Who can resist fresh, warm doughnuts? The answer is no one. No child, no adult - the whole family enjoys a good, homemade doughnut.
I always feel a bit sad when I see those pre-packaged doughnuts in shops. You know the ones I’m talking about; pink icing, sprinkles. No offense, I’m sure they taste OK, but they have nothing on a freshly made version, smothered in powdered sugar and filled with tangy raspberry jam. Or, if you don’t fancy the filled variety, cut into rings and dipped, while warm, in a soft, buttery vanilla glaze.
I grew up on doughnuts and coffee. In Canada, you can’t drive five minutes down the road without coming to a ubiquitous Tim Horton’s – Tim was a professional ice hockey player. When he retired, he started a coffee and doughnut shop. It took off from there and became an iconic Canadian experience.
They are mass-produced (and the coffee is bad), but that doesn’t stop anyone – myself included – from indulging if there’s a Tim Horton’s doughnut on offer. Then there are the smaller shops that specialise in doughnuts – you can get them fresh and they are a dream. This recipe is one of those.
There are a few different types of doughnut – there is a quick-bread type, which uses baking powder as the rising agent, or there is a yeast-based type, which (you guessed it) uses yeast. This takes a bit longer than the other version, but there is nothing like a freshly-made yeast-risen doughnut. And they suit this time of year, with Easter just around the corner.
A few tips - the dough should be sticky, but not wet. You shouldn’t be able to pour it into a bowl. If you feel the dough is just a bit too sticky, add a bit more flour. I use a stand mixer to knead this dough, as it is too sticky to knead by hand. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use the extra flour for handling.
When the doughnut comes out of the hot oil, it will feel firm on the outside. Once it rests on some kitchen towel, it will soften. Once that happens, it’s ready to be filled with jam and covered in sugar.
You can use either caster sugar or icing sugar to cover the doughnuts, once fried. I prefer powdered sugar, as it covers the doughnut more evenly.
It’s important to let the doughnuts have a second rise, for about 30 minutes, once they are cut. Then, I promise, you will have light, fluffy and delicious doughnuts at home.
1 package dry active yeast (about 10g).
2 tsp sugar.
2 tbsp warm water.
125g caster sugar.
2 large eggs, room temperature.
250ml full fat milk.
1 tsp vanilla.
500g plain flour.
1 tsp salt.
500ml mild vegetable oil (like sunflower) for frying.
1 jar raspberry jam (or jam of your choice).
200g icing sugar, for coating.