Does anyone have a recipe for "berliners" (German donuts)?
I use this dough for jelly doughnuts, paczki, challah and raisin bread. Making the dough is very easy and not messy at all.
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
3-3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons bulk yeast) softened in 1/4 cup warm water
Take the butter, eggs and milk out of the refrigerator about an hour before starting the dough.
Place all ingredients (start with 3 cups of the flour) in the biggest bowl you own. Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft, lumpy dough forms. Wipe off the spoon with your fingers. Knead the dough, in the bowl, for about 10 minutes or until the dough forms a ball that nicely cleans the sides of the bowl. The act of kneading might be enough to make the dough less sticky, but use additional flour, no more than half a cup, if it needs a little help. (The longer you knead, the less sticky it gets.)
If you want raisin bread, add two or three handfuls of raisins now.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled, either an hour or two at room temperature or in the refrigerator all day or overnight.
Gently deflate the dough. Pat or roll out gently on a lightly floured surface until the dough is 1/2" to 1" thick. If it becomes too stretchy and elastic and snaps back before you can roll it out that thinly, let it rest 10 minutes. Using an empty tin can or a 3"-4" biscuit cutter, cut circles of dough and place on lightly floured baking sheets. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled. Pat together or re-roll scraps and cut out more circles until all dough is used.
Heat 1" of fresh vegetable or peanut oil to 350-360 degrees in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Carefully slip three dough circles into the oil and fry until deep golden brown on both sides--I don't know how long it takes, I just go by color--and internal dough temperature is 190-200 degrees.
Drain doughnuts on paper toweling for a couple of minutesd only, then move them to a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, fill with a tablespoon of jelly, jam, canned or bottled fruit filling, pastry cream, pudding or cooked fruit pie filling. (If you don't own a pastry bag with a big tip or a cookie gun, use a turkey baster--take off the bulb, put the filling in the tube, then replace the bulb--to inject the filling sideways.) Use sugar, powdered sugar, a thin glaze of milk and powdered sugar or a thicker mixture for icing, or a drizzle of ganache for the outside. If this recipe is too much for what you need, freeze the circles of raw dough--the fried dough gets too crumbly to fill after freezing, and sometimes the filled dough goes mushy in the middle during thawing.
If you want a quick and easy version, fry up some Pillsbury Hungry Jack canned biscuits--the biggest ones you can find--and fill those.