My current favourite breakfast involves a strong flat white and a doughnut. Don't judge me. If it's somewhat redeemable, both the coffee and doughnut come from one of my absolute favourite destinations: Brewbakers, an artisan bakery in Albion, Brisbane. These doughnuts are no ordinary doughnuts, nor do they involve smarty eyes and freddo frogs. They're made from a sourdough base, and filled with either homemade raspberry jam, custard, or chocolate.
Having only made doughnuts myself once before, the Autumn issue of Donna Hay was of course a good enough reason to be inspired to put my deep-frying goggles back on (jokes) and fry some more dough, if only to limit my Brewbaker treat consumption levels. I'd added some rosewater to a good quality store-bought raspberry jam, but of course homemade would taste worlds better.
Recipe slightly modified from Autumn issue of Donna Hay
2 tsps active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsps lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsps caster sugar
50 gms butter
2 1/4 cups plain flour
vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cups raspberry jam
rosewater, to taste
rose sugar and dried rose petals, for dusting
Place the yeast, water, milk and 1 tbsp of sugar in a large bowl and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and use a butter knife to mix until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Roll out to 1cm thick and using an 8cm round cutter, cut ten rounds from the dough. Place the rounds on a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside for 30 minutes until risen.
Place the oil in a large, deep saucepan over a medium heat, measuring temperature of oil with a sugar thermometer until it reaches 180C. Cook the doughnuts, in batches, for 1 - 2 minutes each side, or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
In a small bowl, mix jam with 2 tsps rosewater. Taste, and add more if desired (which I did). Spoon jam into a piping bag fitted with a 0.5 - 1cm plain tip. Carefully pierce the doughnuts with a sharp knife, and then fill with jam. To ensure the jam reaches the middle of your doughnut, it's probably best to create this hole on the underside, which means you won't have a messy jam-hole showing like my doughnuts below. But, this is up to you.
Dust doughnuts with rose-infused sugar, and top with dried rose petals, if you like.
The most wonderful thing about homemade doughnuts is the lack of sickly-sweetness that I associate with the store-bought variety. The recipe shows how little sugar is really involved, and you can then pump your doughnut with as much sugar as you like depending on the type of jam you use. The draw-back is their shelf life, as they demand to be eaten on the same day they're created. Though, I think this can always be easily arranged.
Recommended baking soundtrack: Micah P. Hinson - Micah P. Hinson And The Pioneer Saboteurs.