I've never met anyone who could resist a warm fried donut with a crunchy sugary crust! These Jam Donuts are light, fluffy and beautifully golden. They're absolutely oozing with delicious strawberry jam, or you can fill them with your favourite filling (I've listed some ideas futher below). It is a longer process to make homemade donuts, but it's so worth it! You'll be an absolute hit with your family and friends when you serve up a plate of them still warm from the fryer.
How to make Jam Donuts
In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. In a pan on a low heat, warm the milk and butter together until the butter has melted, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and egg to the milk and butter mixture and whisk it in.
With your stand mixer running on a slow speed, or use a wooden spoon to stir, pour the milk mixture into the bowl of flour to form a dough. Then knead it for 8 minutes, either by hand or in your stand mixer. If you're not sure how to knead by hand, check out my White Bread Loaf recipe for details. Cover the dough with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Tip the dough out of the mixing bowl and roll it around on a floured work surface with your hands to knock the air out of it. Divide into portions, you can weigh them if you like for accuracy, and roll it in balls. Place them onto well floured and lined baking trays, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
Prepare you pan of hot oil, or use a deep fat fryer, and fry the donuts on either side until golden. Set them on some kitchen towel, then toss them in sugar while they are still warm. Then, make a small hole in the side of the donuts and pipe the jam into them until they feel heavier and the jam starts to ooze out.
How many donuts does this recipe make?
It can make different amounts of donuts depending on how big or small you want your donuts to be. For your average sized donut, you'll get 12 of them from this recipe. If you wanted mini donuts, you could get as many as 20 donuts. I wouldn't recommend trying to make less than 8 donuts from this recipe as otherwise they may not cook all the way through when fried.
Do you need a deep fat fryer to make these donuts?
No, you can make these in a pan filled with oil instead. A deep fat fryer is safer though as it has the ability to control the temperature of the oil and keep it at a constant temperature, whereas a pan could get too hot. If you are using a pan instead, invest in a food thermometer to keep a close eye on the temperature of the oil.
Please follow safety precautions when deep frying such as:
- Use a large, wide, deep and sturdy pan that has a lid - so you can quickly cover it if it catches fire. Or have a fire blanket close by
- Never fill the pan more than two thirds full of oil and use an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil
- Use a large slotted spoon or a spider strainer to add and remove food to and from the hot oil. And add the food to the oil very close to the surface so it does not splash hot oil onto your skin when dropped in
- Keep children out of the kitchen when deep frying and never leave the pan of hot oil unattended - not even for a moment
- Wear sensible clothes and an apron, long sleeves are particularly good for protecting your arms from being burnt by any small splashes of oil
- Allow the oil to fully cool in a safe place before disposing of it. Do not pour it down your sink as it will block your pipes. I put mine back in the original bottle and throw it away.
Can these donuts be baked instead of fried?
Yes, they can be baked on 180C Fan for 15 minutes or until golden brown all over, although the results are not the same at all. The baked dough is heavier and doesn't have the fabulous golden crispy shell that a fried donut has. It's more like a sweet bread bun. If you're looking for a less greasy or low fat option, check out my selection of baked donut recipes.
Do you have to use strong bread flour?
You can use plain flour if that's all you have access to, but strong white bread flour is the best option for this recipe and will produce the best results. When using plain flour, expect the donuts to rise slightly less and be slightly less fluffy in texture.
What is the best kind of yeast to use?
The best kind to use is instant yeast, also known as fast action dried yeast. You buy it in sachets which weigh 7g each and it does not need activating before using. If you want to use a different type of yeast for this recipe, you can use 9g active dried yeast (this is the kind that need to be added to room temperature water or milk and left to froth up) or 8g fresh yeast. Please note I have not tested the recipe with other yeasts.
How long do the donuts last for and can they be frozen?
These donuts are best eaten the day they are made, after that they are still safe to eat and delicious for 2 days after making them but they quickly lose the crispness of the outer shell and go much softer. They will last up to 1 week if you keep them in the fridge. You can freeze them, let them fully cool after frying them, do not fill them with the jam or toss them in the sugar, and then freeze in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
What else can you fill the donuts with?
- Any kind of jam
- Any kind of curd - lemon curd would be delicious!
- Vanilla custard or creme patisserie
- Chocolate ganache
- Nutella, Biscoff or any sweet spreads
- Salted caramel or plain caramel sauce
More tips for making the Jam Donuts:
- When storing the donuts, place them in a container with the hole facing upwards, this avoids any filling leaking out
- To make the hole in the side of the donut to fill them you can use a knife or a chopstick. Or you can use the end of your piping nozzle to make the hole, you can also buy special donut injector nozzles that you can make the hole with too
- When frying the donuts, start with the dough that you rolled into a ball first and work through them in order if possible, this can help them to all be a similar size
- You can add 1 tsp cinnamon to the caster sugar before tossing the donuts in it for a lovely spiced flavour. Or you could use mixed spice, pumpkin spice or ground ginger
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Mixing bowls
- Fast action yeast
- Measuring spoons
- Kitchen scales
- Baking trays
- Stand mixer
- Injector nozzle
- Piping bags
- Spider strainer
- Food thermometer
- Deep fat fryer
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More sweet breakfast recipes...
For the donuts
- 500 g Strong white bread flour
- 7 g Sachet of fast action dried yeast I use Tesco's or Allinson's
- 1 tsp Salt
- 60 g Caster sugar
- 100 g Butter unsalted
- 2 Eggs large
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 280 ml Whole milk (also known as full cream or full fat milk)
- 2 litres Vegetable oil (or any unflavoured oil with a high smoke point)
To fill and coat
- 350 g Strawberry jam or any filling of your choice
- 75 g Caster sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the strong white bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt. When adding the yeast to the bowl, do not pour it directly on top of the salt (or do not pour the salt directly on top of the yeast) as this can kill the yeast. Then stir them all together
- In a pan on a low heat, warm the milk and butter together until the butter has melted, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and egg to the milk and butter mixture and whisk it in
- With your stand mixer running on a slow speed, or use a wooden spoon to stir if mixing by hand, pour the milk mixture into the bowl of flour to form a dough
- Knead the dough for 8 minutes, either in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be quite sticky so do not be tempted to add lots of flour to it
- Place the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size
- Tip the dough out of the bowl and roll it around on a floured work surface with your hands to knock the air out of it
- Divide the dough into portions, you can weigh them if you like for accuracy, and roll each portion into a ball using your hands. The dough will still be slightly sticky so flour your work surface when rolling them
- Place the balls of dough onto well floured and lined baking trays well spaced apart, cover them with oiled cling film and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size
- Prepare you pan of hot oil, or your deep fat fryer, to a temperature of 170-180C (350-375F)
- Handle the balls of dough very gently, I find using a large slotted spoon or spider strainer to lower them carefully into the hot oil the best method. Fry the donuts in batches of 3 or 4 on either side until golden (this should take 1 ½ - 2 minutes on each side and you can tell that each side is done as the oil will bubble much less around the donut), use the slotted spoon/strainer to flip them over. If they are browning too fast or going too dark, turn the temperature of your oil down by 5-10 degrees
- Set them on some kitchen towel until you can safely handle them without burning your hands, then toss them in the caster sugar in a bowl while they are still warm
- Make a small hole in the side of the donuts (use a knife, chopstick, or a piping nozzle) and pipe the jam into them until they feel heavier, you feel resistance and the jam starts to ooze out slightly
- They are best eaten straight away, but can be stored for up to 2 days
If you like this, check out more of my Sweet Bread recipes!
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