(makes 10 large or 15-20 mini doughnuts)
In a mixing bowl stir together:
280 grams strong white bread flour
1 sachet (or 7grams) fast action dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
In a measuring jug whisk together:
1500 ml lukewarm milk (give it a quick blast in the microwave to warm it up)
1 medium egg
You also need:
1 litre clear flavourless oil for frying (rapseed, sunflower or groundnut)
A cooking thermometer
2 trays lined with non stick baking paper
2 heat proof trays lined with kitchen towel
- Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until if forms a sticky dough. Knead it vigorously with your hands (or with the dough hook attachment in a food processor) for at least 5 minutes - it's important to knead it until it is smooth and silky. Add a little bit more flour if you need to.
- Put the dough into a bowl and cover with clingfilm. leave it to rise for at least half an hour or until it doubles in size (this doesn't take long in a warm kitchen!).
- Give the dough a quick knead to get the air out and break it into 10 or 15 equal sized pieces, depending on how large you want the doughnuts to be. The dough will be very soft and sticky - but try not to add more flour unless you have to!
- If you're making ring doughnuts roll a sausage and then join the ends together firmly. Otherwise just roll the dough into smooth balls.
- Place the doughnuts on a tray lined with baking paper (or greased to stop them sticking) with enough space between them for them to double in size again. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 30-60 minutes until doubled. Handle the risen doughnuts very carefully so as not to knock the air out!
- Heat 1 litre clear flavourless oil (eg rapeseed or sunflower) in a medium saucepan, high sided frying pan or wok - it's best to use a thermometer to get the temperature to exactly 190 degrees C before you start frying (too low and you get flabby oily doughnuts, too hot and you get crispy outsides and raw middles!
- Prepare 2 plates/trays - one lined with kitchen roll to drain the excess oil off the doughnuts, and one sprinkled generously with caster sugar (or a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon)
- Carefully place the doughnuts in the oil, max 4 at a time and cook them for no more than 30-60 seconds before turning them over with a metal slotted spoon. it's amazing how fast they cook! When they are dark brown on both sides take them out of the oil and let them drain on the paper for a few moments before rolling them in the sugar on the other plate.
- You can then use a a sharp knife to pierce the side of each doughnut and use a piping bag or bottle to fill them with jam, chocolate ganache, cream or whatever filling you like! (alternatively cut them in half with a sharp serrated knife and spoon the filling in to make a doughnut sandwich!
Note: Doughnuts are really best eaten fresh, but can be reheated to soften them up the following day.