Monday, 5 December 2016

Recipe: Cranberry Glazed Ring Doughnuts

Words cannot describe how delicious these doughnuts are… every time I make them, they are devoured by the hungry hoards at home within minutes. The doughnuts themselves are light with a slightly chewy crumb and are surprisingly easy to make. All that is required is the weighing out of the ingredients, a little mixing and some kneading. The finished doughnuts can be coated in cinnamon sugar or if you fancy going all out – as I have done - you can glaze them.

With the festive season rapidly approaching, I decided to make a simple icing using seasonal fresh cranberries. The resulting colour is stunning and is achieved without ANY artificial colouring… it’s all completely down to the cranberries!

NOTE: Unlike a lot of recipes using yeast, plain flour rather than strong bread flour is used.

INGREDIENTS:
Doughnuts:
450g plain flour
30g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp salt
75g butter cubed
15g fresh yeast (or 7g dried yeast)
225ml water
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Cranberry Glaze:
150g fresh (or frozen cranberries)
25g caster sugar
100ml water
1tsp liquid glucose
250g – 300g icing sugar

Alternative: Cinnamon Sugar
50g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon

METHOD:
Doughnuts:
  1. Place the flour, caster sugar, lemon zest and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir everything with your hands to distribute evenly. Add the butter and rub into the flour using your fingertips. Crumble in the fresh yeast (or sprinkle in the fresh yeast) and mix everything with your hands again to distribute. Add the water and mix with your hands to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a clean work-surface and knead for ten minutes until the dough is smooth and springs back when lightly poked with your finger. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back. Roll out until it is about 1cm thick. Using a 8-10cm plain pastry cutter, cut out rounds from the dough. Use a smaller cutter (about 2cms in diameter) to stamp out centres. Gather together any off-cuts and repeat until all the dough has been used up. Place onto a large baking tray lined with some non-stick baking parchment. Cover loosely with some lightly oiled cling film and set aside to rise again for approximately 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Heat some vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer. Once it has reached 170C, fry the doughnuts in batches for about 4 minutes, turning them over half-way through so that both sides are a deep golden brown colour and the doughnuts have puffed up.
  5. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on some absorbent kitchen paper. Roll in Cinnamon Sugar or top with the Cranberry Glaze.

Cranberry Glaze:
  1. Place the cranberries, caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a moderate heat and bring up to simmering point. After a couple of minutes you will hear the cranberries popping and releasing their juices. Allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the cranberries have broken down and a jammy consistency has been achieved.
  2. Pass the cranberry mixture through a sieve into a clean mixing bowl and discard any solids that are collected in the sieve.
  3. Mix in the liquid glucose followed by the icing sugar using a small whisk to create a smooth, but not too runny icing (NOTE: you may not need all the icing sugar).
  4. Dip one side of each cooked and cooled doughnut into the glaze and set aside (glaze-side up) to set.

Cinnamon Sugar:
  1. Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle into the bottom of a large flat bowl.
  2. Toss the cooked doughnuts in the sugar immediately whilst still warm.

Makes 16 doughnuts (Glaze recipe makes enough to cover 16 doughnuts).