Hello friends! Haven’t posted anything on here for a while now…not sure if I remember how to do it :D
I know you are all now used to me sharing recipes on Instagram but this one is just a bit more complicated and I have a lot of advice and tips and tricks to share so this might be the best way to do it. Basically, you’ll have all the info and the recipe written here plus short and educational reel videos on my Instagram account @hungry_anja
If you don’t know that about me and you’re a new follower I lived in London for the past 7 years before moving back to Croatia. While we lived there, going to Bread Ahead Bakery or St John restaurant to pick up vanilla doughnuts was one of our favourite rituals. Especially on the weekends. The softest, most pillowy doughnut dough filled with the creamiest vanilla cream. You just can’t beat these doughnuts, they are the best, and trust me Croatians know how to bake doughnuts too but this is something else. If you tried them you definitely know what I’m talking about. A few years ago I was invited to attend Bread Ahead famous doughnut class and to learn from Justin Gellatly himself and the most important thing I’ve learned there and want to share with you is: don’t try to make this dough without a standing mixer :D I’m not joking friends, I tried kneading this dough by hands at their class and incorporating butter piece by piece into that sticky dough, it was a painful process to put it that way haha essentially they wanted to show us that it takes time to develop gluten in your dough, to develop elasticity and to show us how important it is not to add more flour as soon as you think your dough is too sticky. Because dough should be sticky when you start working with it, you just need to be patient enough to work with it until it’s no longer all over your hands. Or just use a standing mixer like I mentioned before :D
Ok, let’s move to the recipe now, I’m using Justin’s doughnut recipe that you can find in his cookbook or basically anywhere on the internet. I changed it just a bit for my needs and added the recipe for my tiramisu cream. Pairing my favourite dessert Tiramisu with these epic doughnuts seemed like the most natural thing to do and I’m so happy to share this one with you all! Really hope you will give this recipe a go really soon, it’s not the easiest not gonna lie but it is so worth it :)
TIRAMISU DOUGHNUTS makes 20
DOUGHNUTS ingredient list
- 550g strong white bread flour (high proteins in flour means more dough strength and elasticity!)
- 60g golden caster sugar
- 15g fresh yeast, crumbled
- 4 medium eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 10g fine sea salt
- 125g softened unsalted butter
- 130g water – always weigh your liquids – just use a digital kitchen scale to weigh everything so it’s really precise!
- about 1,5 litres sunflower oil, for deep-frying, the quantity will depend on the frying pan size you will be using
- caster sugar for tossing
TIRAMISU CREAM ingredient list
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste
350-400g mascarpone cheese (room temp)
500ml whipping cream
100-120ml coffee of your choice/espresso
50-60ml dark rum (Badel za sve s ovih prostora)
cacao or grated dark chocolate for dusting
Mix 130g warm water with sugar and crumbled fresh yeast in a mug and let it sit for a few minutes until it activates. Add all the other dough ingredients, apart from the butter, into the bowl of a mixer with a beater paddle. Go in with activated yeast and then mix on a medium speed for 7-8 mins or until the dough starts coming away from the sides and forms a ball. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 1 min.
Start the mixer up again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough – about 25g at a time. Once it is all incorporated, mix on high speed for 5 mins until the dough is glossy, smooth and very elastic when pulled.
Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to prove until it has doubled in size. Approx 2h. Keep it in the oven with the light turned on. Knock back the dough in the bowl briefly, then re-cover and put in the fridge to chill overnight. This cold fermentation is also one of the things that makes this dough so special, airy and full of flavour.
The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 55g pieces (you should get about 20).
Roll the dough pieces into smooth, tight buns and place each doughnut ball on a lightly oiled baking paper square. Leaving plenty of room between them, as you don’t want them to stick together while they prove.
Cover loosely with a tea towel and leave for 3-4 hrs or until doubled in size. If you proof them in the oven (and I highly suggest this method!) at 25-30 C they should double in size in 2 hours. Fill your saucepan halfway with oil and heat the oil to 170 C (Bread Ahead suggests baking them at 180C but I find you’ll get a nicer yellow ‘ring’ if baking them at a slightly lower temperature . This is very important so it’s good to have thermometer. If the temperature is too low they will soak up too much oil but if the temperature is too high they will burn but stay raw in the middle.
