Lockdown baking recipe: raspberry jam doughnuts
The highs and lows of my doughnut journey
After a couple of weeks of baking in lockdown, I decided to crank it up a notch this week and make a batch of 20 doughnuts – of which only four made it to the Tupperware box, 1.5 were 'tested', and the rest, well... we won't even go there.
Having now had a go at these doughnuts, I've got a couple of tips for you: if possible, use a fryer (trying to control the temperature in a saucepan is not only difficult, but dangerous). I had to abandon my last five doughnuts (for the purpose of this piece of writing and to match my laziness, they shall now be referred to as Ds), which had to go in the bin as my oil was just far too hot and dirty. My other tip is to make your own jam. Why on earth go to the trouble of making 20 Ds if you don't stuff them with some succulent jam? Don't be lazy with the shop version – you can make your jam whilst you're waiting on one of the many proving times with these Ds.
Absolutely and categorically, do not rush the preparation. The whole way through this I was concerned that my dough was too elasticated and too sticky. But stick with it. If you haven't made D dough before, it will seem too light in comparison to a traditional bread dough or bun dough. This is due partly to the fact the recipe is heavy on eggs, low in traditional liquids such as milk and water, and has to be proved three times.
- 500g strong white flour (bread)
- 15g fresh yeast (or dried yeast)
- 4 large eggs
- 60g golden caster sugar
- Lemon zest
- 125g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 150g water (weigh the water)
- Place all of the ingredients (apart from the butter) in a kitchen aid or food mixer. Mix together using a paddle mixer until the dough forms a ball; this will take some time. Add a little more flour to pull it together if you need to. Once mixed, leave to sit for a couple of minutes.
- Add the butter gradually on a medium speed. Once combined, mix on a high speed until the dough feels elasticated.
- Cover the dough in cling film and leave to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size (an airing cupboard is great for this).
- Knock back the dough (see notes on how to do this), then re-cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill overnight.
- In the morning, you should notice that the dough is light to touch and sensitive to being moved. If, when you touch the dough, it sinks a little, it is good to go (but try not to do this too much).
- Weigh the dough in 50g pieces, roll into a smooth doughnut-esque shape and put on a lined baking sheet. Cover with cling film and leave for a few hours until the dough has doubled in size. Allow space between the dough so it can expand both up and out.
- Heat your oil in either a saucepan or fryer. If using a saucepan, be careful that it's not too full; halfway is a good amount. A saucepan that holds a couple of litres of sunflower oil that's half full (or half empty) is a good size. The oil should be between 170-190 degrees. To test, drop a piece of bread in the oil. It shouldn't be too quick to crisp up (30 seconds or so).
- Carefully drop your Ds into the hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes on each side. They will puff up and go golden brown. Flip over and repeat. To be extra fancy, make sure the dough around the middle of the doughnut is lighter than the tops and bottoms.
- Toss the Ds in caster sugar and leave to cool.
How to knock back dough
- Keeping the dough in the bowl, swiftly punch the dough to knock the air bubbles out of it. This will result in a much smoother texture.