Jam doughnuts

A classic doughnut, rolled in sugar and filled with jam: a real treat.

My penchant for doughnuts is for those near-spherical ones that are filled with jam. But I would not turn down freshly fried ring doughnuts, rolled liberally in sugar.

I have adapted a doughnut recipe I had jotted down decades ago when watching them being made on telly. The result is a batch of doughnuts that are not greasy and are neither too sweet nor too stodgy. These have a fluffy interior with a generous filling that oozes as you take each bite.

Fancy mini doughnuts?

The doughnuts can be made as large or as small as you want; I rather like miniature ones (using about 20g dough per doughnut for frying) which can either be eaten just with a dusting of sugar or they can split and filled with clotted cream and jam – wonderful served instead of scones for an Afternoon Tea.

A savoury version

Doughnuts can also be savoury, but they are better made small as bite-sized treats.

My favourite savoury doughnut uses mustard and Parmesan in the dough itself, with the cooked doughnuts rolled lightly either in crushed crispy bacon powder or a mixture of smoked paprika with salt and sugar.

The recipe for these doughnuts is here.

Whether filled or left as they are to dunk into a dip, you have a very satisfying treat!

Recipe: jam doughnuts: makes 8 large doughnuts or 20 miniature doughnuts

For the doughnuts:

  • 300g strong plain flour
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg plus one large egg yolk, beaten
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 5g “instant” dried yeast
  • 6g salt
  • approx. 120ml warm semi-skimmed milk

For deep-frying:

  • vegetable oil or sunflower oil

To finish:

  • caster sugar to roll the doughnuts in
  • 5-6 tablespoons strawberry jam, sieved – or any preferred jam

(1) Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest, salt and yeast in a bowl. Add the butter, egg, egg yolk and most of the milk and mix until it comes together. Add more milk, a little at a time, if needed – you don’t want any dry bits left but you don’t want the dough to be too wet and unmanageable.

(2) Knead using a mixer with the dough hook attached for about 10 minutes on medium speed until the dough becomes elastic and smooth – it should be fairly silky and soft, yet firm enough that it holds it shape without collapsing in a heap in the bowl when you turn off the machine. Resist adding too much additional flour.

(3) Turn out onto a very lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to form a ball. Pop this back into the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise at room temperature until about doubled in size. This could take  several hours depending on the temperature: don’t rush it, though – a slower rise is ideal for the final flavour; an overnight rise in the fridge does wonders for the flavour.

(4) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly to knock out the air and cut into pieces about 80-90g each. If going for miniature doughnuts, go for about 20g each.

(5) Shape each into a smooth ball and then place on small squares of greaseproof paper  Pop inside a large plastic bag or bin liner and leave to rise for about an hour.

(6) Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer or in a saucepan until it reaches 180C. Keeping the greaseproof, carefully place a couple of the risen dough balls into the hot fat, dough-first so the greaseproof is almost floating on top.

NB: keeping the greaseproof on helps transfer the rise dough to the hot fat without any risk of deflating them. It also prevents the dough from turning over by itself in the hot fat.

(7) Cook for 8-10 minutes for larger doughnuts, removing the greaseproof and then turning the doughnuts over after 4 minutes. For small doughnuts cook for about 2 minutes in each side: they should be very puffy and a deep golden brown colour when they are ready.

(8) Remove from the oil and shake to remove the excess oil. Roll the doughnuts in the caster sugar and ensure each doughnut gets a good coating. Leave to cool.

(9) Make a hole in the doughnuts, going through the centre but not going through the other side. Put the jam into a piping bag (this is easier with a nozzle attached) and pipe jam into the hole until the jam just starts to ooze back out.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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