NOTE: controlling the temperature is so much easier if you have an induction stove or a gas stove. If you have an electric one it will be much harder to keep the temperature at 170-180 C at all times because you can’t instantly change the heating ring temperature. My advice is to keep the stove temperature at 7 out of 10 so the oil never gets too heated.
When the oil is heated, carefully slide the doughnuts from each paper square. Taking care not to deflate them, or push any air bubbles. Put them into the oil 3-5 per batch, depending on the size of your pan.
Fry each side for 2 minutes until golden brown – they puff up and float creating that yellow ring in the middle we all want to see!
Remove the doughnuts from the pan and place them on a kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
Toss the doughnuts in a bowl of caster sugar while still warm. Repeat the steps until all the doughnuts are fried, but keep checking the oil temperature is correct. Set aside to cool before filling.
For tiramisu cream make your zabaglione by whisking fresh egg yolks, vanilla paste and sugar together over a pot of simmering water. This way you will basically cook eggs slowly and the heat will melt the sugar. The process can take anywhere from 5-10min. Set aside to cool off. This step can be done ahead. Whipping cream should be really cold and fresh before you start mixing it. My tip is to use the lowest mixing setting to make sure not to over-whip the cream. This is really important!!
Make sure your mascarpone was sitting on the kitchen counter for 20-30min before folding it with zabaglione cream. Lastly, gently fold in your whipped cream. That’s it, that’s your cream.
Make fresh espresso and mix it with dark rum.
To fill the doughnuts, make an incision (a hole) with a small knife in the crease of each one, anywhere around the white line between the fried top and bottom. Pour a tbsp of coffee & rum mixture through that hole in each doughnut.
Fill a piping bag with your filling and pipe into the doughnut until nicely swollen – 20-50g is the optimum quantity. Dust them with cacao powder and that’s it. After filling, the doughnuts are best eaten straight away, but will keep fresh in an airtight tin for a day.
HELPFUL TIPS when baking doughnuts – I shared these on my Instagram account but I will save them here too because you all love a good useful tip :)
- When making these brioche like doughnuts I highly recommend you to use standing mixer, it’s really hard to incorporate butter, piece by piece into the dough using your hands, it’s super sticky and it takes TIME I tried it at Bread Ahead Bakery class and wouldn’t recommend it
- You should form the dough a day ahead of baking because you don’t want to skip on the cold overnight fermentation
- Divide the cold dough into similar pieces and weigh each piece to make sure they are around 55g – 50g will make them a bit smaller in size, 60g a bit bigger – see what works for you
- I love using squares of baking paper (brush paper with sunflower oil!) and placing every doughnut ball to each own square before letting it prove! This will allow you to easily slide each doughnut straight into hot oil without squishing it! They will stay perfectly round every time
- For proofing make sure the room is really warm or just use proofing setting in your oven – the temperature should be between 25-30C.
- Use thermometer if you have one! I find it very helpful as it’s very important to have the right temperature when frying doughnuts. I keep the oil temp at 170-180 C at all times. If the temp is lower doughnuts might soak up more oil but if it’s too hot they will burn on the outside and stay raw in the middle. But in conclusion, it’s better that the temperature is slightly lower than 170 C rather than being too high because they will just burn too quickly and stay raw in the middle.
- Use caster sugar for coating the doughnuts while still warm! For Croatians – use Agragold sugar as it’s the most similar one as it’s finely ground just like caster
- For tiramisu cream make sure to have your mascarpone at room temperature before using while whipping cream should be very cold before you start to mix it with a mixer
- Cook fresh egg yolks with sugar over hot water using the Bain Marie method until the mixture becomes sticky and pale yellow
- Don’t over whip the cream, you want soft peaks so your cream doesn’t become heavy and sticky!
- Don’t fill them with the cream while they are still warm as the cream will melt, make sure they are room temperature
- If serving to children skip the coffee&rum mixture, simply fill the doughnuts with the cream and grate some dark chocolate over instead cacao
- They taste the best on the same day and they usually disappear on the same day :D
Happy baking, let me know what you think about these when yo make them x