Friday, 29 August 2014

Spelt Doughnuts (Wheat Free)

For those who have been missing the taste of doughnuts since discovering their allergies, here's a nice recipe so that you can be reacquainted!

I have always found doughnuts very visually appealing: fluffy cakey rings covered in caster sugar, or glazed with icing or chocolate and doused in illegally brightly coloured sprinkles. Usually the reality of eating a doughnut from the bakery isn't as nice as looking at them on the shelf, as here in Ireland there are only two or three kinds of doughnut, all of which are rather plain. I always considered the doughnut a second rate confection until in 2008 I visited Germany. 

While on holiday in Hamburg, I went to a bakery with a friend and was amazed not only by how popular the doughnut is, but also how many different kinds of doughnut you could buy! Jam filled, Nutella filled, custard filled, long ones split and filled with whipped cream and jam, spherical ones glazed completely in glacé icing, ones dusted with icing sugar, cocoa, cinnamon... and ring doughnuts glazed in every colour imaginable. It was a veritable doughnut wonderland!

I didn't think about them again until I visited Germany for a second time in 2012, and in Hauptbanhof in Berlin my boyfriend at the time and I found a "Dunkin' Doughnuts" shop. Yes I know it's an American chain, but once again I was fascinated by the sheer variety and imagination of some of the flavours.

Of course, this doughnut recipe that I developed through a few trials and errors is a fairly plain recipe, but hopefully as time goes on I will come up with some nice flavour and colour combinations.

So, here's the recipe:

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat
☑ Nuts

☒ Gluten (unless you use gluten-free bread flour)
☒ Refined sugar products
☒ Dairy dairy free options in italics
☒ Eggs

Makes about 12 3 inch doughnuts, and 12 doughnut holes
  • 6 ounces (170 grammes) spelt flour
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) baking powder
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 millilitres) warm milk, or warm water
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) vanilla essence, or the seeds of 1 vanilla pod

To coat:
  • Caster sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Glacé icing
  • Chocolate glaze
  • Sprinkles

  • In a heavy saucepan, heat about 3 inches (8 centimetres) of flavourless oil to 180°C (350°F), measuring with a sugar thermometer. Alternatively you can use a deep fryer, if you have one. The temperature is important so make sure your thermometer is accurate.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, salt, and caster sugar (and cinnamon, if using) into a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the egg and the oil. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add in the egg mixture. Mix a little until messy but not combined.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of milk or water to start with, and mix until combined. If it's not coming together properly, add up to 1 more tablespoon of liquid.
  • Once the dough is formed, turn out onto a work surface and knead lightly until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a half inch (1 centimetre) thickness. Using a 3 inch (8 centimetre) round cutter, cut as many doughnuts as you can. Using a 1 inch round cutter (2½ centimetre), or the screw top from a wine bottle, punch holes out of the middle of the doughnuts. When cutting them, press the cutter into the dough then twist as you take the cutter away.
  • Gently drop the doughnuts into the oil in batches of 2 or 3. Cook the doughnuts for about 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once.
  • Lift the doughnuts out with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on kitchen paper. Allow to cool.
  • To coat, dip them in caster sugar or icing sugar, or you can ice and decorate them.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR: Free-From Gingerbread Men

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