PS Desserts
Mark Roper

These dainty little doughnuts are mouth-poppingly addictive, especially when still hot and simply rolled in sugar. Of course, you can fancy these gems up with a dusting of fragrant cinnamon sugar, fill them with Crème pâtissière for the ultimate custard bombs or, if you want to go all out, soak them in a spiced sugar syrup.


Quantity Ingredient
220ml milk
40g butter, softened, (see note)
6g fresh yeast, (see note)
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
300g plain flour, sifted
40g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon cooking salt
vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying


  1. Making the dough

    Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the butter and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to blood temperature.
  2. Crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl and add a little of the cooled milk mixture. Set aside for the yeast to soften and begin to activate.
  3. Whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture and remaining milk mixture.
  4. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  5. Add the wet ingredients and, using a sweeping stroke with your hand, work together until smooth. This will take several minutes
  6. The dough is ready when it feels stretchy and elastic.
  7. Put the mixture into a large piping bag (as it needs to accommodate the expanding dough) fitted with a small plain nozzle and secure each end with a rubber band. Leave the dough to prove at room temperature until doubled in volume. This will take about 1½ hours.
  8. To cook

    In a saucepan, heat the oil to 180ºC or until the handle of a wooden spoon bubbles vigorously when dipped in.
  9. Using scissors dipped in the hot oil, begin snipping off walnut-sized blobs of the dough straight into the oil. Dip the scissors into the oil in between every snip. Make 8–10 doughnuts at a time, so the oil doesn’t reduce in temperature too much.
  10. The doughnuts should roll over on their own when they’re cooked on one side, but if they don’t, use a slotted spoon to flip them over. They should take about 4 minutes to cook through but, just to be sure, test one by breaking it in half.
  11. When the doughnuts are ready, remove with the slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  12. Roll the doughnuts in sugar while still hot and enjoy warm.

Notes on butter for pastry

  • My colleagues, family and friends can attest to my obsession with butter. Butter is made from cream, right? Cream is white not daffodil yellow. Butter is a fresh food and should look and smell as such. It should have a faint, creamy, slightly sweet smell. If it is rancid, yellow and sour, I don’t use it.


    Always check the use-by date on the pack and only use unsalted butter for pastry and baking.


    It’s important your butter is at a workable temperature when making pastry. None of my pastry recipes uses cold butter straight from the fridge. “Room temperature” butter is a tricky definition as it depends on the room.


  • Fresh yeast is available from bakeries and health food stores in the chilled section. You can you substitute 4 g dried active yeast, added with the flour.


  • I prefer to mix the dough by hand as it’s the best way to get a feel for the dough and not to activate the gluten in the flour too much.

    You can also leave the dough to prove in the fridge overnight (it will take about 12 hours) instead of at room temperature.
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