Doughnut dough

Doughnut dough

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(28 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins - 40 mins plus proving and overnight chilling, cook time 4 mins per doughnut (fried in batches, about 30-40 mins total)

A challenge

makes about 20 doughnuts (about 1kg dough)

Once you've tasted these irresistibly plump and sugary treats from doughnut master Justin Gellatly, there'll be no going back!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per doughnut

  • kcal225
  • fat16g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.5g
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    For the dough

    • 500g strong white bread flour
    • 60g golden caster sugar
    • 15g fresh yeast, crumbled



      Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

    • 4 eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • zest ½ lemon



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    • 2 tsp fine sea salt
    • 125g softened unsalted butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • about 2 litres sunflower oil, for deep-frying
      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

    • caster sugar, for tossing


    1. Put 150g water and all the dough ingredients, apart from the butter, into the bowl of a mixer with a beater paddle. Mix on a medium speed for 8 mins or until the dough starts coming away from the sides and forms a ball. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 1 min.

    2. Start the mixer up again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough – about 25g at a time. Once it is all incorporated, mix on high speed for 5 mins until the dough is glossy, smooth and very elastic when pulled.

    3. Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to prove until it has doubled in size. Knock back the dough in the bowl briefly, then re-cover and put in the fridge to chill overnight.

    4. The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and cut it into 50g pieces (you should get about 20).

    5. Roll the dough pieces into smooth, tight buns and place them on a floured baking tray, leaving plenty of room between them, as you don’t want them to stick together while they prove.

    6. Cover loosely with cling film and leave for 4 hrs or until doubled in size. Fill your deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 180C.

    7. When the oil is heated, carefully slide the doughnuts from the tray using a floured pastry scraper. Taking care not to deflate them, put them into the oil. Do 2-3 per batch, depending on the size of your fryer or pan.

    8. Fry for 2 mins each side until golden brown – they puff up and float, so you may need to gently push them down after about 1 min to help them colour evenly.

    9. Remove the doughnuts from the fryer and place them on kitchen paper.

    10. Toss the doughnuts in a bowl of caster sugar while still warm. Repeat the steps until all the doughnuts are fried, but keep checking the oil temperature is correct – if it is too high, they will burn and be raw in the middle; if it is too low, the oil will be absorbed into the doughnuts and they will become greasy. Set aside to cool before filling.

    11. To fill the doughnuts, make a hole with a small knife in the crease of each one, anywhere around the white line between the fried top and bottom.

    12. Fill a piping bag with your filling and pipe into the doughnut until nicely swollen – 20-50g is the optimum quantity, depending on the filling; cream will be less, because it is more aerated. After filling, the doughnuts are best eaten straight away, but will keep in an airtight tin.

    13. Fillings

      Custard filling: Try out Justin's custard filling and, if you like, add different flavours to the custard as follows...

      Brown sugar: Replace the caster sugar with half soft dark brown sugar and half light brown sugar. You can add chopped stem ginger to the finished custard, or some hazelnut praline. Finish with half the quantity of cream.

      Chocolate: Whisk 150g dark (70%) chocolate into the milk. Finish with half the cream.

      Coffee: Add 4 tbsp of freshly ground strong coffee to the milk.

      Malt & vanilla: Mix 2 tbsp of powdered malt into the sugar, and 2 tbsp of liquid malt into the milk.

      Saffron: Add a good pinch of saffron to the milk. Finish with half the quantity of cream.

      Violet custard: Add 3 tsp of violet extract and 3 tbsp of violet liqueur to the finished custard. Sprinkle sugared violets and crushed Parma Violet sweets over the top of the filled doughnuts.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Jon Noble's picture
    Jon Noble
    22nd Jun, 2020
    These look delicious, I have a Jam doughnut recipe with a twist , they are jam doughnut muffins . Try them ‘ Cowbridge Kitchen’
    Hayden Reynolds's picture
    Hayden Reynolds
    20th Jun, 2020
    Good recipe although I did omit the water and yeast for active sourdough.
    2lin's picture
    11th Jun, 2020
    For my first attempt, my jam doughnuts have turned out perfect, amazing and so yummy.
    Nick Todd's picture
    Nick Todd
    31st May, 2020
    Did half the recipe and had enough for almost 11 doughnuts. Plenty. Before frying I chilled the doughnuts so that they were a little easier to lift off the tray and into the fryer. Came out very well. They double in size during cooking.
    22nd May, 2020
    Just made these this last couple of days... they are delicious. I did half the recipe with dried yeast.I did add a tad more flour in the initial stage, because I am new to doughnut making and found the dough a bit tricky to handle (so you just need to be careful with it) Definitely need to space the balls far apart for rising and there needs to be a lot of flour to stop them sticking. I will definitely be making these again and I think a bit Of practice will make perfect :-)
    21st May, 2020
    I did 3/4 of the recipe with a sachet of dried yeast. Just stuck it all in the bread maker on the dough setting. Didn't bother with the overnight thing at all. Dough was very wet (whoever said it was stiff probably forgot the water which is missing from the ingredients list for some reason), so I dipped a spoon in the oil of the deep fat fryer (180C) and used it to drop dollops of dough in the oil. They started misshapen but less so once puffed up. Looked more like beignets than doughnuts but rolled in caster sugar were absolutely awesome. Have frozen the remaining dough to see if it works once defrosted as there was no way we could eat them all in one sitting, however tempted....
    Matt Walton's picture
    Matt Walton
    12th May, 2020
    Absolutely fantastic
    26th Apr, 2020
    Amazing doughnuts.
    S Ainsworth's picture
    S Ainsworth
    14th Mar, 2020
    First time making donughts they were absolutely gorgeous! Custard recipe is delicious!
    Tazha Rachel Dela Cruz's picture
    Tazha Rachel De...
    26th Nov, 2019
    excellent recipe, perfect donuts every time. The overnight proofing gives beautiful flavour to the dough!


    11th May, 2020
    How long do you need for the 1st prove? Some idea on timings would be super! Thanks
    lulu_grimes's picture
    13th May, 2020
    Hello, We usually say for an hour or more but it really depends on how hot your kitchen is. It can take an hour in a very warm kitchen but often it takes quite a few more. You can hurry it up a bit by putting it somewhere warmer, I stand mine near-ish the hob if I am cooking, but don't over heat it. I hope this helps, Lulu
    Hussain Naveed's picture
    Hussain Naveed
    30th Apr, 2020
    Can these be baked rather than frying?
    Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
    1st May, 2020
    Hey, Esther from the cookery team here! we wouldn't recommend baking these particular doughnuts! we do however have some baked doughnuts here - just follow the TIP at the bottom of the recipe for how to bake. Thanks for your question!
    17th Mar, 2019
    Could I use fast action yeast for this recipe, and if so, would I need to change the quantity?
    Barney Good Food's picture
    Barney Good Food
    19th Mar, 2020
    You could and you would need 7g which I think is exactly what a sachet weighs.
    S Ainsworth's picture
    S Ainsworth
    14th Mar, 2020
    I did and used a heaped tablespoon. They turned out delicious!
    S Ainsworth's picture
    S Ainsworth
    14th Mar, 2020
    Recipe says to mix for 8 minutes, mine was still sloppy and wasn't coming away from the sides, started to worry but keep going a bit more, it will start to get more stringy , add small chunks of butter it comes together and looks more elasticated. Beautiful gorgeous recipe. Thank you oh and I used a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook. Hope this helps !
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