Well now. Doughnuts. In Croatia, February is a doughnut month. The sweet and crazy time of Carnival before Lent stops it and clears the road for Easter. There are so many different places, ways and customs in Croatia that will take you to that colourfull and vibrant Carnival world. Carnivals in Rijeka, Samobor, Dubrovnik. But one thing is constant, and that is sweet and puffy Mrs Doughnut and her gallant and smooth beau Fruit Jam.
It is fragrant with cinammon. It’s soft and it melts in your mouth. It’s so naughty dounugthy so you can’t help but eat it piping hot although you know that piping hot yeast dough can make your belly ache. Because they’re so freaking tasty! Italians call them Bomboloni and usually fill them with vanilla custard. You can make them with little pieces of chocolate, nut spread or simply with no filling. Tastes great either way!
Original recipe with eggs and butter and milk and all belongs to my friend’s late grandma. I simply made simple substitute: chia eggs, sunflower oil and oat milk. And voilà!
So how do you make them? No long stories today, let’s just jump right into the recipe, so you can still make them today!
2 tbsp Chia seeds + 6 tbsp water. No need to soak.
300 ml/ 1 1/4 cup oat milk, tepid
70 ml/ 1/3 cup oil (not olive. Sunflower, coconut, etc.)
3 tbsp agave syrup or other sweetener to your taste
20 g fresh yeast/1 sachet instant dry yeast
500 g/4 cups bread or all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
fruit jam for filling (or some other, firm spread, or chocolate chips)
cinammon and sugar for rolling, optional
In a big mixing bowl put Chia, water, oat milk, oil, sweetener and yeast and mix well. Add flour and salt and knead it all well. You’ll do best if you use stand or hand mixer because dough will be soft, sticky and hard to handle. And you surely don’t want to add more flour because doughnuts will be dense and hard. Mix about 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with the lid or plastic foil and set aside to rise untill it doubles in wolume, around 40 mins. Dough will lose much of it’s stickyness but still be soft and gentle. Mix the sugar with cinammon in small bowl and set aside.
Once risen, transfer the dough to floured surface. Again, don’t use too much flour, only as much as you need to be able to handle it. Divide the dough in 2, then every piece in 2 again, and again and you end up with 32 equal pieces of 35 g or approximately 1/4 cup in size. Take each piece, spread it gently with your fingers into a circle that has thickness of your finger. Put 1/2 tsp of jam in the middle of every circle and then close it into a nice ball and place it with the “seam” down to rest again, covered with kitchen cloth. After 30 mins, put the oil to heat. When it’s hot enought (check with a little piece of dough), fry the doughnuts on both sides till the are deep, golden colour. Put them on a kitchen paper to soak the excess oil and immediately roll into the cinammon-sugar mixture. Serve warm, but they are really good cold, too. Share with your friends and neighbours, because you’ll want to eat them all 😉