For the dough
- 500 grams (4 cups) strong white bread flour (bread flour)
- 60 grams (1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon) golden caster (soft light brown) sugar
- 7 grams (.2 ounces) dry yeast
- 4 eggs
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) fine salt
- 125 grams (4.4 ounces wt) unsalted butter, softened
- About 2 liters (2.25 quarts) sunflower oil
- Caster (superfine) sugar for coating
- Nutella, jam, smooth peanut butter, lemon curd, custard – anything that will pipe well
These doughnuts are also good just coated in the sugar. Adding some cinnamon to the sugar will give you an extra flavor if you are not filling the doughnuts.
1. Put the flour, sugar, yeast, eggs and salt into a bowl with 150 ml (5 ounces)water. Mix well until the dough starts coming away from the sides and forming a ball. This requires some strength and will take about 10 minutes.
2. Add the butter about 25 grams (.8 ounce wt) at a time, incorporating it into the dough as you go. Once all added, mix the dough until it is smooth and elasticated when pulled. I made these without any kind of mixer and found that once the dough ingredients had come together a bit it was easier to use my hands to mix it instead of a spoon.
3. Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rise until doubled in size. Knock the dough back briefly in the bowl, then recover and put in the fridge to chill overnight. It will still rise slightly so make sure you have some space in the bowl.
4. The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 50 gram (1.7 ounces wt) pieces. Dust a bit of flour onto your hands then roll each piece into a smooth ball. Place them onto a floured baking tray, making sure you leave space between them so that they don’t stick together. Cover loosely with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave them to double in size. This will take roughly 4 hours.
5. Fill a heavy based saucepan or deep fat fryer with the oil – to about halfway. Heat to 180◦C – be sure to keep an eye on this as you work. Once at temperature take the doughnuts from the tray using a floured scraper. This needs to be done with care so as not to deflate them. Fry for 2 minutes each side until golden brown. Once removed from the oil, put the doughnuts on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
6. While still warm, toss them in a bowl of caster sugar then set aside to cool – I found putting them on their side in a roasting tin worked well. To fill the doughnuts, make a small hole with a knife on the white ring around the middle. Fill a piping bag with your chosen filling and pipe into the doughnut – you’ll need to measure this by eye and should see the doughnut swell slightly as it is filled. Will keep fresh in an airtight tin for about 4 days.