Doughnuts for Dads

If you follow this blog fairly regularly, you probably expect that we grilled on Father’s Day. We did. My husband spent part of Saturday giving his dearest grill some extra loving care, getting it all nice and clean and shiny, prepping it for a day…

Doughnuts for Dads

If you follow this blog fairly regularly, you probably expect that we grilled on Father’s Day. We did. My husband spent part of Saturday giving his dearest grill some extra loving care, getting it all nice and clean and shiny, prepping it for a day of anticipated grilling on Sunday. He even got a new grilling apron on Father’s Day morning (embroidered and customized, natch), as well as other doodads and gizmos to make the grilling experience more fun. Our resident dad tended the grill all day, preparing beef ribs, low and slow, mopping it religiously with a Kansas City Style BBQ sauce.


I was indoors, trying my hand at doughnuts.

We had all just finished a hefty brunch of prosciutto and cheese filled omelletes, and were craving something sweet to go with our coffees. Someone said the word “doughnuts,” and before anyone could say “Krispy Kreme,” I was off and measuring flour, opening packages of yeast and coaxing my butter to room temperature.

Here’s a confession: I’ve never made filled doughnuts before, and all of a sudden, I had the sudden urge to create them. I had made up my mind to make Blackberry Jam Filled and Nutella Filled Doughnuts.

After consulting my army of cookbooks, I settled on a variation from my 1975 edition of good ole’ Joy of Cooking. Following Rombauer’s No-Knead Yeast Coffee Cake recipe to be adapted into Jelly Doughnuts, I found myself half daring to wildly experiment and half wanting to stay true to the instructions. Since this was a first try, I forced myself to abide close to the books, and I learned a lot along the way.

Jelly and Nutella Filled Doughnuts

Half of the batch I fried, but half I decided to bake, just to see what would happen. Without a doubt, there is no comparison, at least for this recipe. Frying is the way to go. Here is what else I learned (I hope you find it helpful!):

  1. Consistent oil temperature is critical. I do not own one, but a deep fryer would be ideal in this situation. As much as I dislike deep fried foods, I can see how having one could be very useful, and there are certainly so many applications beyond doughnuts!
  2. The directions state that the dough should be cut into 1/4-inch thick 2 1/2-inch rounds. I would advise to go thinner. There were some doughnuts that did not  cook all the way, probably because they did fluff again when allowed to rest. Next time around, I will probably shoot for 1/8 thickness.
  3. A heaping teaspoon of jelly filling is way too much. I’d say half a teaspoon will do nicely. And perhaps it might be a good idea to warm up the jelly a tad.
  4. Doughnuts take time. It’s not something you can just whip up on a whim.
  5. Be prepared to eat them right away. That may mean you will be eating doughnuts at an odd hour in the afternoon (but you don’t mind that, do you?).

Jam or Nutella Filled Doughnuts

Makes one dozen doughnuts.


1 cup water, 105 to 115 degrees
2 packages yeast
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
fillings of your choice (jam, jelly, Nutella, etc.)
1 egg white
powdered sugar
cooking oil


In a bowl, combine water, yeast and 1 cup of sifted flour and allow to sit for about 4 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow the sponge to rest in a warm spot for half an hour.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add salt, lemon rind, and the sponge. Switch the paddle to a dough hook. Gradually add the remaining 3 1/2 cups sifted flour and beat the dough for about 5 minutes or until the dough looks like a smooth ball. Allow it to rise for about an hour.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch rounds (you will need a total of 24 rounds).

On twelve of the rounds, place 1/2 a teaspoon of your desired filling in the center. Brush the edges with egg white wash, top with a dough round, and press the seams shut along the edges. Allow doughnuts to rest for about half an hour.

Heat your oil to 375 degrees. Carefully place the doughnuts in the oil, gently turning with a slotted spoon. Each doughnut takes 2 to 3 minutes to cook. Drain doughnut and place on a paper towel. While hot, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Continue cooking the batch, then enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker, 1975 Ed.


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  1. lilstar

    Hi Liren!
    I would love to try these delicious looking doughnuts (love nutella!!). but i dont have a paddle hook at home and limited resources :( is there any alternatives to make the dough? such as kneading?
    Thank you! and you got a great blog and photography skills :)

  2. the urban baker

    these look truly delicious. i wish i could eat doughnuts everyday! thanks for reminding me about this book – i need to revisit it!

  3. Jenn [Defunkt Gourmet]

    Hi Liren,
    long time for a visit, non? *kisses on cheeks*.
    I have always, always wanted to try my hand at donuts. However, with a Tim Horton’s within walking distance, it’s hard not to just simply buy them and get the flavour that you want. But making them is always half the battle, non? It’s to see if you can execute it.
    Thanks for the tips, it’s always good to know someone else’s war stories. And of course, LOVING the use of Nutella ;)

    • Liren

      Jenn! So good to see you here again! I know, it’s been nuts! I have a new respect for doughnut bakers now…from now on, I’ll probably leave it up to the experts. This is a once a year kind of thing for me :)

    • Liren

      Well, perfect is a strong word…but I was really happy with how they turned out :)

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