Duffins aka Doughnut Muffins. Essentially these are baked doughnuts, rather than deep fried. The muffin part comes into this because you bake them in a muffin tin. Nothing groundbreaking I know. The main reason why I wanted to make baked doughnuts is because I am not a fan of deep frying. Not because of health concerns, as these duffins are not a healthier alternative. I am not a fan of how everything stinks of oil after deep frying, not to mention what you then do with all of that oil afterwards! I do appreciate that people may genuinely afraid of boiling a large pot of oil. Well, lucky I've developed this recipe then.
Interestingly many duffin recipes use baking powder and bicarb rather than yeast, whereas doughnut recipes use the latter. I decided to stick to using yeast as I was looking to get a near match as possible in terms of taste and texture. As such making them does take a little longer although they don't require any extra hard work. When you are baking them you may be fooled as it does smell like you are baking bread, however once you have sugar coated them they taste as good as the real thing. I decided to top mine with jam, rather than fill completely, as I'm someone who likes a plain sugar coated doughnut. With that being said, a bit of jam does hit the spot.
So what more could you want than a duffin washed down with a hot cup of coffee!
Hands-on Time 1 hour
Proving Time +4 hours
Baking Time 20 minutes
350g Strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp Fine sea salt
150g Caster sugar
2 tsp Fast-action yeast
75g Unsalted butter (softened)
2 Eggs, medium
170ml plus 1 tbsp Full-fat milk
Oil for greasing (Flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
75g Jam (seedless)
Free standing mixer or a handheld mixer with a dough attachment and a large mixing bowl
Piping bag and pointed round nozzle
Add the flour to the large bowl, followed by the salt and 50g of the caster sugar to one side, and the yeast to the other.
Add 25g of butter and the 2 eggs.
Start mixing. Slowly add 170ml of milk until everything has combined.
Knead for 10 minutes.
The dough should be soft, smooth, yet still wet after this time.
Lightly grease the large bowl with oil and transfer the dough into it. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove until it has doubled in size. This will take a couple of hours. I leave mine in the fridge overnight to slow prove.
Once the dough has finished proving, grab your muffin tin.
Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide into 12 equal sized pieces.
Take a piece of dough, lightly flour its bottom before turning flour-side up and placing on a clean area of worktop.
Lightly dust your hands with flour. Don't worry you won't need to perform any gymnastics.
Cup the dough, with the outside edge of your hands under the bottom edges of the dough. Keep your fingers slightly straightened.
Move one hand away from you, and bring the other towards. When you do this, you should turn the dough. Release and move your hands back to where they started.
Repeat this several times.
You should find each time you cup the dough, you're pulling the outside of the dough downwards. When you turn the dough, you're tucking excess dough underneath. As you haven't floured the bottom of the dough the stickiness of it will help ensure it is smooth and there are no joins. Whilst the floured top will ensure it doesn't stick to your hands.
When the dough has formed a smooth ball, place into the muffin tray.
Repeat with the other 11 pieces.
Lightly oil a piece of clingfilm and cover the tray.
Leave the duffins to prove a second time until they are double in size, this should take a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C (Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Remove the clingfilm and lightly brush the tops of the duffins with the tbsp of milk.
Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes until they are a gloriously golden brown.
Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool a couple of minutes in the tray.
Carefully remove the duffins when they’re cool enough to handle from the tray and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool down.
I would suggest you gently twist the duffins to free them from the tin. If they don’t come out, run a palette knife around the side to loosen them.
When the duffins have cooled you can get on with the sugar coating.
Melt the remaining 50g of butter in a microwaveable bowl on a low power setting. This should take 10 to 20 seconds.
Stab the top of a duffin with a fork and brush all of the sides with butter. Return to the rack and brush the remaining duffins with butter.
Pour the remaining 100g of caster sugar into a mixing bowl.
One at a time, roll the duffin around in the sugar until all of it is coated, returning them again to the rack when finished.
For the jam top, insert a sharp knife into the tops of the duffins and twist the blade around. If you want to fill the duffins with jam you will need to hollow out some of the insides.
Transfer the jam to a small bowl and stir with a spatula to loosen it up before transferring it to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle.
Insert the nozzle into the top of a duffin and squeeze in enough jam until you feel resistance. Repeat with the remaining duffins.