Portion/Yield:Makes about 40 bite-sized doughnuts (or 12 large doughnuts)
Doughnuts could be described as ‘devil’s food’ because you simply can’t get enough of them… or at least that’s my excuse anyway! These tasty little gems are small and bite-sized and for that reason I leave them unfilled, but you can make this recipe into large doughnuts (it will make about 12, if you prefer, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time a bit) and then fill them with a filling of your choice.
I used fresh yeast for this recipe, but dried active yeast granules could also be used. The taste of fresh yeast is my preference, but for ease of use and availability, dried yeast works just as well.
Ingredients & Method
- 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 140g caster sugar
- 100ml milk
- 15g fresh yeast or 7g dried active yeast (don't use fast-action dried yeast)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 30g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- sunflower oil, for deep-frying
Weigh the flour, salt and 40g of the caster sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and set aside. Gently heat the milk in a small saucepan until it reaches 37°C (blood temperature), then remove from the heat, add the fresh or dried yeast and stir or whisk until dissolved. Cover with cling film and leave to stand for about 10 minutes, until a light frothy foam forms on the surface.
Turn the mixer on to low speed, then add the warm milk/yeast mixture. Mix/knead the dough for 5 minutes, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pieces of butter and mix/knead for a further 2 minutes or so until incorporated. (Alternatively, you can make the dough by hand, if you prefer.)
Grease a bowl and lightly dust it with flour. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead it into a smooth ball shape. Place the dough in the prepared bowl, cover with a clean dry tea towel, then leave to prove (rise) in a warm place until doubled in size (this will depend on how warm or cold the room temperature is, but this can take up to about 40 minutes).
Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. Tip the proved dough on to a lightly floured surface and knock it back, then divide it into 5 smaller pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a finger-thick sausage shape, then cut each sausage into about 8 x 5cm long pieces (like miniature pillows). Place the dough pieces on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space between each one. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave to prove again in a warm place for 10–15 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the cinnamon sugar for dusting by combining the remaining caster sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl and then set aside.
Heat some sunflower oil in an electric deep-fat fryer or in a deep frying pan to a temperature of 160°C (or until a small piece of bread browns within 20 seconds in the hot oil). Deep-fry the balls of dough in the hot oil (do this in about 4 batches) for 2–3 minutes or until they are puffed up, golden and crisp (do not let them brown too much as this will make them too crispy and the sugar will not stick). Using a slotted spoon, remove and drain the deep-fried doughnuts on kitchen paper, then immediately roll each one in the cinnamon sugar to coat all over and serve while hot.