Fluffy Buttermilk Doughnuts
Makes 12 Doughnuts
Thank you to the sun, a paid actor, and true causer of veritable eye-feasts. I'm nothing if not a terrible photographer, and I have tried (and failed) to understand cameras and food photography. So, when that hour and a half slot of sunlight graces my kitchen benches, I plan to take full advantage of it.
And yes, I did eat a doughnut for breakfast, and I did trial a lot of these doughnuts, which means I did sacrifice washboard abs for you and only you. This recipe has never failed me, even when thawed from frozen, these doughnuts will be the best you've ever had. If you want to try my smore's doughnut (pictured because I didn't think to take a picture of the doughnuts on their own) you can go here for the salted chocolate filling and toasted marshmallow topping. Doesn't it sound truly ridiculous? Yeah, but you deserve ridiculous sometimes.
30mls warm water
1 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast
28g of caster sugar (plus ¼ teaspoon)
265 grams of all-purpose flour
30g of butter, melted then cooled (weighed before melting)
93 grams of buttermilk
¼ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
Zest of 1 lemon
Canola Oil for deep frying
½ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8th teaspoon of nutmeg
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar until the yeast ha dissolved. Let sit for 5 minutes (it should be frothy after 5 minutes).
In a large bowl, sift in your flour and the 28 grams of caster sugar. Make a well in the centre and stir in your yeast mixture, the buttermilk, the vanilla, the melted butter, the lemon zest, and your egg. Stir until a dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth (about 5-8 minutes). The dough will be slightly sticky but should come off from the surface relatively easy.
Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl (you can use softened butter or a neutral oil). Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave the bowl in a warm place for 1 and 1/2 hours to let the dough rise.
Line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone mat. Remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 2 minutes. Roll the dough out to about 2cm thick and let the dough rest for a few minutes before cutting out the doughnut rounds.
Cut the doughnuts out using a cutout with a 6-7cm diameter. Gather the scraps and roll the dough out again and repeat cutting out the doughnuts. Place them on the lined baking tray, cover with plastic wrap or a dry tea towel, and leave to rise in a warm place for another 20 minutes.
Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a shallow dish and set aside.
Once your dough has risen, deep fry the doughnuts in batches using canola oil at 170-180 degrees celsius. They will need about 40 seconds per side. Let the excess oil drip off them before you dredge them through the cinnamon sugar mixture. Fill them with your favourite fillings - you can try my salted chocolate pudding filling here - or eat them as is.
I highly recommend getting a good candy thermometer - it will allow you to fry things, make caramels, make marshmallow cream etc.
You can freeze the doughnuts by covering them on the tray and leaving in your freezer for up to 2 months. Just take one out, let it come to room temperature and fry as normal.