Small, perfectly formed and totally irresistible: you won’t be able to stop at just one.
Mini maple pecan doughnuts
- Preparation time: about 4 hours (includes resting, rising, proving and cooling)
- Cooking time: about 30 minutes
- Total time: about 4 hours 30 minutes (includes resting, rising, proving and cooling)
Makes: 32 small doughnuts
200ml semi-skimmed milk
100g unsalted butter
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
50g light brown muscovado sugar
200g strong white bread flour
200g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp fine salt
7g sachet Allinson easy bake yeast
3 eggs (150g), beaten
sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep frying
NUTS AND GLAZE
100g pecan halves
300g icing sugar
9 tbsp (135ml) maple syrup
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the butter and vanilla. Heat gently until the butter melts and the milk is warm, then remove from the heat.
2. Mix the sugar, flours and salt together in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre and add the yeast. Test the milk temperature with your little finger – it should be warm but not hot. Pour the milk mixture into the well and leave to stand for 5 minutes to let the yeast dissolve. Add the beaten eggs, then mix with a wooden spoon to a smooth, very wet dough (almost a batter); set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Beat the dough for 1 minute; you’ll find it has more body to it. Cover the bowl with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 2 hours, or until at least doubled in size.
4. Generously flour the worktop and your hands, then scrape the dough from the bowl. Flour the top of the dough too, then gently knead by bringing the top edge into the centre, turning the dough a quarter turn and repeating. Do this for 2-3 minutes. Add more flour if your hands get sticky (the odd sticky patch of dough will mean a better doughnut, though, so don’t be put off). The dough should feel soft, fluid and bouncy. Flour 2 large baking sheets.
5. Shape into 32 balls, place on floured baking sheets and cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place to prove until almost doubled in size – about 45 minutes-1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Scatter the pecans over a baking tray and cook for 5-8 minutes, until toasted. Leave to cool, then chop and set aside.
7. For the glaze, put the icing sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the maple syrup and milk, then gradually mix to a very loose icing. Stir in the pecans.
8. When ready to cook the doughnuts, fill a large, deep, heavy saucepan ⅓ full with oil (or use a deep-fat fryer) and heat to 180˚C. Line a few trays with kitchen paper. Fry the doughnuts a few at a time for 1-1½ minutes on each side, or until deep golden with a pale ring around the middle. Using metal tongs, lift onto kitchen paper to drain and cool slightly.
9. Dunk the warm doughnuts in the glaze, coating all over. Let the excess drip back into the bowl, then leave to set on a wire rack. Make sure each has a few nuts on top for crunch.