Nuts for Dough...
400 g strong bread flour
7 g active dry yeast
120 g warm milk
30 g white sugar
good pinch of salt
20 g butter, melted
about 3 litres canola oil
30 g butter
200 g pure icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
your choice of decoration: bacon, chocolate, crushed cookies, hundreds and thousands
1: Place 300 g of the flour in a pile on the bench (or in a bowl) and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast, milk, sugar, salt, egg and melted butter to the well. Using your fingers, bring the wet mixture together then gradually incorporate the flour, adding a little water and as much of the remaining flour as needed to form a slightly sticky dough. Knead for 5–10 minutes or until the gluten is activated and the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap or a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Lightly punch down the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 2 cm thick (about 40 cm x 30 cm). Cover and leave to prove again for another 40 minutes.
Now it’s time to cut the dough into shapes. I use an 8 cm round cutter and then just work a hole in the middle with my hands.
2: Pour the canola oil into a large frying pan – you need enough to cover the dough when it goes into the pan. Heat the oil over high heat to about 180C.
Place the doughnuts in the oil (in batches if necessary – you don’t want to overcrowd the pan) and cook for 1 minute. Turn and cook the other side for another minute or until the doughnuts are puffed and golden.
Remove from the oil with tongs and allow to cool a little before glazing.
3: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the icing sugar and allow it to melt into the butter, stirring to remove any lumps. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and any other colour or flavour you want.
Dip your doughnuts into the glaze and off you go. Theses are best eaten on the day they are made.
Note: I love to mix things up with these doughnuts so I make the basic glaze and divide it among a few bowls, then add other colours and flavours to each bowl. Use whatever you like, but just so you know, peppermint and chocolate work fantastically well together.