Nothing beats hot and fresh cinnamon donuts, and this is an easy and delicious recipe from Gary Mehigan of MasterChef Australia.
I love donuts. I particularly love them hot, fresh from the vat and sprinkled with lots of sugar and ground cinnamon. Give me a donut and a cup of coffee for breakfast and I’m a happy camper.
Now probably isn’t the best time to confess that I once had an addiction to cinnamon donuts. I was living in Brisbane, Australia, at the time and would often buy them by the half dozen from the supermarket and finish them within a day. Not very classy but gosh they were good! Thankfully, those days of gluttony are (sort of) over for me. Though, that is probably due in part to the fact that I now live in Zurich, Switzerland, where cinnamon donuts are a rare find.
In Zurich, you can find donuts at Starbucks, but I don’t know where they are made and they are always sold cold. Jam donuts (Berliner) can often be found, but they tend to be dusted with icing sugar instead of granulated sugar. Still, I wouldn’t say no to one, especially if it comes from Sprüngli, a famous patisserie in Zurich. And I particularly love donuts filled with thick, vanilla custard. Mmmm …
Sadly, there is no Dunkin’ Donuts or similar in Zurich. Of course, they have their own lovely cake shops and bakeries with gorgeous French-inspired pastries, but there are times when you don’t want a perfect-looking Vanilla Slice (Vanille Cremeschnitte) or Raspberry Tart. There are times when only a good ol’ cinnamon donut would do.
I spent a good part of 2010 watching MasterChef Australia on iTunes. I was simply addicted to the show and couldn’t wait to come home each day to download the next episode. I’m rather disappointed that they haven’t made the 2011 series available on iTunes but at least there are other ways of watching it online (for free!). And it was on one of the episodes of MasterClass that I saw Gary Mehigan making donuts that reminded me of my lost love for donuts; I was instantly captivated and couldn’t wait to try the recipe at home.
Most donut recipes require you to make a yeast dough, but Gary’s recipe uses a batter made with yeast. The batter is incredibly simple to make and only requires about 45-60 minutes to prove. Unfortunately, I don’t own a deep-fryer but a large pot and a sugar thermometer works just as well.
These donuts are incredibly light and fluffy – not dense and chewy which leaves a heavy feeling in your tummy. In fact, these are so light that it’s hard to stop eating them!
- Prep Time: 15 mins plus proving time
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Makes about 20
- 440 ml full cream milk
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 75 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 10 g instant dried yeast
- 600 g plain flour
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- granulated sugar
- ground cinnamon
- strawberry jam to serve
- Heat the milk in a large saucepan with a sugar thermometer until 37°C.
- Melt the butter in the milk, then whisk in the sugar and eggs. Whisk in the yeast.
- Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour in the milk mixture and whisk until smooth. The batter should be fairly thick.
- Cover with a teatowel and set aside in a warm place to prove for 45-60 minutes or until it has doubled or tripled in volume.
- Use a wooden spoon to mix the batter and release the air.
- Fill a large saucepan with oil until it is one-third full and heat until it is 165°C.
- Grab a handful of the batter and squeeze balls of dough through your thumb and index finger into the oil. Do this just above the oil so that the oil does not splatter when the dough hits the oil.
- Repeat until you have about 5 or 6 donuts, but do not crowd the pan.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until golden brown. The donuts will tend to turn themselves.
- To test if the inside is cooked, insert a metal skewer through the centre of a donut.
- Remove the donuts from the oil and tip it straight into a large plate of granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Make sure the donuts are well-coated and serve with strawberry jam on the side.