Donuts

Donuts

By
From
Deep South
Makes
24
Photographer
Andy Sewell

My father’s best friend married the lady who owned our local donut shop. Because of this, and my father’s love of donuts, I’ve had a lifelong affair with this pastry. On a whim, my wife and I decided to open a little donut pop-up out of our east London apartment in the winter of 2013. To our delight, folks went crazy for them. Included here are a few versions of our recipes that you can make at home. I hope they bring you as much joy in making them as they do me.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
650g plain flour
125g caster sugar, plus extra for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
15g fresh yeast
120ml milk
4 tablespoons water
3 large eggs
40g unsalted butter, softened
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
caster sugar, for coating
see method for ingredients
or pastry cream

Vanilla pastry cream

Quantity Ingredient
1 vanilla pod
560ml milk
160g egg yolks
115g caster sugar
50g plain flour
25g cornflour
200ml double cream

Chicory coffee pastry cream

Quantity Ingredient
560ml milk
20g freshly ground coffee beans
8 teaspoons ground chicory
150g egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
50g plain flour
25g cornflour
200ml double cream, whipped to stiff peaks

Method

  1. Put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk and water and mix on a low speed to obtain a thick dough. Slowly mix in the eggs until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Add the softened butter and mix until emulsified again. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is very elastic; if you take a small piece of the dough you should be able to stretch it without it breaking. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to prove in the fridge for a couple of hours, until the dough has almost doubled in size.
  2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large square about 1.5cm thick. Cut it into 4cm squares with a sharp knife, then cover loosely with cling film and leave until doubled in size.
  3. Heat the oil to 170°C in a deep-fat fryer. Fry the doughnuts, a few at a time, for 1 minute on each side, until golden and puffed up. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack. Allow to drain and cool slightly, then toss in caster sugar to coat. Stuff with Blackcurrant Jelly or your choice of filling. Eat while still very fresh.
  4. Slit the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Put the pod and seeds into a saucepan with the milk. Bring to a simmer, being careful not to scorch the milk on the bottom of the pan, then remove from the heat. Leave to cool and infuse – overnight for best results. Remove the vanilla pod.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then mix in the flour and cornflour to make a smooth paste. Reheat the vanilla milk over a medium heat, then pour a quarter of it into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Quickly stir this mixture back into the pan, then continue to stir over a medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens, being careful not to let it scorch or boil. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool, then cover the surface of the pastry cream with cling film and chill thoroughly.
  6. Whip the double cream to stiff peaks and fold it into the chilled pastry cream. Place in a piping bag fitted with a donut-filler nozzle and fill the donuts. They should noticeably swell as you fill them.
  7. For chocolate pastry cream, follow the instructions above, taking the pan off the heat once the mixture has thickened and stirring in 100g roughly chopped dark chocolate (60 per cent cocoa solids).
  8. Heat the milk until it is very hot but not boiling, then add the coffee and 6 teaspoons of the ground chicory. Turn off the heat and cover with cling film. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain.
  9. Continue as for the vanilla pastry cream, above, vigorously whisking in the remaining 2 teaspoons of chicory after you remove the pastry cream from the heat.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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