A yummy and colourful treat for your party! These retro party ring doughnuts are a fun addition to a child’s birthday party or doughnut wall!
Party ring biscuits were a staple of every party worth going to as a kid! They’re even cuter in doughnut form and super fun to make.
Makes 24 mini doughnuts.
For the dough:
- 750 g (1 lb 10 oz/5 cups) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 80 g (3 oz/1/3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 80 g (3 oz/2/3 stick) unsalted butter
- 15 g (1/2 oz/3 tsp) salt
- 21 g (3/4 oz/6 tsp) instant dried yeast (3 packets)
- 3 medium eggs
- 240 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) warm full-fat (whole) milk
- 140 ml (5 fl oz/½ cup) warm water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil stand mixer (optional)
- Rolling pin
- Dough scraper (optional)
- Cutters (in shape of your choice)
For the icing:
- 1 batch of Vanilla Bean icing P.25
- Pink, lilac and yellow natural food colouring
- 6 cm (2½ in) ring cutter
- 3 piping bags
- Cocktail sticks
For the baking:
- 3 litres (100 fl oz/12 cups) vegetable oil (frying method) or rapeseed oil spray (baking method)
- Place the flour, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Make 2 wells in the flour at opposite sides of the bowl and add the salt to one, and the yeast to the other.
- Break in the eggs and then add the warm milk.
- If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on the slowest speed, whilst carefully pouring in the water, bit by bit. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use one hand to bring the dough together and the other to pour in the water. Mix together until all the ingredients have been incorporated – you should end up with a sticky, wet mixture.
- Continue kneading the dough on a slow setting for around 8 minutes or, by hand, on a floured surface for 10 minutes. When the dough has been kneaded enough, it’ll be smooth, elastic and have a shiny surface.
- Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a damp tea towel (dish towel) until doubled in size (anything between 20–90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
- Grease 2 baking trays (baking pans) with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on each.
- Cover your hands with flour and sprinkle a flat surface with more flour. Tip out the dough and knead with your hands to form a ball. Use a dough scraper, if you like, to help pick up all the doughy residue from the surface.
- Sprinkle the rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to around 2 cm (3/4 in) thick.
- Use a cutter to cut out your desired shapes and place onto the greased baking trays, spacing them out. Knead any leftover dough and roll out to repeat the process until you have used up all the dough. Leave to rise for around 10–20 minutes until the dough springs back when you touch it.
- Cook the dough using one of the methods below and smother with your glaze or icing of choice!
Frying and Baking:
Baked or fried? Frying your doughnuts will make them crispy and fluffy whilst baking them will make them soft and squidgy.
The original and most effective way of making doughnuts – this is how we do them in the bakery every day. Remember to be super careful when using hot oil. Keep any form of water away from the fryer or pan, move slowly to avoid any splashes and, if using a pan, always use a digital thermometer to make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot.
- Preheat a deep-fat fryer (deep fryer), or oil in a heavy-based pan, to 180°C (350°F).
- Use a fish slice (turner) to carefully pick up each portion of dough and then carefully drop the dough into the fryer, cooking each one for around 60 seconds on each side, until golden brown in colour.
- Remove with tongs and place on a baking tray (baking pan) lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Leave to cool.
These guys are sprayed with oil before and after they go into the oven to simulate the frying process. They have a lovely depth of flavour to them.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F/Gas 7).
- Fill a roasting dish with boiling water and place it at the bottom of the oven.
- Spray the doughnuts with oil (around 3 sprays per doughnut, as a general rule of thumb) and bake in the oven for 6 minutes.
- Spray with oil again as soon as they leave the oven and leave to cool.
Icing and decorating:
- Divide the vanilla bean icing among 3 bowls and colour one with pink, one with lilac and one with yellow food colouring.
- Fill 3 piping bags with around one-third of the coloured-icing and cut a hole in the tip of each piping bag, measuring around 5 mm (1/4 in). Twist the top of each bag to stop the icing escaping.
- Dip a mini doughnut, top down, into one of the bowls of icing to around halfway, and gently pull back up.
- In a contrasting colour, immediately ice 3 lines across the doughnut — be quick, we don’t want the icing to dry yet!
- Using a cocktail stick, drag 3 lines at a 90-degree angle to the ones you’ve just made, to create a feathering effect. Repeat for the remaining doughnuts.
- Allow the icing to set before eating.
Donuts by Vicky Graham (Hardie Grant, £10) Photography © Joe Woodhouse