There’s a hole in my donut recipe

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I am appealing for help from the interweb – why are my donuts not rising properly? In the past month I have tried three different recipes and I just can’t seem to get it right. Last night’s attempt was certainly the best so far (from a Jamie Oliver recipe) but still, after I roll the dough out and cut the donut shapes they don’t rise as much as they are supposed to. Last night I even made sure that I put them on plastic and wooden chopping boards so that they wouldn’t catch a chill from the granite kitchen counter.

The only thing I am happy with is the photos from last night – the donuts look a lot better in the photos than what they taste like. Oh and don’t use lemon rind in your donuts, even if Jamie or Nigella call for it – doesn’t go that well with the yeasty taste of donuts.

If anyone has a tried-and-tested centuries-old family recipe for donuts (from any country in the world) and any tips for me I will welcome them with open arms.

Making my own pączki – Polish donuts

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For some reason (which still isn’t all that clear to me) I had the very bright idea of making my own donuts this weekend – traditional Polsih donuts, called pączki. I could have slept in, read a book, or watched a movie, but instead I chose to engage in a battle with flour and yeast.

I used a recipe from a Polish website, which I would be happy to translate for anyone who is interested. Since it was my first time making them I am not altogether upset with the result but I am also not overjoyed – perhaps part of that is due to the stress of wondering if the things would rise again at different stages of the process.

I also panicked because I thought some of them weren’t cooking in the middle, but actually I hadn’t let them cool enough. Also I tried to make some with Nutella in the middle, which came out quite well in the ones that didn’t open, coloring my cooking fat brown. The good thing with donuts is that they are really cheap to make so if you mess up, you’ve only wasted time and not hundreds of rands of expensive ingredients. But the lessons have been learnt and hopefully next time they will come out better. I am also not fully convinced how amazingly fresh the yeast was from Pick ‘n Pay, which is a crucial factor is whether they will come out or not. Next time I might harass a bakery to sell me some…

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