Dangerous. That is what I would say about these if I could only use one word. I love donuts. I never allow myself to eat them because I know that I would loose all self control immediately if I did. I also love Nutella, and have been known to dip any number of things in it, including a big empty spoon, or my finger. I decided to buy the Nutella I needed for this recipe at Costco. "It is cheaper there" I tell myself. And it is...way cheaper. But really, I just wanted the larger quantity of Nutella. That said, I am wondering how many different ways I will come up with to use this deliciousness. I have already mixed it in with coffee ice cream. Result-spectacular. There will, no doubt, be more Nutella concoctions to come, and I will hopefully share a few with you all. I don't want to be the only fat-by-Nutella girl on the block.
Now, regarding these donuts. They are a perfect balance of crispy and light. A little brown on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. The dough has a distinct lemon flavor which is a wonderful compliment to the Nutella. Lightly dusted with powdered sugar they are not too sweet to stop you from having two, or four. I had a couple for breakfast yesterday morning with an orange and coffee and I felt like I was on vacation.
My sister-in-law wanted to make a few plain donuts coated in sugar. The dough is definitely tasty enough to hold it's own without the filling, but I was not a fan of the sugar coating. It needs a simple glaze or to be dusted with superfine sugar. The granulated sugar added a texture that I really did not like.
Adapted from http://www.bellalimento.com
You should go check out Bell' alimento's site right now. Her photographs are gorgeous, and she always has something tasty to share over there!
3 cups of Flour
2/3 cups Milk - room temp
5 tsp of Yeast
1/2 cup of Sugar
2 large fresh eggs
1 lemon - zested
4.5 tbsp Unsalted Butter -softened
1 jar of Nutella
1 large container of canola oil
***We needed an extra egg white for brushing the outside of the dough, so be prepared for that just in case***
Mix your yeast with your milk in a small bowl. Make sure that the milk has been brought to room temperature, so as not to inhibit yeast activity. Mix flour, sugar, 1 egg plus 1 yolk, (reserve the extra egg white), lemon zest, and a pinch of salt into the bowl of your mixer. Pour in the milk/yeast mixture. Mix this on a med-low speed until your dough forms into a ball. Knead with your dough hook for 8-10 minutes. Mix in your butter. Now, place the dough on a floured surface and knead it by hand for an extra 8 minutes. Put your dough into a large, oiled bowl. Roll the dough around to grease it on all sides. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise until it has doubled in size. This should take about 2 hours, but if you need to leave it a bit longer (I did!) it is no problem!
After your dough has finished resting, knead it again by hand for 8 minutes. Roll out your dough to a half centimeter thickness on a well floured surface, and use a glass to cut out even circles. Continue this until all the dough has been used. Onto half of the circles place a teaspoonful of Nutella.
Use your reserved egg white to brush the edges of circles. Sandwich one Nutella circle with one plain circle and seal by pinching the edges with your fingers. Brush the outside with egg white.
Repeat with all dough circles. Allow dough to rest & rise again for 10 minutes.
While your donuts rest get your oil ready. Place a large dutch oven or soup pot on the stove and pour in 1.5-2 inches of oil. Heat the oil over a medium flame until the temperature reaches 360 degrees. Watch the oil, make sure that it does not heat-up too rapidly, and that it stays consistent once it reaches the desired temperature.
Place a few donuts in the pot at a time, make sure not to overcrowd the pot. Let them brown for about 1 minute and then flip them to cook the other side for 30 seconds. Remove them to a surface layered with paper towels and dust with powdered sugar. Repeat until all of your donuts are cooked. Allow to cool for a few minutes and dig in! They are best straight out of the pot, but are good the next day too as long as you put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes.
***A few notes*** Using a deep pot to fry these greatly eliminated oil splattery messes. There was virtually no mess from the oil, which made clean-up a breeze!
Do not be scared to make donuts, please! I was very nervouse before we started cooking them-thinking there would be a huge mess, or something would catch on fire. The whole process went very smoothly, and though it was time-consuming, it was relatively easy and totally worth it!