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Doughnuts . . . or donuts?

DoughnutsAfter last week's column for the Lardy cake, requests hace come in for another great yeast product, doughnuts. But just where, when and how did they first come about? There are many stories of their origin but if you would like to know my favourite one (I of course cannot verify its authenticity but it does make for a good yarn) read The origins of Doughnuts.

But if you want to make doughnuts at home without the need for an expensive machine the recipe below can be used. Before staring you might consider reading the page for tips on using yeast.

Join me next week when I share with you another recipe for a Churro, a Mexican version of a doughnut that is yeast free yet very, very light. They can be served sweet or savoury.

Filling Doughnuts

To place your favourite jam or jelly filling inside a doughnut you will need a piping bag with a small nozzle, but the cake decorating syringes I find do work better. Simply place the jam in the bag or syringe, push into the centre and fill as required. To ensure the nozzle does not clog up strain the jam through a sieve first to remove the pips.

Doughnuts as an appetiser with a difference

Besides your favourite sweet fillings why not try making small Doughnuts filled with your favourite paté (thin it down by beating in some cream so it is pipeable) and instead of rolling them in sugar roll them in finely grated parmesan cheese. Four small ones to a portion means you can place three in the centre of the plate with another on top, maybe drizzle or serve with melted port wine jelly or cranberry jelly and finish with a sprig of mint for a colour contrast.


Ingredients for Doughnuts

strong flour
castor sugar
butter (room temperature)
fresh yeast
castor sugar
icing sugar

How to make Doughnuts

  • Warm the milk and water with the butter and sugar to 37°C (it should not feel cold or warm when you place your finger into it)

  • Add the yeast and stir to disperse

  • Whisk in the beaten egg

  • Stir in half the flour to form a light batter type mixture (this is known as 'a sponge')

  • Place in a pre-warmed oven (50°C) with the door open to ferment

  • Remove from the oven and mix lightly with a wooden spoon, this will evenly distribute the CO2 and yeast

  • Add sufficient of the remaining flour to form a slack dough, it should leave the sides of the bowl but still be slightly sticky

  • Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead until a smooth dough is obtained that is free from any stickiness

  • Place in a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and prove back in the oven (door open) until it has doubled in size (but no more than double)

  • Punch in the middle to deflate it (this is known as 'knocking back')

  • Divide the dough into even sized pieces and mould or roll into doughnut buns - remembering to keep them small as they will double in size as they prove. To form doughnuts with the hole in the middle, push your thumb through the middle and stretch the dough out slightly

  • Place on lightly greased tray, cover with a damp cloth and prove to doubled in size again

  • Deep fry at 170°C for 12 minutes until golden brown

  • While still warm roll in the sugar and cornflour mixture, place on a wire rack to cool

Chef's Tips for Doughnuts

If you prefer to use dried yeast use the same amount: 50gm or double the amount if using 'Surebake' yeast (dried yeast with improvers / extenders)

To glaze the doughnuts / donuts combine 4 parts icing sugar with 1 part cornflour and drizzle in sufficient water and stir to form a glaze, but take care as very little water is required. This may then be coloured and/or flavoured with your favourite essences.

For a chocolate glaze, replace the cornflour with cocoa powder or just melt some chocolate and dip, spoon or drizzle on top and finish with your favourite sprinkles.

For real decadence as a full dessert dish:
      · Make good size doughnuts / donuts
      · Fill with passion fruit pulp
      · Half dip in melted chocolate
      · Place a 'Cadbury' flake on top as the chocolate is setting
      · Drizzle the plate with a white chocolate sauce

Enjoy your Doughnuts and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com