These doughnuts are nothing short of life-enhancing and easily adapted for any season with different jams, creams and custards. Lemon curd is my winner. Question: can you eat one without licking your lips?
Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast, salt, sugar, egg yolks, orange zest and tepid water. Mix gently on a medium speed for 10 minutes.
Continue mixing and add the softened butter, 30g at a time, until completely incorporated and the dough looks glossy and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Sprinkle a large bowl with flour, place the dough in it and cover with a clean dish towel. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Knock the dough back, then transfer it to a clean bowl, cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, cut the dough into 12 small pieces and roll into balls with floured hands. Place on a baking sheet, evenly spaced. Leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Half fill a large deep saucepan with the oil and heat to 170–180°C or until a cube of bread sizzles and rises to the surface in 30 seconds.
Fry the doughnuts in batches of 2–3 at a time until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Place some extra sugar on a plate nearby, then roll the warm doughnuts in the sugar to finish.
To fill, make a small hole in the side of each doughnut with the end of a narrow wooden spoon handle. Place the lemon curd in a small piping bag and snip off the tip. Pipe a small amount of curd into the hole in each doughnut. Eat warm.
Take care while frying and make sure the temperature of the oil stays consistent. The doughnuts will easily burn if the oil is too hot.
Recipe adapted from Time and Tide (Hardie Grant)