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Homemade Jelly Donuts (and They're Easy!!)

Homemade Jelly Donuts (and They’re Easy!!)
2 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (79% score)

I figured out this week that I can make homemade jelly donuts in much less time than I would’ve imagined. And given that the crowds went wild, so I had to share this recipe with you so you can enjoy an occasional treat, too.

First a bit of background: there are two primary types of donuts: those made with yeast-risen doughs and “cake” donuts made that get their lift from baking powder or soda. Because yeast donuts take some time to rise, it would seem that they’re the more difficult ones to make, but it’s actually quite the opposite. With yeast donuts, you throw the ingredients together in 10 minutes, walk away for an hour or so, and when you come back, you can cut, cook, and fill the donuts in about 40 minutes. With cake donuts, there’s no rise time, but they usually require more ingredients and more finesse in the rolling out, cutting, and re-rolling. They’re not difficult, but you need to be careful not to overwork the dough so it doesn’t get tough.

Homemade jelly donuts in minutes (minus the rising time)

I’m doing all this thinking about donuts because Tuesday was Saint Joseph’s Day, which is a Saint Patrick’s Day-style holiday for Italians like me. Except rather than indulging in beer, we indulge in delicious fried pastries like zeppole and frittelle. In my family, we always made simple fried dough dusted with sugar that we called, in Piemontese dialect, fricieu.

As I prepared the fricieu dough, I realized that it’s one very small step from fried dough to jelly donuts, so why not jazz them up?

Once the dough was done rising, I pressed it out on a very well-floured surface and cut the rounds with a biscuit cutter.

A biscuit cutter or jelly glass makes perfect circles

I fried them in Crisco in two skillets, which cut the frying time in half.

Frying the donuts in Crisco makes them crisper and less greasy

Then, when the donuts were cooked, I used a squeeze bottle to inject them with jelly (you could also use a pastry bag fitted with a wide-mouth tip, such as #4, or even a large syringe. Seedless jam won’t clog the tip.

A sprinkle of sugar and they were ready to serve.

Homemade Jelly Donuts

Total time: 35 minutes plus about 90 minutes rising time

Hands-on time: 35 minutes

Makes: About 18 donuts

Note: You can use vegetable oil for frying, but I find that vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, makes the donuts less greasy.

Ingredients

  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for counter
  •  Vegetable shortening or vegetable oil for frying (see Note)
  • About 1/3 cup jelly of your choice
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Method

1. In a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a standing mixer), combine yeast, warm milk, and sugar and stir until dissolved. Add butter, eggs, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Beat at medium speed until combined, then add 1 1/2 cups more flour and beat until it forms a soft dough (you may need to beat by hand or switch to a dough hook at this point). Knead until smooth, 5 more minutes, adding the additional flour if needed.

Cover the bowl and set it in a draft-free spot. Let rise until it doubles in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir the dough to let out the air.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin until about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 2- to 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or glass, cut the donuts into rounds, re-rolling and cutting as needed. Cover rounds with a towel and let rise again for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable shortening or oil in a skillet (or two) to about 370° (or until a piece of dough dropped in the oil sizzles nicely). Transfer 3 or 4 rounds to each pan and fry until golden, about 45 seconds. Turn doughnuts over and fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Fill your pastry bag, squeeze bottle, or syringe with jelly. Poke a hole in the side of each doughnut and squeeze to fill. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Tags:
Amy Traverso

Author:

Amy Traverso

Biography:

Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American.

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2 Responses to Homemade Jelly Donuts (and They’re Easy!!)

  1. leo g king May 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    i am a recipe freak and have many copies of yankee church cookbooks,but i always look to yankee for old new england recipes.i just signed up for recipe newsletter but it wouldn’t go through to you. i get the newsletter but not for recipes[help].

  2. Brenda Darroch May 9, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    Hi Leo,
    If you go to this page — http://www.yankeemagazine.com/feedback — and select Web Site Technical Support from the drop down menu, they will be able to help you figure out why you weren’t able to sign up for the Recipe Box newsletter.

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