Recipe by Georgina Hayden
A fun spin on a holiday favourite, these zesty, spiced doughnuts are a perfect spring treat
In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Whisk together, then leave for 15 minutes, or until frothy.
Sift the flour, mixed spice and 1 teaspoon of salt into a separate bowl. Tip 150g of it into another bowl, along with 1 tablespoon each of the sugar and the yeast liquid. Mix to a smooth paste and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
When the batter has risen, slowly incorporate small pieces of the butter. Once it is all mixed in, stir in the eggs and orange zest to combine. Add the rest of the flour and caster sugar and mix well.
Once all the flour is combined, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead vigorously for 20 minutes until smooth and no longer sticky (you may prefer to do this in a free-standing mixer with a dough hook, if you have one). Form into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1–1½ hours, until doubled in size.
Transfer to a floured surface and knock back the dough by kneading lightly. Divide into 4 and roll each piece into a long sausage. Cut each one in half, then each half into thirds, to give you 24 pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and pierce a hole in the middle with your thumb. Pop them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Fill a deep saucepan two-thirds full with vegetable oil and place over a medium heat, until it reaches 160C (if you don’t have a thermometer, drop in a piece of bread – when it sizzles and turns brown the oil is ready). Stretch the doughnuts back into a ring, then fry them, in batches, for 1 minute on each side, or until golden. Then leave to drain on kitchen paper.
To decorate your doughnuts, roll them in caster sugar, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with freeze-dried berries, or make a glaze by whisking a little water into the icing sugar, then brush this over your doughnuts.