We Jammin' on Jelly Donuts

Photo Credit: firstwefeast.com
                                                                             Photo Credit: firstwefeast.com

While we love to indulge in Brooklyn's finest donuts from Dough, Doughnut Plant and Peter Pan Donuts, sometimes we love to make our own darn donuts! And what better way to explore your inner Martha Stewart, than with a recipe for Bomboloni Jelly Donuts, filled with Anarchy in a Jar, “Easy Like Sunday Morning Blueberry Preserves”. 

Laena McCarthy, founder of Anarchy in a Jar, started cooking up small-batch preserves in her Brooklyn kitchen, and now sells her jam nationwide. Inspired by her grandmother, these Italian jam-filled donut treats are a family tradition:

In Italy they’re made with the jelly or marmalade injected through the top, but otherwise resemble their jelly donut cousins. In Israel and the Orthodox neighborhoods near my house in Brooklyn, they eat these during Hanukkah. Who doesn’t love a tradition where you get to eat jelly donuts for a month? ” Or in this case, all year long.

Let’s get bakin.
 
BOMBOLONI JELLY DONUTS
(makes 12 to 18 servings)

Ingredients
4 to 4 ½ cups white bread flour, plus handful more for dusting
1 tsp. sea salt
1 envelope dry active yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 Tbsp. sugar, plus more for dusting
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Vegetable oil, such as canola, for frying
1 jar (4-oz.) Easy Like Sunday Morning Blueberry Preserves at room temperature
¼ cup light Muscovado sugar plus 1 tsp. cinnamon for dusting

Special Equipment
1 pastry bag with a ½-inch round tip (alternately, use a plastic Ziploc bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip)

Prep
In the bowl of a mixer or large bowl, mix yeast with 2 Tbsp. of the milk, vanilla bean seeds and 2 Tbsp. sugar and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 4 cups flour and salt. Add the remaining milk to the flour.

Add the eggs and butter to the flour mixture. Mix the ingredients so they develop into soft and flexible dough that’s not too sticky. Depending on consistency, add a little extra milk or extra flour, if needed, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and stretchy. You may prefer to do this in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, as it will take less time. Once smooth and stretchy, transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough by punching down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few seconds. With a lightly floured rolling pin, gradually roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick. As you roll the dough, let it rest occasionally for a few seconds. Cut out into 3-inch rounds (golf-ball size) with a lightly floured biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Re-use the scraps to make more balls. Place the balls on lightly floured baking sheets, spacing them apart, and cover gently with a dry towel. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

Pinch off fist-size pieces of dough and form them into small balls, about the size of a gumball. Cover the balls with a towel and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Cook
Heat vegetable oil 4-inches high in a deep fryer, deep 6-to 8-quart Dutch oven or stainless steel pot to 350°F.

Transfer the risen balls to the hot oil and fry, a few at a time, until golden and puffed, turning frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Lift the doughnuts from the oil using a slotted spoon and let drain on the paper towels for a few minutes. Then roll them on a plate lined with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Let cool a few minutes.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small 1/2-inch round tip with Easy Like SundayMorning Blueberry Preserves. Poke a small hole in the end of the donut and insert the tip, piping 2 tsp. jam into the donut, being careful to not insert the pastry tip too far or the jam will shoot out the other side. Repeat with each donut.

Serve
Serve immediately while still slightly warm, along with coffee or hot cocoa.

As a variation, try adding 2 oz. orange blossom water, rum or brandy to the initial milk mixture; or make apple cider donuts with our Salted Caramel Apple Butter filling by substituting 1 cup apple cider and ½ cup buttermilk for the milk and cutting the yeast, use baking soda and baking powder instead; experiment with other dry ingredients for dusting at the end, such as cocoa powder, vanilla sugar, cardamom sugar or confectioner’s sugar.

DON'T FORGET THE JAM!



Brooklyn, We Gram Hard