things like potato chowder, potato croquettes, shepherd’s pie, potato rolls, and any number of egg recipes that involve mashed potatoes (a couple of my favorites are omelets with mashed potatoes, cheddar, and broccoli, and baked eggs with mashed potatoes, cream, and scallion).  This year I was inspired by the idea of potato rolls but I wanted to do something a little different, so I thought the idea of savory doughnuts was perfect.

While these savory doughnuts may look like bagels, they are actually very different in both taste and texture.  (I should mention that while I love these doughnuts, they could never take the place of bagels in my heart…but on the other hand, leftover mashed potatoes have never looked so good!)  Unlike a bagel’s chewy, dense texture, these doughnuts are fluffy and light as air.  The flavors of Manchego and thyme blend very well and make the doughnuts incredibly aromatic as they bake.

Savory Baked Yeast Doughnuts {With Potato, Manchego, & Thyme}

(Yield:  About 17 doughnuts)

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

1/4 c warm water

3/4 c milk

1/2 c mashed potatoes

1 large egg

2 tsp sugar

3/4 tsp fine salt

2 tsp minced fresh thyme

2 oz Manchego cheese, finely shredded (divided)

3-4 c all-purpose flour

Canola oil (for the bowl)

1 egg beaten with 1 TB water (for eggwash)

Oil a large bowl with canola oil and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast and warm water; let sit 5 minutes.  Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it just starts to steam and small bubbles form at the edges; turn off heat and cool slightly.  In a large bowl, stir together mashed potatoes, egg, sugar, salt, and thyme.  Slowly stream milk into mashed potato mixture, stirring to incorporate.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1 1/2 c flour, then 3/4 of the Manchego (reserve the remaining cheese for topping the doughnuts before baking).  Stir in another 1 1/2 c flour; once it gets too hard to stir with the spoon, turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, adding flour as you need from the remaining 1 c (the dough should still be sticky; you shouldn’t need the full 1 c of remaining flour here, save the rest of it to use when you roll out the dough after the first rise).  Knead about 5 minutes, or until you press a finger into the dough and the indentation remains. 

Transfer dough to the oiled bowl, lightly cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1 hour).  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle a little flour on top; roll dough out (or push it out with your fingers) until it’s about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick.  Use a 3-inch ring to cut out your doughnuts, then poke the center of each with a straw; there will be a very small hole – use your fingers to work the hole out so it’s 1/2 to 1-inch in diameter.  Re-roll the scraps and repeat this process until all the dough is used (you should get about 17 doughnuts).  Transfer the doughnuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner, leaving about 2 inches between each doughnut.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly drape a piece of plastic wrap over the doughnuts and let them rise at room temperature until they’re puffed (about 30 minutes).  Lightly brush eggwash on top of each doughnut (you will have extra eggwash) and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.  Bake doughnuts for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown, rotating the trays once.

Manchego cheese rind…isn’t it pretty?

Lovely Fresh Herbs 

The Beautifully Light and Fluffy Interior

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. You must be SO proud of yourself. These look absolutely spectacular and your photography is incredible. You have made me feel I could actually make these myself through this post.
    That is no easy feat!

  2. These are beautiful! They look just like the Asiago bagels my husband loves from a bakery here. Much better that they are homemade. So glad to have this recipe!

  3. Faith, you are killing me!! I am so hungry right now, and those doughnuts with cheese… and the fluffy interior would be so satisfying! Alas… I can only drool at your photos ;)

  4. savory doughnuts!! what a concept! i love the look of the innards. well done, faith!

  5. The cheese is beautiful, as are the doughnuts. They look unique and delicious, for sure!

  6. These look so fluffy, Faith, and the flavor sounds amazing. I still have leftover mashed potatoes, so if I can get it together, these looks like the perfect use for them. I also wanted to tell you that I made your cranberry-apple chutney for Thanksgiving, and I loved it, as did my mom & brother-in-law. I doubled the recipe, because I wanted some leftover to use in another recipe. It was delicious!

    1. Louanne, I’m so glad you liked the chutney! :)

  7. Wow! I have never thought to make savory donuts before, but I’m just loving the sound of these beauties…and I’m certain I would love the taste! Thank you for sharing such an inspired and creative idea. You never let me down! I’m always so impressed when I visit you and your beautiful blog!

