It’s #LetsLunch Time and It’s All About Dad…and Doughnuts
Let’s Lunch this month is honouring our dads. It is approaching Fathers Day in the U.S…..ours in Australia isn’t until September, but I’m always happy to think of all the great things I’ve done with my dad, growing up.
Let’s go back to 1973. Without wanting to give away my age, I was very very young. One of my favourite things to do on Sunday mornings was to visit Port Melbourne with my dad. I loved our Sunday mornings together! We would stand on the footpath, overlooking Port Phillip Bay, and watch the ships come in. To be honest, I don’t actually remember seeing the ships come in (were there any? maybe I saw one once…) but guess what I DO remember? The ‘Doughnut’ truck that was always parked right there!
The old caravan with the huge sign overhead, the high window where we placed our order, the white paper bag full of hot, sugary jam-filled doughnuts and the inevitable burnt lips and full belly. They are the wonderful and mouthwatering memories that comprise those very special Sundays with Dad. Perhaps next time I am visiting Melbourne, I’ll ask Dad to take me there…in search of a doughnut of course.
So here began my love of sugary jam donuts. It has been a long love affair, and still continues to this day. What a joy it is to now be able to make them for my own family at home, usually only once a year on Chanukah. And are mine as good as the ones from the truck? Honest answer? NOPE…but nearly…
Funnily enough, we have photographic evidence of it all. I found the photos today – I really can’t believe, that out of the very few I have of my childhood, I have found these.
And don’t knock the double denim…it was 1973 after all.
Sugary Lip Smacking Jam Donuts – The Recipe
- 2 sachets (15g) dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water
- 1 tablespoon plain (all purpose) flour
- 450 g (3 cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 50 g butter or margarine, melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50 g (3 tablespoons) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 270 ml (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) water
- 1 small jar best quality raspberry jam (jelly), for the filling
- 3-4 cups (or more, depending on size of pan) vegetable oil, for frying
- Extra caster (superfine) sugar, for rolling
To test the yeast is active, combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and leave for 20 minutes until it froths up. If it doesn’t froth up, start again with new yeast.
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, then the egg yolks and the butter. Beat the liquids together with a fork. Using a whisk, slowly add the water and incorporate the flour mixture and then, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until you have a smooth and thick dough (a little like a heavy batter). Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and put in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours until it has doubled in size.
After it has risen, scoop out the dough with plenty of flour in your hand onto a very well floured surface and roll or pat out flat. Use a small cookie cutter (we used a 4 cm/1 1/2″ diameter) to cut out small circles. Place half of these on a well floured tray. Place half a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each circle and cover with the remaining cut circles. Press the edges together to ensure they are sealed. Cover with a floured tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a deep frypan or saucepan to very hot, 175°C (350°F). There needs to be enough oil so that the donuts can float, at least to a 2 cm/1″ depth.
Fry the donuts (no more than 6 at one time) on both sides until golden brown. The challenge here is getting the oil temperature consistent so they don’t brown too quickly without cooking on the inside.
Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and then roll in caster sugar. Eat hot if you can!
Makes 24 medium-sized donuts.
The recipe comes from Giora Shimoni, with just a couple of minor changes.
Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, often by consensus, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. A list and link to all posts will be added to this page as they come in, so please check back.
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