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.
- 220 ml milk
- 40 g butter, softened
- 6 g fresh yeast (see Note)
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 300 g plain flour, sifted
- 40 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- ¼ tsp cooking salt
- vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 1½ hours
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.
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.
Whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture and remaining milk mixture.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add the wet ingredients and, using a sweeping stroke with your hand, work together until smooth. This will take several minutes. 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.
The dough is ready when it feels stretchy and elastic.
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. You can also leave the dough to prove in the fridge overnight (it will take about 12 hours) instead of at room temperature.
In a saucepan, heat the oil to 180ºC or until the handle of a wooden spoon bubbles vigorously when dipped in.
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.
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.
When the doughnuts are ready, remove with the slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Roll the doughnuts in sugar while still hot and enjoy warm.
• 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.
Recipe from PS Desserts by Philippa Sibley, with photographs by Mark Roper. Published by Hardie Grant Books.