I've just made the most beautiful tasting donuts ever from Richard Bertinet's book 'Dough - Simple Contemporary Bread'. Even though they have been deep fried, they are not greasy. They are light and tender more like a brioche with a lovely crisp crust. I've dusted them with cinnamon sugar and piped home-made raspberry jam into the centers (thanks Kathy, the raspberry jam is sublime!!!).
Quantity: Makes 30 doughnuts (or make 15 and a fruit loaf)
Preparation: 20 minutes;
Resting: 1 hour
Proving: 15 minutes
Frying: 15 minutes
250 grams full-cream milk
15 grams fresh yeast (or 7 grams dried)
500 grams strong bread (baker's) flour
60 grams unsalted butter (room temperature)
40 grams castor (superfine) sugar
10 grams salt (or to taste)
2 large eggs
Extra flour for dusting
Peanut (ground oil) for deep frying
250 grams castor sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon mixed together
Homemade Raspberry Jam
Gently warm the milk (either in a pot on the stove or in the microwave for 1 & 1/2 minutes on full power) to body temperature.
Crumble the fresh yeast into the flour with your fingertips as if you were making a crumble (Richard Bertinet has a unique kneading technique called the French fold that can take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. You can view his online video at the Gourmet Webpage). If using dry yeast, just mix in with the flour.
If mixing by hand, rub in the butter, then add the sugar and salt, then add the beaten egg and milk. Knead for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until you have a nice smooth elastic ball of dough.
If using a mixer, switch it on to the slowest speed, add sugar, salt, egg and milk and mix for 2 minutes, then turn the speed up to the next lowest speed and mix for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place into a bowl that has been floured, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
Using the rounded end of your scraper, turn out the dough on to a slightly floured work surface and divide into 30 pieces (about 30 grams each) and then roll in to tight balls. Grease and lightly flour a baking tray with flour. Leaving space between them so they don't touch when risen, place the doughnuts on the tray with the seam side down. Dust them lightly with flour. Cover with a tea towel and let them prove until nearly doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.
Using a saucepan deep enough to deep fry, heat the oil over medium heat to 180˚C (360˚F). Carefully and gently lift the first doughnut into the oil. It should sizzle straight away. Add up to 5 doughnuts at a time. Fry for approximately 30 to 45 seconds until they start to colour and then turn them over and fry the other side for approximately the same time. Remove the doughnuts and drain on kitchen towel. Let them cool. Roll in the cinnamon castor sugar. Using a piping bag and nozzle, make a small hole in each doughnut and pipe raspberry jam in to the centre of the doughnut.
If you don't dust them, they will also keep for a few days in the fridge (but they don't usually last that long and will disappear before your eyes).