Classic Jelly-Filled Doughnuts
My current favorite doughnuts in Los Angeles are from Sidecar, as I frequent their location in Santa Monica almost weekly. It’s more of a fancy doughnut place, not your usual “hole-in-the-wall” shop. You may have to pay up to $4 a doughnut but they are worth the price for all the delicious flavors -- and they are usually served still warm. My boyfriend Aaron and I try to eat fairly healthy (at least for breakfast) during the week. Then on the weekends, we treat ourselves. Sunday is usually our day for doughnuts and I realized that it was something I really looked forward to when I woke up one morning, blinked my eyes awake and smiled, thinking “oh hell yeah, it’s doughnut day”. That was when I knew I had better cut back - at least slightly.
I love doughnuts that are sweet without being sickly sweet, and this recipe uses less sugar for the dough since it will later be rolled in sugar and filled with jam. The doughnuts pictured have been filled with a combination of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and grape jam as well as lemon curd.
1 ¼ cups whole milk
2½ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
8 tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
2¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon table salt
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out dough
Vegetable oil cooking spray, as needed
Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying
2 cups seedless jam of choice, for filling
Pastry bag with circle tip, for filling
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the milk until warm, about 90º (too hot and it will kill the yeast). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the yeast and milk and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add the eggs, butter, ¼ cup of the sugar and salt into the yeast mixture and beat until well combined. Slowly add the flour until completely combined and the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer. If needed add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil cooking spray then add the dough and cover. Let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a ½-inch thick rectangle. Cut out doughnuts using a 3-inch circle cookie-cutter (or use a drinking glass). You may have to knead and roll out the dough again.
Put the doughnuts on a floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until the doughnuts are slightly puffed up, about 45 minutes.
Add enough vegetable oil to a heavy-bottomed saucepot or deep-fryer so that it is at least 2-inches deep. Heat the oil to 375º. Line cooling racks with paper towels for draining.
Working with a few doughnuts at a time, add the dough to the oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute each side.
Remove and drain on the cooling rack. Add the remaining granulated sugar to a medium shallow bowl. Roll the doughnuts in the sugar then return to the cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Fill the pastry bag fitted with small circle tip with jam of choice. Working one doughnut at a time, use a chopstick to poke a hole in the side of the doughnut and gently move it side to side, being careful not to widen the hole. Insert the tip about ½-inch deep into the side of the doughnut and pipe about 2 tablespoons of jam in the side.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes about 1 dozen doughnuts.
Recipe adapted from the NY Times.