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Step-by-step - Learn to make doughnuts.

Summary: Doughnut master Justin Gellatly makes irresistibly plump and sugary treats

Doughnut dough

MAKES about 20 doughnuts (about 1kg dough) PREP 45 mins plus proving and overnight chilling COOK 4 mins per doughnut (fried in batches, about 30-40 mins total) MORE OF A CHALLENGE

For the dough

500g strong white bread flour

60g golden caster sugar

15g fresh yeast, crumbled

4 eggs

zest 1/2 lemon

2 tsp fine sea salt

125g softened unsalted butter

about 2 litres sunflower oil,

for deep-frying

caster sugar, for tossing

PER DOUGHNUT 255 kcals * fat 16g * saturates 4g * carbs 22g * sugars 3g * fibre 1g * protein 5g * salt 0.5g

Custard filling

MAKES about 900g (45g filling each for 20 doughnuts) PREP 20 mins COOK 10 mins A LITTLE EFFORT

1 vanilla pod

500ml full-fat milk

6 egg yolks

125g golden caster sugar,

plus an extra 2 tbsp

80g plain flour

200ml double cream

1 Slit the vanilla pod open lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Put both pod and seeds into a heavy-based saucepan with the milk and bring slowly to the boil, to infuse the vanilla.

2 Meanwhile put the egg yolks and the 125g sugar in a bowl and mix together for a few secs, then add in the flour and mix again.

3 Pour the just-boiling milk over the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 10 mins until very thick.

4 Pass through a fine sieve, discarding the vanilla, and place a sheet of cling film on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge.

5 Whip the cream and the 2 tbsp sugar together until thick but not overwhipped, fold into the chilled custard.

PER 45G 132 kcals * fat 8g * saturates 4g * carbs 13g * sugars 10g * fibre none * protein 2g * salt 0.1g

Justin's tips

* Always weigh the water -- it's a lot more accurate than using a measuring jug.

* A deep-fat fryer is a lot safer than a pan of hot oil, but please be careful either way! If you don't have a deep-fat fryer (which will have an integral thermometer), you will need a good digital thermometer to check the oil paella called arrEs negre.

Try different flavours

BROWN SUGAR Replace the caster sugar with half soft dark brown sugar and half light brown sugar. You can add chopped stem ginger to the finished custard, or some hazelnut praline. Finish with half the quantity of cream.

CHOCOLATE Whisk 150g dark (70%) chocolate into the milk. Finish with half the cream. COFFEE Add 4 tbsp of freshly ground strong coffee to the milk.

MALT & VANILLA Mix 2 tbsp of powdered malt into the sugar, and 2 tbsp of liquid malt into the milk. SAFFRON Add a good pinch of saffron to the milk. Finish with half the quantity of cream.

VIOLET CUSTARD Add 3 tsp of violet extract and 3 tbsp of violet liqueur to the finished custard. Sprinkle sugared violets and crushed Parma Violet sweets over the top of the filled doughnuts.

1Put 150g water and all the dough ingredients, apart from the butter, into the bowl of a mixer with a beater paddle.

Mix on a medium speed for 8 mins or until the dough starts coming away from the sides and forms a ball. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 1 min.

2Start the mixer up again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough -- about 25g at a time.

Once it is all incorporated, mix on high speed for 5 mins until the dough is glossy, smooth and very elastic when pulled.

3Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to prove until it has doubled in size. Knock back the dough in the bowl briefly, then re-cover and put in the fridge to chill overnight.

4The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 50g pieces (you should get about 20).

5Roll the dough pieces into smooth, tight buns and place them on a floured baking tray, leaving plenty of room between them, as you don't want them to stick together while they prove.

6Cover loosely with cling film and leave for 4 hrs or until doubled in size. Fill your deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 180C.

7When the oil is heated, carefully slide the doughnuts from the tray using a floured pastry scraper. Taking care not to deflate them, put them into the oil. Do 2-3 per batch, depending on the size of your fryer or pan.

8Fry for 2 mins each side until golden brown -- they puff up and float, so you may need to gently push them down after about 1 min to help them colour evenly.

9Remove the doughnuts from the fryer and place them on kitchen paper.

10Toss the doughnuts in a bowl of caster sugar while still warm. Repeat the steps until all the doughnuts are fried, but keep checking the oil temperature is correct -- if it is too high, they will burn and be raw in the middle; if it is too low, the oil will be absorbed into the doughnuts and they will become greasy. Set aside to cool before filling.

11To fill the doughnuts, make a hole with a small knife in the crease of each one, anywhere around the white line between the fried top and bottom.

12Fill a piping bag with your filling and pipe into the doughnut until nicely swollen -- 20-50g is the optimum quantity, depending on the filling; cream will be less, because it is more aerated.

After filling, the doughnuts are best eaten straight away, but will keep in an airtight tin.

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Publication:BBC GoodFood Middle East
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Sep 30, 2016
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