The first batch I tried to squeeze in on a busy day. This is usually not a good thing when you work with yeast. My friend C was coming and I thought she would appreciate eating some fancy doughnuts. But because I was busy doing a million things I didn’t read the recipe properly and started making the dough too early. The amount of yeast seemed to be pretty high but I didn’t think much of it. The yeast did its job well and pretty soon the dough was nearly doubled…faster than I thought it should have. So I put the dough in the fridge but that didn’t help a lot either. The second rise I put it in the fridge too. And even in the fridge it kept on rising and rising. Had to knead it again to get rid of all the air by the time I was ready for the rolling out part. So in the end the dough even had a short third rise before I fried it. The result were doughnuts that were too airy. Just below the top was a big puffed up air pocket and it had some other large air pockets too. Even though the doughnuts were not all that I did wanted to try the rose icing. What I thought was a remnant of icing sugar was actually a mix of icing sugar and caster sugar (still don’t remember mixing the two…) so the icing was a bit grainy. Also the packet of ready chopped pistachio nuts that had been lying around in my cupboard for a while were 3 weeks past the expiration date…. Well at least everything went wrong when making the first batch 😉 My friend was a bit reluctant to try the doughnuts and wasn’t really enthousiastic about them. I didn’t like the doughnuts that much, thought they needed a little more sugar and a little more saffron. The combination with the rose icing was good though, definitely a keeper.
The second time round things went much better. I used a slightly different recipe, a recipe for Berliner bollen from my basic Dutch cookbook Het Nieuwe Haagse Kookboek (delicious:days made some real Berliners the other day).
When I made the doughnuts in the picture I wasn’t as busy as last time so I could control the process better. It all worked out ok.
I don’t own doughnut cutters or round cookie cutters so instead I used my fluted scone cutter to cut out the doughnuts. I worked well and the fluted part doesn’t really show. The cutter is smaller than a regular doughnut cutter so I ended up with mini doughnuts. And I like mini… a lot! I re-rolled the scraps once and baked the dough that was left-over after re-rolling in the oven. Tasted like saffron brioche, very tasty!
The amount of saffron was just right for a pretty yellow colour and a fragrant saffron taste. The icing sugar really was icing sugar this time so the icing was ok. I love rose flavour so I loved the way the icing tasted. I added a bit of pink food colouring to make it light pink because I like the combination of pink and green so much.
The combination of tastes were as good as I hoped for. Rose and saffron go really well together. Those folks in the Middle East now what to combine. Pity my friend C wasn’t there to taste the new and improved doughnuts. Two other friends were there though and they agreed that the combination was very good.
I’m not a very big fan of doughnuts so I don’t think I’ll be making them again in the future. But is was great fun trying them for the first time for the Time to make the Doughnuts Event!
Saffron doughnuts (adapted from Het Nieuwe Haagse Kookboek by F.M. Stoll and W.H. de Groot)
25 ml (1 tbs + 2 ts) water, boiling
Â¼ ts saffron threads
7 g (Â¼ oz / 2 Â¼ ts) instant yeast
200 g (7 oz) flour
30 g (1 oz / 4 tbscaster sugar
3 g (scant ts) salt
50 g (1 Â¾ oz) butter, melted
Pour the boiling water over the saffron threads and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes.
Mix the yeast, flour, sugar and salt. Add the water with saffron, butter and eggs and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead until you have a smooth dough, adding flour when necessary.
Cover the dough with a tea cloth and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place until doubled in volume.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1 Â½ cm thickness. Cut out round. Reroll the dough scraps and cut out more rounds. Put the rounds on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for another 20 minutes.
Fry the dough rounds in 180Â°C (350Â°F) oil until brown on both sides (for about 1 minute on each side). Drain the excess fat on some paper towels.
Allow to cool down.
100 g (3 Â½ oz) icing sugar, sifted
pistachio nuts, chopped
Add rosewater to the icing sugar until it is the desired consistency. Apply the icing to the doughnuts and sprinkle with pistachio nuts.