There’s never a wrong time for doughnuts, any kind of doughnuts, but my kids were sick with colds, and I thought they might appreciate a little cheering up. These Nutella beauties did the trick, good and proper!
Although I am not adverse to a deep-fried doughnut when someone else is making them, at home, going to the palaver of using a ton of oil is not going to happen. Enter my Actifry. My favourite little machine does just a good a job as any deep fat fryer, but the end result is much better for you.
I’ve made loads of different versions, such as with fruits of the forest jam and with a chocolate glaze and they NEVER fail to impress me. If you haven’t got an Actifry, buying one just to make doughnuts is worth it alone (they also do amazing fries).
I am not going to lie, they can be a little bit time-consuming to make. First you need to prepare the dough and then when you cook them, you have to stand over and watch them. But if anything is worth the effort – it’s these stunners!
I use vanilla sugar in all my recipes. Please see this handy guide to converting the sugar to other vanilla sources.
It's rare I don't use fresh yeast in my bread, but I know it's not readily available for everyone. Here is a useful guideline for converting fresh to dried or instant.
~ In a pan, heat the water, milk and butter, just until the butter is starting to melt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until it just lukewarm, and then sprinkle in the yeast. Stir until combined and leave for around 10 minutes to activate.
~ In a large bowl, mix around 350g of bread flour with the sugar, vanilla sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pour in the wet ingredients and gradually add more flour as necessary (check out my tips on making bread).
~ Knead for around five minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and then place back in the bowl and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm place until it has pretty much doubled in size.
~ Drop dollops of Nutella (around 1-2 teaspoons) on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper. Place in the freezer for an hour to harden up.
~ Knock back the dough and briefly knead again and then divide into 8 roughly equal sized balls, pulling the outsides in to make a nice, smooth finish. Take each ball and flatten in the palm of your hand and place one of the Nutella dollops in the centre. Pull over the outsides of the dough so that the Nutella is completely covered.
~ Place the dough balls on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper, cover, and leave in a warm place to proof for around 45-60 minutes.
~ Remove the rotary part of your Actifry, then sprinkle in a touch of vegetable oil. Place the lid on and let it run for a couple of minutes, then gently place several doughnuts in. Brush a little oil over the top. Because the rotary part is not being used, you will manually need to shuffle the doughnuts around to ensure an even cooking. The more doughnuts in the pan, the longer they take.
~ When golden brown, remove from the Actifry and leave to cool on some kitchen paper. Coat with icing sugar and enjoy while still warm!