Sometimes even the tiniest thing is enough to make us feel all right for a moment. To me, biting into a doughnut is one of those things. While not a healthy dessert, jam or ring doughnuts are wonderful occasional treats. They practically melt in your mouth when you take a bite, and even though they do take a bit of time, it’s so worth the end result.
These versatile deep-fried dough balls have come to take on many different forms. There are countless variations from cake to glazed to cream-filled, and every donut shop around the world puts their own creative spin on their specific creations.
Despite the wide range of opportunities to purchase any kind of doughnuts you have a desire for, I prefer homemade doughnuts, which are not glazed, not decorated, just as simple as possible. I came across the following ring doughnut recipe in a Transylvanian cookbook, these doughnuts are classic and delicious.
- 450 g (~3 2/3 cups) flour
- 30 g fresh yeast (3 tsp dry yeast)
- 100 g (~3/4 cup) powdered sugar
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 150 ml (~2/3 cup) milk
- 70 g (~1/3 cup) butter, melted
- vegetable oil for deep frying
Combine yeast, a teaspoon of sugar and lukewarm milk in a small bowl, and set aside until yeast starts to foam.
In a separate bowl beat eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes foamy and pale yellow. Add salt, flour and activated yeast, and knead – using a mixer with dough hooks – until the dough starts to hold together. Pour in melted butter and keep kneading until butter is fully incorporated. Cover and let the dough rise for 50-60 minutes.
On a floured surface roll out the dough to about 2 cm / 3/4″ thick. Cut into rounds using an 8 cm / 3 1/4″ straight sided round cutter, then use a 2-3 cm / 3/4 – 1 1/4″ cutter to stamp out the middle of each doughnut. Re-roll the trimmings to make more doughnuts. Cover and let the doughnuts rest for 15 minutes.
Pour the oil into a large saucepan to the depth of 10 cm/4″ and heat until a small piece of dough dropped into it sizzles immediately and floats to the surface. Carefully place 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time and fry until golden brown on each side (try to maintain a steady medium temperature while frying in order to avoid burning). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. You can dust the doughnuts with powdered sugar and/or serve them with jam.