I remember an episode of The Great British Bake off where the contestants had to make doughnuts for the technical challenge. The one thing that stuck in my mind was Paul Hollywood saying, “The main thing I’m looking for is a white ring around the middle. It’s the sign of a good doughnut.”
I was aiming for that elusive white ring… and guess what? I got my white ring!! Actually incredibly proud of myself if I’m totally honest :) They turned out far better than I’d hoped and they’re not really that difficult to make. Win! Oh and they’re greatly superior to any that you can buy in the shops. Trust me. You should totally give these a go.
So without further ado, here is what you will need to make 12 large doughnuts.
(Recipe adapted from James Morton’s Brilliant Bread -which if you don’t own, why not?! It’s fabulous – go get it.)
- 500g Strong White Flour
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 7g Fast Action Yeast
- 10g Salt
- 50g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
- 275g Full Fat Milk, Room Temp *
- 2 Large Eggs, Room Temp *
- Oil For Frying
Or for an Iced Glaze:
- 250g Icing Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3-4 tbsp Cold Water
- Dough Scraper
* TIP If you don’t have the time to wait for the milk & eggs to come to room temperature, crack the eggs and put them in a small saucepan along with the milk. Heat very gently over a low heat (stirring constantly) until they reach room temperature.
In a large bowl, briefly rub together the flour, caster sugar, yeast & salt. (Put the yeast & salt on opposite sides of the bowl.)
Using the tips of your fingers & thumbs – rub in the butter until you get a breadcrumb like consistency.
Make a well in the centre and add the milk & eggs. Mix with a fork (or your hands) until there is no more flour visible and everything has been incorporated. Yes, this is a very wet dough.
Cover with cling film & leave to rest for 30 minutes. It should look a little more plump than before.
Tip out onto a work surface & knead (with the help of a dough scraper) for about 10-20 minutes. It depends on your technique as to how long it will actually take but you’re aiming for a soft dough that will pass the windowpane test. I know it’s wet and it seems like it will never improve but it will, trust me. Do your best to not add any extra flour if you can help it.
When it’s ready, place the dough back into the bowl and allow to prove for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Until about doubled in size.)
When it has reached this size, you could put it in the fridge overnight. This could be convenient for you (as it was for me) and also helps to develop a better flavour. The longer the prove – the better the flavour. (If refrigerating, allow to sit at room temperature for a while before using as the cold will slow down the next process.)
Or you could just go ahead and use it straight away.
Prepare 1 or 2 large baking trays by covering in cling film & greasing with oil.
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ‘sausage’. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions & shape into balls. (James Morton’s book Brilliant Bread has an excellent guide to shaping breads.)
Then poke a hole in the middle of each one and stretch out by rotating your hands. (A bit like if you were starting the Saturday Night Fever dance.)
Place them onto the prepared baking sheets, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and allow to prove for another hour.
Meanwhile, get your oil ready.
If you have a deep fat fryer – great. If not, it doesn’t matter. I used a large, heavy based saucepan and it worked just as well.
Heat the oil to 170°C. Once it has reached this temperature, turn the heat down to stop it from climbing any further. Then regularly check with a thermometer to ensure the temperature is holding steady. (If using a deep fat fryer, it should hold the temperature for you without having to change any settings or check with a thermometer.)
Your doughnuts are ready to be fried when you can poke it lightly and the dough springs back all the way.
Fry each doughnut for approx 2 minutes on each side. Then, using a slotted spoon, to transfer to a plate covered in kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.
At this point you can do either one of the following options:
Place some caster sugar into a bowl and roll each doughnut in it.
To make the glaze, place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth and a little runny. Then submerge the top half of each doughnut into the glaze and place on a cooling rack set over newspaper. (To catch any drips.)
For both options – allow to cool before eating.
And that’s it! You have your very own home made doughnuts…
I know I’ve said it before but they’re honestly SOOOO much better than the ones you can buy. They’re so light & fluffy on the inside and beautifully golden and inviting on the outside. One of the best home made breads you can attempt in my opinion!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies – until next time.