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…
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.