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Jam (jelly) doughnuts

Freshly home-made jam or jelly doughnuts (can’t you just smell them?) will always hit the right spot whatever the weather. And what’s more, you get to choose your own filling. What could be better?

This recipe makes 12 doughnuts.

 

Ingredients

Method

Dice the butter, beat the egg, and heat the milk to a lukewarm temperature.

Into a large bowl, sift the flour and a pinch of salt, then rub in the butter with your fingertips.

Add the yeast and one tablespoon of the sugar and stir it evenly through the mixture.

Make a well in the centre.

Separately, mix the beaten egg with the warmed milk then pour it into the well. Mix quickly and bring it together into a soft dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for eight minutes or so until the dough is smooth.

Put the dough in a very greased bowl and cover it with cling film. Leave the bowl in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about one hour).

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each into smooth balls (see Tips below).

Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Make sure they are spaced well apart.

Cover the 12 balls with a sheet of greased cling film and leave the tray in a warm place until they have doubled in size again.

Heat the oil in a large deep pan to a temperature of 190°C / 374°F.

Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower 2-3 doughnuts into the pan and fry for about 30 seconds on each side until they are golden and cooked through (a skewer will come out clean of wet dough). Use the slotted spoon to lift them out and drain them on kitchen paper. Repeat for each batch.

While the doughnuts are still warm, roll a sheet of baking paper into a cone to use as a piping bag. Make a little slit in the side of each doughnut with the tip of a small knife.

Fill the baking paper cone with the jam (jelly) and squeeze a little of the jam into the centre of each doughnut.

Finally, roll each doughnut carefully in the rest of the caster sugar to coat them completely. You could instead dust them well with a dredger.

You can serve these while still warm, or cold.

Tips

When rolling the 12 dough portions into smooth balls, pinch the dough on top and roll the bottom on a smooth surface. Then, turn the balls over so that the pinch is on the bottom.

Trivia

Doughnuts, whether ringed or filled, have a disputed history. One claim is they were invented in North America by early Dutch settlers, and certainly in the early 19th century they were referred to as a kind of oliekoek, a Dutch word meaning “oil cake” which were cakes sweetened and fried in fat. one early recorded recipe for a doughnut appeared in an English cookbook of 1803 in an appendix of American recipes. But this was trumped in 2013 by the discovery of a book of recipes and domestic tops compiled in 1800 by the wife of Baron Thomas Dimsdale, the English physician, banker, and Member of Parliament who treated the Empress Catherine the Great in Russia. Baroness Dimsdale called the recipe a “dow nut” and said it had been given to her by a friend in Hertfordshire as a local delicacy known as the “Hertfordshire Nut”.