So it was advanced dough week on The Great British Bake Off last Wednesday, and I was inspired by the doughnut showstopper challenge.
The technical challenge of povitica is to come, but for now, our kitchen is full of the sight and smell of freshly baked doughnuts, and I’m starting to wish I’d halved, or even quartered the recipes, in order to actually be able to eat the amount we have (thank God for freezers).
Still, I can’t complain too much, as they taste amazing.
I went backwards and forwards on flavour combinations for both a type of ring doughnut and a type of jam one.
The jam one was especially difficult to decide on. I was very tempted to try a seasonal one like honey doughnuts with fig jam, or salted caramel glazed doughnuts with a peach jam filling. But in the end, I was inspired by what I had in the house that needed using up. So it came to be that my jam doughnuts were cinnamon and apple flavoured.
The ring doughnuts were also created based on what I had to use up in the house (who said creative baking can’t also be useful and frugal?). I had accidentally bought far too many lemons in my fortnightly shop, so after making a delicious lemon and basil bundt cake a couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to use up the rest in my doughnuts.
After flicking through The Flavour Thesaurus – the most useful book a creative cook/baker could ever have – to the lemon section, I was finally tempted by the description under “lemon & chocolate”:
Having made chocolate-dipped lemon madeleines before, and trying to talk myself out of trying the bumblebee dessert much to my grumbling stomach’s disappointment, I couldn’t help but rise to the challenge! So my ring doughnuts became lemon & vanilla bean doughnuts with chocolate icing.
Here are the recipes. They are both baked, as I find baked doughnuts much nicer as well as healthier. I hope you enjoy both baking and eating them as much as I did. 🙂 (The apple & cinnamon ones were especially delicious! In fact, I would be tempted to try the lemon and chocolate ones again using the basic doughnut recipe from the apple & cinnamon batch.)
Lemon & Vanilla Bean Doughnuts with Chocolate Icing
I used this recipe as the basic doughnut recipe. 1 1/4 cups (275ml) warm milk
7g active dry yeast (1 sachet)
2/3 cup (125g) sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
zest of 1-2 lemons (depending how strong you want the flavour to come through)
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways (optional)
5 cups (700g) plain flour
1 cup (100g) dark chocolate, chopped
1. Combine 1/4 cup (50ml) of the warm milk with the yest and sugar and leave to rest until slightly frothy. Mix in the rest of the milk, butter and eggs, zest and the seeds of the vanilla pod. Knead until you have a smooth dough. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling film, and leave to rise for an hour until doubled in size.
2. Roll the dough out until it is 1/2in thick, then use two circular cutters (one big, one small) to cut doughnut shapes out to your preferred size. Place on baking paper (I usually bake the doughnut holes too), cover with a tea towel/cling film and leave to rise for another 45 mins to an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5/375F and bake doughnuts for 8 to 10 mins, or until they go golden. Leave to cool.
4. While they are cooling, temper the chocolate: place half the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a simmering pan of water, and stir until melted and reaching 50C. Take off the pan and stir in the rest of the chocolate until it is smooth and shiny and around 40C.
5. Dip cooled doughnuts in the chocolate to ice them. Cover with sprinkles. Serve once chocolate has set.
Cinnamon Doughnuts with Apple Sauce Filling
I used this recipe as the basic doughnut recipe.
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
7g active dried yeast (1 sachet)
2/3 cup (150ml) warm milk
3 tbsp melted butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
For coating and filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 batches of this apple sauce recipe (I whizzed it in the mixer after making it so it would pipe more easily)
1. Mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl, then add in the milk, butter, yolks, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and knead (if you have a stand mixer, a few mins on a high setting with the paddle attachment works perfectly).
2. Empty the dough onto a flour surface, roll out, and then turn and fold (as you do with puff pastry) 20 times. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 20 mins.
3. Roll to 1/2in thick and cut out circles with a cutter. Place the circles on baking paper, cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave for at least an hour.
4. Bake in a preheated oven (190C/gas 5/375F) for 15 mins, or until golden.
5. While they are still warm, pipe filling into them, brush with butter, and dip in mixed sugar and cinnamon.