I’m so excited! My new kitchen machine finally arrived from Germany! To celebrate I decided it was definitely time to cook something that is a little tricky to make by hand, an enriched yeast dough or Hefeteig – a staple of the German kitchen. And as we’re feeling a little bit homesick (not for the cold weather!) I decided I’d make Max some his favourite Bavarian treat Schmalznudeln – and with the rest of the dough, I’d make some good old fashioned Cinnamon Spiced Doughnuts.
Light and fluffy dough, quickly fried and dusted with an incredibly aromatic mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar is a sure-fire crowd pleaser – whether you’re snacking on these at home, or to take along to brunch or the office.
People are incredibly afraid of deep frying things at home, but it is really not as difficult as you think at first. Some common sense in the kitchen and a little bravery and you can whip up these delicious treats in the course of a morning. The actual hands on time is very little as the kitchen machine does most of the work.
Of course, you can make this dough by hand, if you’re prepared to use a little good old fashioned elbow grease. The dough is too wet to knead, so you’ll have to use a wooden spoon and a big bowl, and keep on stirring until the dough comes together – great for an impromptu arm workout!
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
Cinnamon Spiced Doughnuts
for the dough:
- 250 ml milk
- 7 g / 2 tsp dried yeast
- 75 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 500 g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 75 g butter, softened
- zest of one orange, finely grated
- Approx. 1.5L vegetable oil
- for the topping:
- 1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 250 g caster sugar
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it feels warm (but not hot) when you dip your little finger into it. Remove from the heat, then gently whisk in the yeast, sugar and eggs until combined.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour and salt, then, using the dough hook attachment, knead together the milk mixture and flour until a sticky dough forms, at least 5 minutes. While mixing, add the butter, a teaspoon at a time until it is completely incorporated into the mixture. Add the orange zest, if using.
- Continue kneading for another 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and less sticky. This is a very wet dough, but persevere, as you knead, the dough will become more elastic and stop sticking to the edge of the bowl.
- Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large saucepan - it needs to come up to roughly 5cm up the side of the pan. Whisk together the topping ingredients, pour into a wide plate or dish and set aside.
- When the dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. If you have an electric scale, it is easiest to weigh the pieces so you end up with doughnuts of a uniform size.
- Roll the pieces of dough into tight spheres. Place on the lightly floured bench top, or a greased tray, then cover with clingfilm or a damp cloth while you heat the oil, and line a plate with paper towels.
- Heat the oil to approximately 160°C, or if you don't have a thermometer, heat until the end of a wooden spoon forms fine bubbles when dipped into the oil. If it bubbles vigorously, it is too hot. Try to keep the oil at an even temperature while cooking. Carefully take one of the balls of dough, pinch a hole in the middle with your index finger and thumb, and gently stretch the hole in the middle to about 5cm in diameter.
- Carefully lower into the hot oil, then repeat with another ball of dough - I cook two at a time as the pan should not be crowded. Cook the doughnuts until golden brown on the underside - depending on how hot the oil is this can be anything from 30 seconds to a minute or two. Turn carefully using a slotted spoon, cook until golden brown on the other side, then lift out to the paper towel lined plate to drain, before dragging the doughnuts through the sugar and spice mixture while still warm.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, until finished, keeping an eye on the temperature of the oil.
TIPS & TRICKS:
You can also make this dough in the evening before, allowing it to rise overnight in the fridge. Then just get it out about an hour before you want to cook, to allow it to warm up a little.
Try not to be tempted to add extra flour to the dough to make it easier to handle (unless it is really bubble gum sticky when you come to make the rolls) this is a wet dough to work with but the light and fluffy result is worth it!