Wandering Facebook the other day (as you do) I saw a post on NES (Nairobi Expats Marketplace). Somebody was asking where to buy doughnuts in Nairobi - I never need a really good excuse to try and make them - so I figured I would give it a go and try something different.
We've tried a number of varieties at the house, from baked doughnuts, to doughnut twists with copious amounts of sugar and cinnamon entwined within.
The above was an attempt to copy a friend of mine's recipe... Didn't go that well really... :(
This new attempt is a yeast doughnut that’s fried and then obviously copious amounts of sugar and cinnamon are added (even more than the photo above).
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup of warm water (not hot water you will kill the yeast)
- ¼ cup of evaporated milk (warmed - see above)
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of oil or shortening
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cup of flour
You'll also need;
- Oil for frying
- Lots of icing sugar and cinnamon for the powdering.
So I live in the middle of nowhere. Evaporated milk doesn’t fall out of trees, but it does come out of cows from the field next door… You just have to get rid of the water before you use it (hence 'evaporated milk'). Basically to get a ¼ cup of evaporated milk, start with ½ a cup and simmer on low until it reduces by a half - and there you go, easy… You just need to wait for it to cool a bit… It’ll be far too hot. That’s what I spent most of my time doing on this recipe… Waiting for water to cool, and waiting for milk to cool...
Mix together your yeast and water along with ½ a teaspoon of your sugar. Leave that to sit for 5-10 minutes. A word of caution regarding anything using yeast, if you leave it to sit around for too long in a bowl of water, or uncooked dough, there is the real chance it will sour… So try and follow the timings. I was a little drunk through most of this processes… So I am only slightly sure the timings were followed - but they weren’t sour!
Next, add your evaporated milk, remaining sugar, salt, ¼ cup of oil/shortening, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, along with a ¼ cup of flour. Now for the fun part (and yes I am not being serious) mix away. It’s easier with an actual mixer… But who has one of those?
Once the mixture is smooth add the remaining flour until you get a clean dough. i.e. it’s not sticking to you… This took me rather a long time and I added more flour than the recipe called for… and it wasn’t even strictly ‘clean dough’ it was still a bit tacky. However, it actually works out quite nicely like that for the next step. You will need to oil a bowl and then leave the dough - covered - to rise for about 1½ hours. Remember my note on timing and yeast…
Once you’ve stopped waiting patiently and not in a salivated mess you can continue. Roll out the dough with some flour (see why I didn’t mind it being a touch sticky) and then cut the doughnuts into rings. I used one of those fancy cocktail glasses and a shot glass for the middle… You can of course use a doughnut cutter if you want to be sensible about it. Once cut out, cover again and leave for about 10 minutes.
Once the 10 minutes are up you should be heating your oil for frying. I would put around an inch of oil in a deep sided frying pan. A good trick here from a friend, you will know when the oil is hot enough when it quickly browns a piece of bread crust.
So frying these is as easy as you imagine… If the oil is indeed hot enough you simple need to put them in there (carefully) and then wait for one side to brown slightly, turn and then wait for the other. They are literally only in there for a minute… If you leave them in there for ages they will go harder, and eventually burn. You want them soft and fluffy. Two at a time seems a good number.
Now you really need someone else for this next part because you can’t do everything at once. Once you’ve taken the doughnut out of the oil they should immediately go in a bag of icing sugar and cinnamon (quantities are to your own taste) and be shaken thoroughly so that they’re properly coated.
Now you can eat them immediately before you’ve finished cooking the rest…. You see now why you needed another pair of hands.
I have been told these are the best doughnuts anyone has ever tasted…
… Yeah i’m not going to put a ‘but’ there - that would be too modest.
Now go eat doughnuts with a blissful look on your face.