Feb 8, 2013

Carnival donuts with jam

Thursday, Feb. 7. 6pm. I wasn't afraid to try the recipe, but to try my own first donut ever - yes. The Italian recipe looked beautiful and my "Bombe di Carnavale" taste fantastic. I just don't know what to do with all that used oil, I put it on the balcony for now.

Today, everybody eats donuts in Poland. It's Fat Thursday. My mom claims to make the best donuts in the world. I wasn't even considering asking her for the recipe...for various reasons.

The Italian recipe doesn't use much yeast, so the rising time is rather long, 4h all together. Sometimes, I like these half-day projects. For the lack of other things to look forward, I have my yeast dough in a bowl getting bigger and bigger.

Deep oil frying is not my favorite thing to do. All that oil, smell, mess, grease. I thought my pillow smelled like oil. I used canola oil. I've read lately that it's the best for frying. Peanut oil, recommended by the site, it's not found easily around here.

I like my donuts. There is a an orange and lemon zest that give them a fresh and pleasant taste...Italian. Yeast worked long hours to make them light. There is a thin crust that makes them exciting to bite into. I had one or two...ah...whatever. Bikini season is still far, far away.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano

time: 30 min preparation + 4h rising + 10 min frying = 4h 40min


for mother dough
100 g (3/4 cups) flour
12 g (.4 oz) fresh yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
50-60 ml warm milk

for donuts

500 g (3 1/3) flour + extra for the rolling board
6 eggs
200 g (1 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
zest from 1 orange
zest form 1 lemon
big pinch of salt
100 g (6 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons, 3.5 oz) butter, room temperature

powder sugar or granulated sugar for covering (optional)

your favorite jam

oil for frying, about 1l (4 cups)


to prepare mother dough
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast with milk and sugar. Add flour. Work it with your fingers, just till all combined, form a bowl. It takes about 30 sec. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 40-50 min till it doubles in volume.

to prepare donuts

In a bowl of a standing mixer, sift in flour, add eggs, sugars, zests and salt. Using a paddle attachment, mix it till all combine, about 3 minutes. Add the mother dough (that has doubled in size). Change the attachment from peddle to needle. Knead the dough for a minute, start adding soft butter in small dozes. Mix it till you don't see any pieces of butter. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in a warm place for about 3h, till it doubles in size.

Transfer the dough (that has doubled in size) onto a rolling board covered with flour. The dough is very loose and sticky. Sift it with flour and play with it with your hands till it becomes rollable, not too long. Roll it with a rolling pin till about 2 cm (1 inch) thick.  Cut out round 8cm (3inch) shapes. You can't reworked the leftovers into the dough, but you can fry them. Place the shapes onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and some flour. Place in the oven (turned off) for 30 minutes for further rising.

Heat up oil in a sauce pan on medium/high heat (6, on a scale from 1-10). Oil needs to be at least 2 inches (5cm) deep, otherwise donuts will be flat on one side. Brush off the excess flour from donuts.

Fry them in oil on both sides. Do a test with a little piece of dough first. When oil is staring to bubble around it, it's ready. It's a bit tricky. They need about 10-20 seconds on each side. If they fry too fast, there will be raw dough in the middle. Too long - to much grease.  Transfer the ready donuts (I used two fondue forks) onto a paper towel to drip the excess oil.

Cover them with sugar or powder sugar or nothing. 

Fill in the donuts with jam, about 1 teaspoon for each. Use a pastry bag with a syringe end to apply the jam inside the donuts. If that's too complicated, open a donut and distribute the jam with a fork. 

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