Last week saw the final of The Great British Bake Off and I must confess to being slightly disappointed in the challenges that were set. The signature bake featured iced doughnuts, something I hadn’t attempted to bake until this week. Pitta bread and dips was the task for the technical challenge, cooked over an open fire pit, and I felt this was more about temperature control rather than a baking challenge.
For the showstopper the contestants had to produce an edible landscape which ended up looking like something made at primary school. What happened to the beautiful cakes and bakes we come to associate with the final? In the end it all came down to taste and Rahul was a worthy winner, despite all the criticism that social media has unleashed.
I decided to give doughnuts a try this week, something we hardly ever eat as they are not exactly the healthiest of treats. The dough is very similar to a brioche dough and is not the easiest to handle due to it’s softness. I also do not possess a deep fat fryer but still managed to produce light fluffy doughnuts although I felt quite intimidated by the whole frying process.
My doughnuts were filled with scraps of jam and curd which were lurking in the fridge. The results? Delicious. We greedily ate two each the first evening! Do eat whilst fresh as they stale quickly. Would I make them again? Maybe as a treat but not on a regular basis. Do give the recipe a go and let me know how you get on.
- 210g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
- 7g fast action dried yeast
- ½ teasp salt
- 15g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
- 20g unsalted butter, at room temperature, chopped
- 100ml semi skimmed milk, warmed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 litres sunflower oil, to cook
- 6 teasp jam or curd of your choice
Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Put the butter into a bowl with the milk and stir to melt. Pour this into the mixing bowl, along with the egg, and stir until it forms a dough. It should be firm but soft.
Tip onto a lightly floured surface, or into a mixer fitted with a dough hook, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Put into a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knock back and tip onto a lightly floured surface, then shape into 6 balls, folding each side tightly into the centre in turn, turning as you go. Then turn the ball over and put it on a lightly floured baking tray or board, spacing them well apart. Leave to rise again until doubled in size.
Heat the oil in a large pan or deep fat fryer to 160°C. Cook the doughnuts in batches for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden, then blot with kitchen paper and sprinkle with caster sugar. Allow to cool slightly, then make a small hole in the side and pipe in the jam or curd.
Best eaten whilst still warm.