As someone with who was socialised in English culture, I believe that Great Britain is built on stodge: heavy, doughy, bready, oily foods are part and parcel of what it is to be an Englishman, it seems.Although I understand that doughnuts are a mainland European concept that was introduced to England and the rest of Britain, they have been fully embraced as part of the pastry culture of the island nations.
One of my guilty pleasures is buying iced ring doughnuts from the bakery section of my local supermarket, and over the past four or so years of my blog I have experimented with many different cake doughnut recipes. Cake doughnuts are risen with baking powder or soda, whereas traditional doughuts are risen with yeast. Now that I've got the hang of making yeast risen dough, I can try making traditional doughnuts.
To make these, I use the same dough as I used to make the iced buns and burger buns, and rolled it out the a half inch (1 centimetre) thickness. I then cut out 3 inch (7½ centimetre) circles. Using my fingers, I pinched a hole in the middle of each circle and stretched it out to make an inch (2½ centimetre) hole in each one.
I laid them out on a well floured (and I mean well floured) surface and allowed them to rise for 20 odd minutes, flipping half-way, until increased in size by about a half. Over rising the doughnuts will make them collapse when you pick them up.
Had I had access to my deep fryer, I would have fried them in 180°C (350°F) oil for two minutes on either side. However, I didn't: I'm in Roscommon, but my deep fryer is in my Mum's house. So, I had to use a saucepan with about two or three inches of oil in it, heating it on medium heat. As such, they got a little sunburnt, and because the oil was too hot, there were air pockets under the crust in some of them. But they still tasted fabulous...
If you want, toss them immediately after frying in caster sugar and cinnamon, to taste. I use a tupperware box and do one at a time, but you can use a brown paper bag, too. Or, you can ice them with a simple icing of 4 ounces (115 grammes) icing sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 grammes) butter, melted, and mix in enough water to make an icing. Don't make it too thin, though, otherwise it'll dribble all down the sides. You can colour the glaze if you like, or make it chocolatey by replacing 1 teaspoon or so of the icing sugar with cocoa powder. Decorate with sprinkles, desiccated coconut, grated chocolate, flaked almonds, or whatever you like!
I enjoyed this project, but there are a few things I would change for the next time:
- I'll use a proper fryer, to avoid burnt outsides and raw insides.
- Cut the middles out instead of pinching them: pinching them made the dough tighten up, and made some of the doughnuts come out in funny shapes.
Roll on the next batch of delicious fried oily cakey yeasty doughnuts....
No blogs in 2015 or 2016
THIS TIME IN 2014: The Return of Spelt Flour and Cupcakes