These pillowy soft doughnuts are well worth the effort and are great for sharing.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 60g golden caster sugar
- 15g fresh yeast, crumbled
- 4 eggs
- ½ lemon, zested
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 125g softened unsalted butter
- about 2 litres sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- caster sugar, for tossing
- 300g strawberry jam for filling
- Put 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.
- Start the mixer up again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough – about 25g at a time. Once it’s all incorporated, mix on high speed for 5 mins until the dough is glossy, smooth and very elastic when pulled.
- Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to prove until it’s doubled in size. Knock back the dough in the bowl briefly, then re-cover and put in the fridge to chill overnight.
- The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 50g pieces (you should get about 20).
- Roll 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.
- Cover 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. Read our guide on how to deep-fry safely for more essential information.
- When 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.
- Fry 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.
- Remove the doughnuts from the fryer and place them on kitchen paper.
- Toss 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’s too high, they will burn and be raw in the middle; if it’s too low, the oil will be absorbed into the doughnuts and they will become greasy. Set aside to cool before filling.
- To 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.
- Fill a piping bag with jam and pipe into the doughnut until nicely swollen – about 1 tbsp per doughnut. After filling, the doughnuts are best eaten straight away, but will keep in an airtight tin.