Simple Yeast Doughnuts
1 tspdry yeast
1 tspfine sea salt
65gsoftened unsalted butter
Put 75g water and all the dough ingredients, apart from the butter, into the bowl of a mixer with a beater paddle. Mix on a medium speed for 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 for about 1 hr until it has doubled in size. Knock back the dough in the bowl briefly, then re-cover and prove for another hour.
Tip the dough onto a very well floured surface and knead briefly. Roll out to 1cm thickness and cut into 6cm rounds with a floured biscuit cutter.
Place them on a floured baking tray, leaving plenty of room between them, as you don’t want them to stick together while they prove.
Cover loosely with cling film and leave for one more hour until doubled in size. Fill your deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 160C.
When the oil is heated, carefully slide the doughnuts from the tray using a floured pastry scraper. Taking care not to deflate them, put them into the oil. Do 2-3 per batch, depending on the size of your fryer or pan.
Fry for 2 mins each side until golden brown – they puff up and float, so you may need to gently push them down after about 1 min to help them colour evenly.
Remove the doughnuts from the fryer and place them on kitchen paper.
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 – if it is too high, they will burn and be raw in the middle; if it is too low, the oil will be absorbed into the doughnuts and they will become greasy. Set aside to cool before filling.