As Jeremy mentioned, for some reason, I can’t stop baking and/or cooking. Add to this my lifelong love of doughnuts and well, there you have it. The perfect marriage of my love of things yeasty and other things I can cook (or in this case, fry). Don’t get me wrong, I know doughnuts along with french fries and other fast food are among the worst foods you can eat, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t loved them from not-so-afar. Today, you may learn to love them from up close as well.
Today’s doughnuts are thanks to Donna Hay’s Modern Classics. If you haven’t heard of Donna Hay, you’re in for a happy surprise. She takes what Julia Child started for “servantless” cooks in America and simplifies it. (It doesn’t hurt that she was a food stylist and that the photography by Con Poulos is fantastic.) Somehow, she takes what looks like Martha Stewart cooking (Con Poulos shoots for Martha Stewart Living as well.) and actualizes the simplicity of the images. Each page of ingredients and steps is limited to one page, not counting full size pictures.
Recipe from ‘Modern Classics 2′ by Donna Hay.
This recipe can be adapted to make doughnuts with any type of filling. Try custard, Nutella, chocolate ganache or any kind of jam you like. To do so, at step three, omit the step of cutting out the middle hole and fry as instructed. Pipe your desired filling into your doughnut using a small piping bag. Don’t toss them into the sugar, dust with icing sugar instead, or leave them be.
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk (I just combine the two liquids in a jug and nuke it in the microwave for a bit)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, melted
4 ¼ cups plain flour
vegetable oil, to deep fry
1 cup caster sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to coat
- Place the yeast, water, milk and one tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is active.
- Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix with a butter knife until a sticky dough forms. Bring the dough together by kneading on a lightly floured surface. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for five minutes or until it feels smooth and elastic.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1cm thick. Cut 8cm rounds with a cutter. Cut a 3.5cm hole in the middle of the rounds. Place a tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with a tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan until the temperature reaches 180C. Cook the doughnuts a few at a time until golden. Drain briefly on paper towel and toss in the combined sugar and cinnamon.