I’m not really a lover of doughnuts, anything deep-fried tends to scare me. (I fear for both my health and safety!) Beyond that, if I’m going to indulge myself, I generally prefer something a bit more exciting than fried dough (please don’t hate me!). As children my brother and I were allowed to pick a bakery item for dessert on Fridays; while my brother nearly always plumped for a jam doughnut, I was always drawn to the delightfully wobbly custard tarts. I used to nibble off the pastry sides before devouring the nutmeg-speckled custard with a slurp (what a delightful child I was). Maybe it’s a boy thing? My husband is a bit of a doughnut fan too. But the idea making a baked version at home really appeals and is possibly a teeny bit healthier than the standard fried version.
I suppose I should restate that first line. I didn’t used to be a lover of doughnuts. But these baked ones are much more to my taste. I managed to eat ahem, three in one sitting. And then I sort of wanted another one… That’s the beauty of this recipe, the finished product is light and soft rather than doughy and greasy. Perfect for a special weekend breakfast especially since you can make the dough the night before and leave them to rise in the fridge. They only take a few minutes to cook so you can leave them to rise while you have a shower and put the coffee on. But do bear in mind that you will have to pull them out the fridge an hour before this so they can come to room temperature (not a problem if, like me, you nip downstairs to let the rabbits out* and then go back to bed).
Baked cinnamon doughnuts
From Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks
Makes about 12-14
(Shaped, unrisen doughnuts can be frozen. Defrost fully and allow to come to room temperature before allowing to rise for 45 minutes and baking for 8-10 minutes)
- 150ml milk, hand hot
- 1/2 a sachet of dried yeast
- 15g butter
- 60g sugar
- 1 egg
- 300g plain flour
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the coating:
- 50g butter, melted
- 150g sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
Put 50ml of warm milk in a large bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
Add the rest of the milk, butter and sugar and stir.
With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg and salt and stir well until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a well floured surface and allow to sit for a few minutes so the flour can absorb the liquid. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, place back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise in a warm place for an hour until doubled in volume.
Knock back the dough and roll out to a thickness of 3-4mm. Cut out circles roughly 7-8cm in diameter and cut out a smaller circle of about 2cm diameter in the middle of each one. Knead the remaining dough back into a ball, reroll and cut until all the dough has been used.
Arrange on baking sheets lined with baking parchment leaving plenty of space between each doughnut. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 190°C and bake the doughnuts for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are just going golden. Do not over cook as they will turn out dry.
Leave to cool for a few minutes. Melt the butter for the topping and mix the cinnamon with the sugar. Whilst still warm dip the doughnuts into the butter and then the sugar. Knock off excess sugar and serve.