  8. Could I please be your neighbor??? And would you share all your creations with me? This looks fabulous, Faith!

  9. Fantastic Faith, dough using potatoes is a taste sensation all its own, these look fabulous lovely :)

  10. This is a great way to use your leftovers. These recipes are very useful because we don’t throw any food.

  11. YOu never cease to amaze me! Great use of the leftover taters.

  12. Faith,
    I am tempted by this donuts. I am staying away form donuts. This one calling my name. Looks awesome.

  13. Wow, it’s possible I like these way better than the original mashed potatoes. The accent of manchego and thyme just sound like perfection.

  14. I love all the flavors you used in these Faith! I bet their incredibly delicious!

  15. Oh YUM! These look beautifully delicious! What a creative way to use up leftover potatoes!

  16. Faith

    your right definitely not a bagel! They look so light and fluffy inside, that manchego and fresh herbs are such a wonderful flavor combination…and what a clever way to use up leftover mashed potatoes!
    Thanks for sharing your creation!

  17. They do certainly look like bagels.
    I am intrigued by their fluffy interior texture.

  18. Goodness me Faith, you are SO creative! I wish I celebrated Thanksgiving here (I would have but I didn’t realise it was coming up so soon!) and it was the day before when I realised it. If only to have some leftover turkey to make these! :D

  19. Oh Faith, these are so beautiful!! Your pictures are so fabulous I can almost smell the yeasty dough and that lovely toasted cheese. :-)

  20. Love it!!! Oh my, does this look delectable. Give me some jam, and a good cup of coffee.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  21. I love the texture of dough with potatoes… my favorite English muffin recipe are light as air. This looks like a keeper. The photos are just splendid too, Faith. Really makes me want to reach out and grab one! They would be a great base for a turkey sandwich!

  22. Now THIS is a creative use for leftovers! They are gorgeous. They do look like bagels, just really yummy fluffy bagels ;). Hope you’re getting some relaxing in after all the Thanksgiving day cooking

  23. It doesn’t matter what you call these, they look delicious! I love mashed potatoes and cheese, and doughnuts are a brilliant way to use both! I don’t think I’ve ever had a savory doughnut before so I’ll definitely have to give these a try.

  24. Oh my , this is bsolutely delicious!!
    The texture is gorgeous and oh so soft , i’ll take these any day!
    I must bake these and soonnn..
    Love the added cheese and how u used the potatoes:-)
    I read on KAf they make a moist bread :-)now i see and u have done something so deliciously creative!

  25. What a wonderful way to use left over potatoes. These look and sound deliciious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  26. I love that you have made a savory doughnut. You are right, nothing could replace bagels – but it looks like these might give ’em a run for the money :) xo

  27. Wow, you could’ve fooled me! They totally look like bagels until you look at the picture of the interior! Great and unique idea for using your mashed potatoes!

  28. I have never been mad about doughnuts, but this recipe could make me change my mind! Diane

  29. these look so pretty! I think one of the appeal of baked goods for me is the looks factor and these definitely have it, not counting the taste which is also there. yum

  30. These special doughnuts look very good indeed and great for leftovers. They do not look like bagels for me coming from the home of the real bagel lol(not to start a bagel war):-)

    1. Evelyne, Lol, I just meant their outer shape, not the inside. ;)

  31. Faith,

    Fantastic idea. Creative concept. That is why I love your work. You push boundaries and challenge yourself to think outside the box. You remind me of someone I know.

    Wonderful combination of manchego & thyme, aromatic and flavorful.


  32. Pass me one, Faith! I’m sitting here starving at work waiting for 12 o’clock so I can leave.

    Hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving! Happy Friday!

  33. What a cool way to use up mashed potatoes! They look fantastic! Love all the flavors in there. Savory doughnuts, what a neat idea!

  34. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What a fascinating recipe, and one that I would most definitely love to sample :D
    Hope you had a fab thanksgiving.
    *kisses* HH

  35. Those look so good! Manchego cheese is so delicious.



  36. Haha I don’t think anything could replace bagels for me either but this isn’t about replacing, this is about loving equally. And these look totally worthy of my life. What a genius idea!

    Hope you had a great T-day babe!

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