Oohh quater finals! After missing last week’s challenge in favour of making my boyfriend a (pretty awesome) pizza cake, I was raring to go tackling this week’s Enriched Dough challenges.
Signature Bake: Enriched sweet fruit loaves
Technical Challenge: Povitica
Showstopper Challenge: Doughnuts
I absolutely love working with dough and get such a thrill seeing how much it rises during a prove (it’s the #LittleThings in life eh?!) However, as I mentioned in this week’s InstaLIFE post, I have had a bit of a busy week and was away in Cambridge all weekend. Keen to tackle doughnuts, but without much time or a microwave to help speed things up a la Nancy, I decided to make No Prove Ring Doughnuts!
I came across this recipe on Little Paper Swans blog (which by the way is an absolutely gorgeous lifestyle blog with tons of lovely recipes you should definitely check out!) I was instantly drawn in by the fact that it is such a quick and simple recipe. I had all of ingredients in my cupboards already and could just get going with them.
I was really pleased with how my doughnuts turned out. I was a tad worried they’d be quite flat and dense due to the lack of proving, but they puffed and fluffed up nicely while frying.
The frying was definitely the trickiest part of making the doughnuts as you had to get the oil just right. The recipe states heating it to 180c but I had to guesstimate as I don’t have a cooking thermometer (top of my wish list now!) My first couple of doughnuts were ruined by using too hot oil – they went too dark on the outside too quickly and didn’t cook in the middle. However after turning down the heat, they cooked nicely and had a lovely light, airy texture inside.
As I don’t have a deep fat fryer, I shallow fried my doughnuts using my new Green Earth Frying Pan* by Ozeri. The Green Earth Frying Pan is one of the world’s first frying pans to be completely free of toxins – instead it uses a pure ceramic coating to make it non-stick. I wanted to use a non-stick pan to make sure none of the dough got stuck to the bottom of the pan as I was shallow not deep frying. I liked the idea of using this toxin free pan for making doughnuts as they soak up so much oil and I didn’t want any toxins (which can be released whilst using other non-stick pans) to be absorbed whilst cooking. Just sugar and spice and all things nice in my doughnuts 😀 AND look how pretty it is – such a gorgeous colour!
My doughnuts tasted really nice and I experimented with rolling them in plain sugar and also cinnamon sugar which were both lovely. One thing to note though is they should definitely be served and enjoyed straight away, as I saved some for the next day and the sugar had absorbed into the dough over night 🙁 They still tasted scrummy but definitely didn’t look as pretty!
** 500g plain flour
** 1 teaspoon baking powder
** 75g butter
** 75g caster sugar
** 250ml milk
** 1 egg
** sunflower oil to fry
(P.S yes that is Gossip Girl playing in the background! Baking and GG is an unbeatable combo!)
1) Sieve the flour and baking powder together into a bowl and then add in your cubed butter.
2) Rub together the butter and flour mix until you have breadcrumb-like consistency.
TOP TIP: Don’t be tempted to be heavy handed when squishing it all together – you want breadcrumbs not dough at this stage! Just use your finger tips and lift your hands in and out of the bowl as you go to get lots of air in the mix (Hard I know as making breadcrumbs by hand is one of the longest most painful things ever! Definitely my least favourite baking activity! **Hand cramp alert!!!)
3) Once you have breadcrumbs, stir in your sugar and make a well in the centre of the mix.
4) Beat your egg into the milk and then pour this bit by bit into the well of your flour mixture. Stir it all together to make a dough.
TOP TIP: Add the eggy milk slowly as you may not need to use it all to bring everything together.
5) Roll out your dough to about 1cm thick and then cut out your ring doughnuts. I used a 10cm scone cutter for the outer circle and the lid of a salad dressing pot to cut out the inner circle.
6) Now here’s the point where Blue Peter would tell you you need adult supervision – enter my boyfriend! I’m such a clumsy chef (remember the ciabatta making?!) I definitely needed a responsible adult to watch over me at this stage! Heat the oil to 180c and then lower your doughnuts in. Allow them to turn golden brown and then flip them over.
TOP TIP: Experiment with the heat of your oil to test what temperature works best to cook your doughnuts. I popped a little ball of dough in to test how well it cooked before frying my actual doughnuts.
7) Once your doughnuts have browned on both sides, carefully take them out of the saucepan and place on kitchen roll to cool and remove excess oil.
8) Whilst the doughnuts are still warm, roll them in caster sugar / cinnamon / other delicious toppings of your choice.