I don’t have a particular passion for doughnuts. I know this is slightly appalling coming from the Land of Tim Horton’s but it’s true. I don’t generally crave them more than I crave any other dessert. But, there is one doughnut I long for, a doughnut I have searched high and low for, even attempted to recreate it at home (to no avail). It’s the cherry stick from Tim Horton’s!
When I was little we would go to Tim Horton’s and each get a doughnut. My sister would usually get a sugar twist (another doughnut that has since gone the way of the dinosaur) and I would get the cherry stick. It was a perfect bar of bright pink dough that probably never met a real cherry in it’s life. As far as I can tell it was some kind of buttermilk bar doughnut with pink food colouring and mashed up maraschino cherries mixed in. It was a dark day when Tim Horton’s stopped producing those pink gems but every now and then they will sell cherry Tim-bits and I can relive my childhood, one Tim-bit at a time.
Long story short. Bring on the doughnuts.
Although the doughnut recipe from Paul Hollywood bears no resemblance to the doughnut of my dreams I was still excited to try to make real bonafide doughnuts. Especially yeasted ones.
Since the iced buns and rum baba’s I have really gotten to like enriched dough. It seems to me it comes together really quickly and is always sticky and elastic just like it should be. This dough was no exception. I started it in the mixer and moved to the counter to get my knead on. Like I said it was sticky!
If that isn’t a sign of good gluten development I don’t know what is? I did flour my counter to knead the dough but tried my best not to add in too much. As a result, I only kneaded the blob of gluten for about 5 minutes. Then it went into the oven to rise.
Insert picture of perfectly risen dough here (you’ve seen it before no need to show it again).
I was very cheeky and didn’t weigh out my dough when it was time to divide it into balls. But some how I still managed to get 10. In retrospect, this recipe could probably produce a dozen doughnuts. The balls I got were massive!
Oh and I completely forgot to flour my tray before the second rise. Oops.
1 hour later I was ready to turn my balls of dough into donuts. I set up my frying station, that sadly didn’t include a frying machine and got to work.
The recipe says to heat the oil to 350 and fry each side for 5 minutes. I heated my oil and put in my first doughnut. Well, after 2 minutes it was VERY dark brown so I flipped it over. The other side browned just as fast and I quickly pulled out my doughnut, thinking to myself “silly Paul doesn’t know how long it takes to cook doughnuts.”
Paul knows EXACTLY how long it takes to cook doughnuts.
The next hour was a ballet of frying dough with multiple timers and me constantly moving the oil on and off the heat to try to keep temperature somewhat stable and not too high. I also started inserting an instant read thermometer into the centre of the doughnut when I took it out to make sure I wouldn’t have a repeat of doughnut number one (thanks husband for that suggestion).
I’m not sure if they would have been a little more golden and a little less chestnut coloured if I had a real deep fryer to work with, but my kitchen can’t handle another gadget and it doesn’t seem wise to have the ability to fry things so readily available. So I settled for dark brown but cooked.
After rolling the doughnuts in sugar it was time for the jam. Cue my traditional ode to my Mom’s jam. I sieved out the bigger chunks and got a beautiful doughnut filling.
I promptly overfilled each of my doughnuts so they were gushing jam out the top. While this wasn’t intentional it was definitely not something I was upset about. I don’t think anybody tarts out eating a doughnut thinking it is going to be a neat and tidy endeavour. The cascade of jam just made them look all the more tempting, at least that’s what I would say if Paul and Mary ever ask.
As far as taste goes we all knew these were going to be a winner. Fried dough, rolled in sugar filled with jam. Umm, yes! They did not disappoint. They weren’t greasy at all (which had been my problem in the past with frying dough) and the dark colour didn’t add any bitterness. Aside from them being as big as a softball they were pretty great. Really who am I kidding, they weren’t too big.