Bitter Orange Doughnuts

Adapted from a recipe from

The Best of Baking

Makes 16

30g active yeast

250 ml milk

50g caster sugar

500g all purpose flour

2 tablespoons oil

2 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I used my homemade "44") or rum

3-4 tablespoons jam (optional) (I used Seville Orange Marmalade)

cinnamon & caster sugar to sprinkle

oil to deep fry (use something neutral such as sunflower or canola)

Heat milk until just lukewarm - a useful guide is being able to just hold your finger in the liquid without having to withdraw it.  Stir in the sugar to dissolve.  Sprinkle yeast over the surface, and stir in gently.  Cover, and set aside 10-15 minutes until frothy.

Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Pour the yeast mixture into the flour well, along with the oil, egg yolks, salt and liqueur.  Mix until the flour is incorporated and everything comes together in a light, soft dough.  Place dough ball in a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the bowl, knead very lightly, then roll out to approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) thickness - dust bench lightly with flour if necessary, but take care not to overdo it.  Cut into 6.5 cm (2-3/4 inch) circles.  If filling with jam - place a scant teaspoon of jam on each circle, and carefully draw the edges of the dough together over the jam filling, pinching the edges together.  Cover and leave to stand for another 15-20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan to 180 degrees C (360 degrees F).  Carefully place the risen doughnuts in the hot oil - work in small batches of just two or three at a time.  Cook until golden brown on the underside, then carefully turn over and continue cooking until golden all over - about two to three minutes altogether.

Pour a generous amount of caster sugar onto a dinner plate, and add cinnamon to your taste.  Mix the two together, and spread out.  As soon as the doughnuts are cooked, remove them to a paper towel to drain momentarily, then toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated all over.