Watch your back Tim Horton

I’m going to call it before you do. I am a tiny bit cheating in this post. Back in November my housemate Vicky and I made Bonfire Night doughnuts. It was an epic feat of baking, one I vowed not to repeat for a very long time. That is, until my teacher at college had a birthday last week and I took to the kitchen again to make a maple themed bun in honour of his Canadian homeland.

So I confess. Given that doughnuts are a touch on the complex side, I’ve repeated many of the photos from November. It’s a lot easier to get snap happy when there’s a spare set of eyes to watch the pan of hot oil, so don’t judge me too harshly friends.

I urge you to give doughnuts a try some day.

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You will need

For the doughnuts:

350ml/12 fl oz Warm full fat milk

700g/1lb 8 oz Strong white bread flour

2 Eggs

70g/2.5 oz Unsalted butter

100g/3.5 oz Caster sugar

1 tsp Salt

14g/0.5 oz Dried yeast

50ml Warm water

For the filling:

300g/10.5 oz Icing sugar

125g/4.5 oz Unsalted butter

175ml/6 fl oz Maple syrup (as good as you can afford)

1 tsp Maple extract (don’t panic if you don’t have this or can’t find it, I lumped for a caramel extract in the end, and you could leave it out altogether)

For the glaze:

100ml/3 fl oz Maple syrup

100g/3.5 oz Icing sugar

25g/1 oz Unsalted butter

Extras

1.5 litres/50 fl oz Vegetable oil for frying

Sprinkles (these bronze ones are from Waitrose)

A flavour injector or piping bag with long thin nozzle

(Makes 25-30)

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Step one

Put the yeast in the warm water and wait until frothy.

Step two

Combine half the flour with the rest of the dough ingredients (including the yeast froth).

Put the yeast and the salt on opposite sides of the bowl so the salt doesn’t prevent the yeast from doing its thang.

Step three

When the batter is smooth, gradually add the rest of the flour and stir.

The dough will be sticky but not impossible to work with. Having said that I still gave the work top a significant dusting of flour.

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Step four

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.

Knead for about 10 minutes, don’t worry if you have to add more flour to stop it sticking but don’t add loads and loads.

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Step five

Pop it back in the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm dry place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

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Step six

Once the dough has finished rising turn it back out of the bowl and roll out into two long strips. Cut into 30 equal pieces.

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Step seven

Roll the pieces into balls and leave on a lightly dusted (with flour just in case that wasn’t obvious) surface or tray to prove.

Step eight

You’ve probably got time here to make the filling and the glaze.

Essentially for both you just need to whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. I can’t even make that sound remotely more complicated.

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Step nine

About 20 minutes after the proving has started put the oil in the pan on a low-medium heat. Definitely don’t rush this stage, it will take a long time for the oil to come to the right temperature but patience is key.

Test your oil heat with little pieces of a dough. When this tester floats and bubbles straight away you’re good to go.

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Step ten

Cook your doughnuts. I did this by eye, but I reckon it only takes about 30 seconds to a minute on each side.

Leave your doughnuts to rest on a few sheets of kitchen roll which will soak up any excess oil.

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Step eleven

Once the doughnuts are completely cool, fill them with the maple buttercream.

My flavour injector has measurements on the side, so I went for about 10 ml in each. If you don’t have that luxury, practice piping an adequate amount of filling out so you know how much pressure to add and for how long to fill them properly.

Step twelve

Place the glaze in a deep cereal bowl.

Turn the doughnuts upside down and dip them in the mixture. Sprinkle some, well, sprinkles, on top.

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Step thirteen

Stand back and survey. You just made doughnuts my friend.

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