New Year, new start

 

I guess that, in my case at least, you could say that. Yesterday I moved into my new place, I have a (relatively) new job so yes, 2009 is looking promising for me.

I wanted to do a short post and today’s recipe will be for doughnuts. We did it a while ago in my Patisserie course but, since doughnuts are strongly associated with the New Year in many countries  I have been saving the recipe until now.

In all honesty the dough is the very same that we used for the cinnamon buns but, just in case, I will be providing an alternative recipe should you wish to try it instead.

Doughnuts go  by many names and can be eaten plain or with filling, they can also have a hole (in the American fashion) or not.

They are Olliebollen in the Netherlands, Pączki in Poland and, interestingly enough, Berliner in many other places including Argentina (where we know them as berlinesas) and everywhere in Germany except in Berlin itself where they are called Pfannekuchen. All of these countries include doughnuts as part of their traditional New Year fare perhaps because they are round in shape and anything circular is considered a symbol for a cycle that’s coming full circle as it were since times immemorial. For this reason they are also considered lucky.

 doughnuts

Doughnuts or Berliner – adapted from La Cocina Divertida by Blanca Cotta

 

                                                                             

1 tbsp. fresh yeast

¼ cup tepid water

flour, as needed

1 cup milk

100g melted butter

200g and 1 tbsp. sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks

pinch of salt

lemon zest, 1 tbsp.

quince cheese cut into small squares or thick jam, to taste

vegetable oil, to fry

sugar, as needed

 

 

1. Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water together with a tsp. of sugar and 1 tsp. flour.  

 

2. Whisk well with a whisker until bubbles have forme on the surface.

 3. Cover and leave in a warm place to prove until it resembles a bubbly foam.

 

4. Put three cups of flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre.

 

5. Put inside the fermented yeast, the salt, the lemon zest, the 200g sugar, the egg yolks and the melted butter.

 

6. Add the milk while you mix everything with an open hand to air the mixture.

 

7. Add the egg whites, beaten to hard peaks while you add more flour until you have a dough that comes off the sides of the bowl.

 

8. Place it on the worktop and work it a little bit until you have a smooth dough.

 

9. Put the dough in a bowl, which you would have floured a little and leave to prove, covered with a tea towel until it doubles in size.

 

Shaping and cooking:

      1.      Roll out the dough leaving it of 1 cm thickness. 

      2.      Cut into rounds of 5 cm diameter.

3.      Place a bit of dulce de leche or jam in the middle of a disc, brush the dejes with a little water and cover with another disc.

 

4.      Once made, roll the dough in your hands to give it a circular shape.

 

5.      Shape the rest of the berliner in the same way. You can also cut out the dough using digital scales and shape them into balls to be filled later with jam or dulce de leche. (In Argentina these are also known as Friar’s Balls, no really!).

6.   Place them on floured trays (uncovered) and leave them to prove until they look lovely and puffy. 

7.      Fry them in abundant hot oil, preferably using a deep frier. 

 

8.      Fry little batches each time so that they can swim at leisure and they don’t stick together, turning them over once, so that they cook evenly. 

 

9.      When they are completely golden (really dark), drain them on kitchen paper and roll them in cinnamon sugar while they’re still hot.

 

Note: You can also roll them in a mix of sugar and cinnamon or you can flavour the dough with vanilla essence or lemon zest. If you’re planning to fill the doughnuts that don’t have a hole, wait until they are cold to do it, otherwise they will spit the filling right back at you! Fillings can be jam, crème patissiere, dulce de leche…                                                                                                          

 

 

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