Doughnut heaven

IMG_6842These doughnuts only just stayed on the plate long enough to be photographed.

I absolutely love doughnuts. There are few things more pleasurable in life than eating a just-cooked, warm, pillowy, sugar-coated, strawberry jam-filled doughnut.  My two children and my husband are all in agreement, which helps my cause as I can convince myself that creating these heavenly morsels by hand is a predominantly (75%) selfless act.

I wish I had written this recipe but I’m afraid I didn’t. It belongs to the food writer Felicity Cloake, who writes a column for the Guardian entitled ‘How to cook the perfect…’ in which she cooks a selection of tried and trusted popular recipes in search of perfect results. I frequently use her recipes, which I first discovered when looking for a simpler way to make hollandaise – I use her method every time now. I also have her cook book ‘Perfect’, which is full of extremely well researched and brilliantly reliable everyday recipes.

Anyway, back to the doughnuts…

Makes 6

210g strong white flour, plus extra to dust
7g dried yeast
½ tsp salt
15g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
20g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped, plus extra to grease
65ml whole milk, warmed
45ml warm water
1 egg, beaten
2 litres vegetable or sunflower oil, to cook
6 tsp raspberry or strawberry jam

1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Put the butter into a bowl with the warm milk and water, and stir to melt. Pour this into the mixing bowl, along with the egg, and stir until it comes together into a dough: it should be firm, but soft.

2. Tip on to a lightly floured surface, or into a mixer fitted with a dough hook, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (I do this by hand – KM). Put into a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour).

3. Shape into 6 balls of about 80g each, folding each side tightly into the centre in turn, turning as you go, then turn the ball over and put it on a lightly floured baking tray or board, spacing them well apart. Cover and leave to rise again for 45 minutes.

4. Heat the oil in a large pan or deep-fat fryer to 160C. Cook the doughnuts in 2 batches for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden, then blot with kitchen paper and sprinkle with caster sugar. Allow to cool slightly, then make a small hole in the side of each, and use a piping bag to inject a splodge of jam. Eat immediately, while they’re still warm.

Doughnuts, Kather's Kitchen, cookery courses, Monmouthshire, South West, Wales


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