As a child, I remember having to tag along with my parents to the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne. This was the usual weekend routine. Catch the tram. Make your way through hundreds of fruit and veg stalls. Fill up the shopping trolley. Get the meat. Then the poultry...
It wasn't something I looked forward to on a Saturday morning. In my mind this was something adults did.
What I did however look forward to, was the jam doughnuts you could buy at the end of the shopping expedition!
I know. Call me crazy but these doughnuts were insane. You could smell the fried goodness miles away.
They sold churros (um...nothing like the ones I know now) cinnamon doughnuts and jam doughnuts.
It was the jam doughnuts I lusted after. Hot deep fried balls of dough, oozing with a scorching raspberry jam. Your fingers, face and clothes never looked the same after eating them!
But they were good...soooo goood!
Scoffed down with a hot chocolate and you knew deep down you never wanted to grow up.
Fast forward to 2010 and you know that eating deep fried morsels on a semi regular basis ain't good for the hips or the waistline.
So, it was with great intrigue that I saw a recipe for baked jam doughnuts in the June issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Could these baked beauties match those doughnuts of my childhood? Yes and no. They certainly had that "doughnut taste and flavour". They actually reminded me a lot of the Greek easter bread-tsoureki.
But something was lacking. And I suspect the words "deep fried" need to play a part here.
Don't get me wrong. These were delicious but they lacked that certain "oomph".
I made my version of jam doughnuts by using the mandarin jam as my filling. The lemon sugar added to the whole citrus theme and a cup of hot chocolate was the perfect friend.
Doughnuts, sugary mess and hot chocolate. Sometimes the child in you never really leaves!
- FOR THE DOUGHNUTS:
- 750 grams of plain flour-plus a little more for dusting
- 140 grams of caster sugar
- 1 sachet of dired yeast-7-8 grams
- 250 mls of lukewarm milk-plus a little more for brushing
- 80 mls of greek yoghurt
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 150 grams of melted butter
- FOR THE LEMON SUGAR:
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- Grated rind of 2 lemons
- Preheat your oven to 190 deg and combine the flour, sugar, yeast and lemon rind in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine.
- Whisk together the milk, yoghurt, eggs and 30 grams of the melted butter in separate bowl or jug and pour this into the flour mixture whilst the motor is running. Mix on a medium speed until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Shape into a ball, place in a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let it stand in a warm place for about 1-1 1/2 hours (until it has doubled in size)
- Once the dough has doubled in volume, turn it out on a clean bench, give it a good knocking and roll it out to 5mm thick.
- Cut 12 rounds with a 7cm round cutter and 12 rounds with an 8 cm cutter.
- Place the smaller rounds spaced 5 cm apart on a grease paper lined tray and spoon in a teaspoon of your favourite jam filling.
- Brush the edges with milk and cover with the larger rounds, pressing well to seal in the edges. (you can use the smaller cutter to trim the excess edges)
- Cover again and let the doughnuts stand in a warm place for another 1 1/2 hours.
- Bake in the oven for about 10-12 mins or until the bottoms and tops have browned.
- Combine the lemon rind and sugar. As soon as the doughnuts come out of the oven dip into the remaining melted butter, toss in the lemon sugar and serve immediately.
These are best eaten the day they are made-preferably within a few hours of being baked.