How do I make light fluffy doughnuts?

My doughnuts always come out heavy as lead.

Sounds like a line from a porno movie doesn’t it?

Without knowing exactly what you’re doing, it’s hard to say. Are you sure you’re getting the oil hot enough? My recent experiments with Yorkshire pudding have confirmed Doper advice that you need very hot oil for fluffiness.

I’m following the recipe exactly. I just thought that there might be some trick that they don’t tell you. People sometimes assume that something totally obvious to them shouldn’t even be mentioned. How hot should the oil be?

Most references I’ve seen recommend 350-370 degrees. More subjectively, if you drop a doughnut hole in the oil, and it browns in about 50 seconds, it should be hot enough. I don’t think you want to let the oil get smoking hot, but somewhere close.

What kind of shortening are you using, and what proportion? (For that matter, pasting the whole recipe wouldn’t hurt.)

Do you let your 'nuts rise twice before frying? i.e. make batter and let sit somewhere warm for an hour. Batter should swell to twice it’s size. Knead again (“knock it back”) , roll and cut 'nuts, and let them sit for another hour before frying.

(I’m assuming here that you have a yeast-based recipe. If not: you should.)