Recipe from Simply Great Breads by Daniel Leader (Taunton Press, 2011)
Almost every bakery in Germany sells Berliners, which are similar to American jelly doughnuts but with a leaner, less sugary dough. To my palate, Berliners have a cleaner taste because of this formula. When I make these, I use either homemade preserves or best-quality local jam that I buy at the local farm stand. If your jam is very chunky, purée it in a blender or small food processor so that it will pass without effort through the tip of a pastry bag and into the doughnut.
Photo by Ditte Isager
Makes 16 Doughnuts
17.62 ounces/500 grams (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2.64 ounces/75 grams (1/3 cup) sugar, plus more for coating the Berliners
.65 ounce/13 grams (1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) instant yeast
.11 ounce/3 grams (3/4 teaspoon) fine sea salt or kosher salt
8 ounces/245 grams (1 cup) room temperature milk (70°F to 78°F)
2.5 ounces/67 grams (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
.35 ounce/10 grams (1 teaspoon) grated lemon zest
.35 ounce/10 grams (2 teaspoons) pure vanilla extract
Vegetable oil, for frying
4.25 ounces/120 grams (6 tablespoons) raspberry jam
1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, milk, butter, eggs, egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (the hook is not needed here, since this is a rather loose batter) and mix on low speed until smooth, 8 to
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or dough-rising container, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until doubled in volume, about
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parch-ment or waxed paper. Brush a thin layer of vegetable oil on the paper. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and divide into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a round (see "Instructions for Shaping Rounds" on page 44) and then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Place the rounds seam side down on the oiled paper. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4. Add 3 inches of oil to a deep pot. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F. Line a large platter or baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.
5. Place a few of the Berliners in the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them in the pot.
6. Fry until golden brown on one side, about 1 minute. Turn and continue to fry until golden on both sides, another minute or two. Don't worry that there is a line of light-colored dough around the perimeter of each Berliner. This will be the "soft spot" where you will insert the tip of a pastry bag to pipe in some jam. Drain the cooked Berliners on the paper towels, roll them in sugar, and repeat with the remaining dough, keeping an eye on the thermometer to make sure the oil stays at a steady 350°F and adjusting the heat as necessary.
7. To fill the Berliners, place the jam in a bowl and stir it thoroughly so that there are no lumps. Scrape it into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Insert the tip into the soft spot of each Berliner and squeeze about 1 teaspoon of the jam into the center. Serve immediately.