It seems strange to put “baked” and “doughnuts” in the same sentence but believe me, they are good. If you haven’t got time to make the custard filling, they are equally delicious unfilled; or try ready-made alternatives like strawberry jam, chocolate spread or lemon curd.”
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
180ml whole milk
80g golden caster sugar
30g fresh yeast (or 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast)
430g strong bread flour, extra for dusting
2 pinches sea salt
2 large eggs, beaten
80ml sunflower oil
For the creme patisserie:
600ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
6 egg yolks (large)
100g caster sugar
50g plain flour
Icing sugar, for sprinkling
For the sugar coating:
150ml whole milk
6 tbsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To make the dough: heat the milk until just below boiling point, remove from the heat and cool until hand-warm.
Add 1 tsp of sugar and the yeast. Whisk then leave in a warm place for 5 minutes until the yeast has formed a thick foam on top of the milk.
Tip the flour, remaining sugar and salt into a large bowl.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, sunflower oil and yeasty milk.
Using a wooden spoon mix until the mixture forms a soft dough.
Tip out of the bowl and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (you may need to add extra flour).
Shape into a ball and return to a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.
To make the creme patisserie: pour the milk in a saucepan and heat gently for 5 minutes .
Beat the yolks and sugar together until white and smooth, then slowly whisk in the flour and cornflour until you have a smooth paste.
Remove the milk from the stove, then whisk into the egg mixture using a balloon whisk, mixing slowly and carefully until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add in the vanilla paste.
Return to the pan. Place back on the stove and slowly bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to get rid of the starchy taste of the cornflour.
If you feel that you haven’t reached the correct consistency after 3 minutes, reduce the heat to medium/low and continue whisking until it is thick.
Pour the cream into a bowl to cool, sprinkle the top with a little sifted icing sugar to prevent a skin forming, cover with cling film and chill for 30-40 minutes.
Knead the dough lightly again for 5 minutes.
Roll into a log and cut 20 equal parts. Roll each into a ball and transfer them to parchment-covered baking sheets, leaving plenty of space between.
Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Bake the doughnuts for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush them lightly all over with warm milk, toss in the sugar and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Spoon the creme patisserie into a disposable piping bag or syringe, make a hole in the side of each doughnut, push the piping bag into the hole and fill with the creme.