Every so often I get super obsessed with a recipe and have to work at it constantly until I feel like I’ve perfected it. A couple of years ago I went through a sugar cookie decorating phase and some days my house was literally covered in cookies and frosting. Luckily I had lovely housemates who didn’t mind too much that we no longer had a functional dining room table because every inch was covered in treats. Lately I’ve been going pretty wild for making éclairs (the previous post will get you up to speed). They aren’t too hard to make but there is a level of finesse involved so it still feels like a challenge every time I make them.
A little while ago I got pretty hooked on making doughnuts. There is something so special about doughnuts; they really do feel like such a treat. Every Friday I make a new flavour of doughnuts for one of the cafes I work at and even though the shift is late at night, I still feel so excited to make them. I like to think of all of the customers coming in the next day and treating themselves to one of my creations.
When I began making doughnuts I stuck to really simple flavours like vanilla or chocolate glaze. The more I made, the crazier I got playing around with flavours. My latest creation, peanut butter and jelly with chocolate-coated pretzels, is by far my favourite. I was pretty pleased the first time I made these doughnuts and super happy now to share the recipe with you!
Peanut butter & Jelly Doughnuts w/ Chocolate dipped Pretzels
- 1 cup of warm milk
- 3tbs dry yeast
- 2 ½ cups of plain flour
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1tsp of vanilla bean paste
- 3tbs room temperature butter
- Pinch of salt
- Whisk the yeast into the warm milk.
Once dissolved whisk in 1/3 of the flour to form a sloppy paste (this is called a slurry.) Leave in a warm place to prove for 20 to 30 minutes or until it has puffed up double in size.
- In a large bowl mix together sugar, flour and salt.
- In another bowl mix together egg yolks and vanilla.
- Add the egg mix and yeast mix to the flour mix and stir until combined.
- Add room temperature butter and mix. This can be done by hand or in a food processor with a dough hook. Once everything is combined start to knead the dough until smooth. It may look a little wet to start but it will tighten up as you continue to knead. If it remains too sticky to handle add a little flour to the bench.
- Once the dough is looking smooth (after about ten minutes of hard kneading) place in in a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap, and let rise for forty minutes in a warm place.
- After the hour, transfer the dough to the fridge and let rest for 3 to 8 hours.
- Once the dough has rested, remove it from the fridge, and punch down on it to get out any air (and frustrations...)
- Roll the dough out to 2cm thick and use a ring cutter to cut into rounds (how large you want your doughnuts will depend on the size of the cutter). Then cut a small hole in the middle of each doughnut (I use the back of a piping nozzle to do this).
- Place the doughnuts on a piece of baking paper in a warm place for half an hour to rise. Once they have puffed up by at least a third, and at most doubled, they are ready to be cooked.
- It's important to be super careful when deep frying anything at home as dealing with hot oil can be a little dangerous. If you have a deep fryer, great! If not that’s still ok. Fill a pot at least 6cm deep with vegetable oil and place on medium heat. The temperature required for frying the doughnuts is 170 degrees Celsius. This can be tested either with a thermometer or by dropping a small piece of white bread in the oil, and watching to see if it becomes golden within about 40 seconds.
- Once the oil is ready, carefully place a few of the doughnuts in being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until a deep golden colour.
- Carefully remove from the oil and lay on some paper towels to drain and cool.
- 250g icing sugar sifted
- 3tbs strawberry jam
- 2tbs warm water
- Sift icing sugar.
- Whisk in strawberry jam and water until smooth.
- When doughnuts are cool dip them into the glaze and let dry.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
- 250g caster sugar
- 90ml water
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- Place the sugar and water in a pot and start boiling with a candy thermometer.
- When the mix reaches 100 degrees Celsius, start whipping the egg whites (in a KitchenAid or with an electric whisk.) Whip them until they are very fluffy (it doesn’t matter if they get over whipped).
- When the sugar thermometer reaches 112 degrees Celsius, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the whipping whites. Continue to whip on high speed until the mix is cooled.
- Slowly add the butter to the mix and continue to whip until a smooth glossy buttercream forms.
- Mix in the peanut butter.
- Pipe the buttercream with a star nozzle as you would on a cupcake into the middle of the doughnut.
- 10 pretzels
- 200g dark chocolate
- Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
- Dip half of each pretzel in the chocolate and shake off any excess.
- Let set on a piece of baking paper.
- Place onto the top of the doughnut.