I have recently spent a lot of time trying out and tweaking different recipes in an effort to make what I consider to be the perfect doughnut.
This quest for my own personal doughnut nirvana would only be realised if I could make a doughnut that replicated the ones that I loved eating so much when I was a child and which were only every bought for me as a special treat.
I didn’t want a cakey dough, one that was reminiscent of that used in the doughnuts that are so beloved across the Atlantic. These have their place and I do enjoy them, but what I was after here was a good old fashioned jam-filled doughnut with a slightly chewy but perfectly cooked crumb that was light to eat. I wanted them to be coated sugar that clung to my moist lips and be generously filled with sweet jam which threatened to splodge out of control with every bite taken.
Quite a challenging list of requirements really!
I used raspberry jam, but I am itching to make another batch using a seasonal alternative such as cranberry jam or mincemeat. I don’t know how these will turn out, but I suspect that they could be really delicious.
What I like so much about these doughnuts is that notwithstanding the fact that they are covered in sugar and filled with jam, the overall effect is not too sweet as sugar is kept to an absolute minimum in the dough. I am not suggesting for one moment that these doughnuts are low-calorie… unfortunately they are not, but everyone needs something special every now and then and these definitely fit the bill.
Although you can knead the dough by hand I recommend using the dough hooks on a free-standing mixer to do the job for you. It is quite a soft dough and you will only be tempted to add more flour if you do the kneading by hand.
Ingredients:225g strong white flour
5g dried yeast
½ tsp salt
75ml milk, warmed
35ml water, warmed
20g butter, melted and allowed to cool slightly
1 medium egg lightly beaten
Flavourless vegetable oil for frying
Caster sugar for sprinkling
3 tblsp jam (I used raspberry) for filling
1. Place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix well together with a wooden spoon. Add the milk, water, egg and melted butter and stir with the wooden spoon until all the ingredients come together.
2. Place the mixture into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and using the dough hook attachments, “knead” the dough for about ten minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling-film. Leave the bowl in a warm place for about an hour until the yeast starts to work and the dough is doubled in size.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work-surface and knock out some pf the air. Shape into six even-sized balls and place on a lightly floured tray and cover with cling-film or a clean, damp tea-towel for about forty minutes, to rise again.
4. Heat the oil in a large pan or deep-fat fryer until it reaches 160C. Cook the doughnuts in batches for about three minutes each side until they have puffed up and are a deep golden colour. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place briefly on some absorbent kitchen roll to soak up excess oil. Sprinkle with caster sugar.
5. Put the jam into a disposable piping bag filled with a small round nozzle and pressing firmly against the side of each doughnut, inject with about a teaspoon’s worth of jam. Allow the doughnuts to cool and serve.