Doughnuts have got to be one of the most popular products sold in bakeries. Thousands are sold everyday to fans of the sweet and sugary fried ball of dough as an ideal treat or afternoon snack. But the quality of doughnuts varies enormously depending on where you buy them from. Supermarkets are cheap, often selling 5 or 6 for a pound or so whereas a proper bakers can charge 60p or more each.
However, the absolute finest doughnuts can easily be made at home and the good news is they are a thrifty triumph! Just a few ingredients and a little time will give you 9 excellent doughnuts to share for not much more than the price of one good bakers doughnut!
- 340 g (12 oz) plain flour
- 15 g (1/2 oz) butter
- 30 g (1 oz) caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 g easy-blend yeast
- 1 egg
- 5 tablespoons tepid milk
- 5 tablespoons tepid water
- extra caster sugar for coating
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter. Stir in the caster sugar and salt and stir to distribute evenly.
- Add the yeast to the dry mixture and stir again then make a well in the middle of the flour and add the beaten egg, milk and water.
- Stir everything together with a wooden spoon (or a stand mixer if you have one) until the dough is formed with no dry bits left. the dough should be slightly sticky but if it is at all dry then add a little more tepid water.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth. This should only take about 5-10 minutes. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise until it has doubled in size.
- Tip the dough back out onto your work surface and knead gently to knock out some of the large air bubbles that will have formed. Divide into 9 equal size pieces (I like to weigh the dough to make sure the doughnuts will be of the same size - that way there are no arguments over who has the biggest one!) and shape into smooth balls.
- Place the dough balls onto a greased baking tray, spacing them well apart. You do not want them to touch as they will collapse when you have to lift them off for frying if they join together so you will need to use 2 baking trays for all 9 doughnuts.
- Cover them with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise.
- When the doughnuts have risen they need to be deep fried. Heat vegetable oil to 170c and fry the doughnuts in batches of 3. The best way to get them off the baking tray and into the hot oil is to use a fish slice. Dip the fish slice into the hot oil (this will stop the dough sticking) and steadily push it under one of the doughnuts. Don't be to hesitant when doing this as the dough will collapse if you prod about at it too much! When you have the doughnut on your fish slice, place it into the hot oil - do not drop it in as you will splash oil over yourself which could result in nasty burns.
- Leave the doughnuts to cook on one side for 3-4 minutes then turn them over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. if you like a darker, crispier doughnut then leave them to cook for longer, you will soon discover the optimal cooking time for your taste.
- When the 1st batch of doughnuts are cooked use a slotted spoon to lift them out of the oil and place them onto 3 or 4 crumpled layers of kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- While they are draining add the next batch of 3 doughnuts to the oil.
- While the 1st batch of doughnuts are still hot, carefully toss them in caster sugar to coat. The easiest way I have found to do this is to have the sugar in a bowl then the doughnut can be swirled around to coat one side and the edges before turning it to coat the other side.
- Continue frying and coating the doughnuts until they are all done!
- Now, sit down and enjoy them while they are still warm - heaven!
- Caution: Please be careful when frying the doughnuts, the oil is very hot and can cause serious burns if you are not careful.
If jam is a ‘must-have’ in your doughnuts, then one of these is an absolute must!
Some step-by-step photos