Confession. I pretty much fall into a panic whenever I have to deep fry anything. I think it's because my mind throws back to when we were very young and everytime my Mum deep-fried anything she set the whole pan on fire. Then she attacked it with a tea towel and set that on fire. I'm not kidding, every single time!
That's not to say she's a bad cook. She's triple-A Amazing. It must just be something about my family and the deep-fryer. Which is so weird, because - as you now know - we're Irish and well, Irish people deep-fry everything.
So, when I tried these donuts and the first ones came out looking like a lump of coal, I died a bit. Then I tried some more and was on top of the world when they came out looking like a real donut. Then I cut into them and they were raw inside and I died again. Maybe we're not Irish after all!
However, when I played around a bit more with the oil temperature, I hit the jackpot and fried and fried away until I had both a huge pile of amazing donuts and conquered the art of deep-frying. Not a pan or a tea towel was lost, I'm happy to report.
The recipe for these donuts came from www.cooks.com. There's no yeast, so no rising time is required. For the best results, roll out the dough and cut out all of the donuts so that they are all ready for frying. Try not to knead the dough too much as it will get a bit elastic and you won't get that soft cakey bit in the middle.
I covered the donuts in cinnamon and sugar when they were ready, but this recipe would work equally well with glaze or icing as they're not too sweet.
Now, what else can I deep fry around here?
Quick Homemade Cinnamon Donuts
1 cup milk
1 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 1/2 cups sifted flour (plus extra for rolling out)
Additional caster sugar and cinnamon for coating.
- Beat sugar and butter in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs and mix until combined, then add milk and mix until combined.
- In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture gradually, beating well.
- Knead dough lightly on a floured work surface. Add extra flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.
- Roll out to about 2 1/2 cm (1 inch) thick. Use a donut cutter to cut donuts - don't forget the holes!
- On a plate or in a shallow bowl, combine additional sugar and cinnamon.
- Fry in a deep saucepan of hot oil. (I don't have a themometer, but all of the donut recipes I've seen suggest maintaining a 375°F temperature for best results.)
- The Donuts will rise to the top of the oil after about a minute. When they do, turn them over and leave for about another 1 to 2 minutes. It might take a bit of practice for the first few to get the timing right, depending on the thickness and the temperature of the oil.
- Remove donuts with a slotted spoon, draining off the excess oil as you go. Immediately plunge donuts into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Alternatively, let them cool and ice or glaze them as you like.