For the bomboloni dough
- 2 cups strong bread flour (280g) see notes
- 2 cups 00 flour or all purpose flour (280g) see notes
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 6.5 tbsp butter softened (90g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- ½ cup lukewarm milk (120ml)
- ½ tsp vanilla paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ tsp fast action yeast (7g)
- 1 small pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp caster sugar or confectioners sugar for rolling doughnuts in
- sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
For the pastry cream (if using)
- 5 egg yolks
- 2.5 cups milk (½ litre)
- ¼ cup cornstarch (30g)
- ⅓ cup sugar (70g)
- ½ tsp vanilla pasta or 1 vanilla bean
- Zest of 1 lemon
Sugar thermometer, for frying the oil
Piping bag and medium sized nozzle
Large round cookie cutter about 3.5 inch diameter
How to make the Bomboloni dough
Put the flour, sugar and yeast in the mixer bowl and stir to combine.
Scatter cubes of butter over the flour so it’s evenly distributed then pour in the eggs and lukewarm milk, vanilla and salt.
Attach a dough hook attachment to the mixer then knead on a low speed for 10 minutes (on a KitchenAid mixer I use speed 2).
After 10 minutes the dough should be smooth, elastic and slightly tacky (see recipe notes 1 & 2 if using cups it’s important).
Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface (you don’t need any flour and extra flour should be avoided if possible). Shape the dough into a smooth ball by kneading it 2-3 times.
Place the dough in a clean bowl lightly greased with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to prove for 2-3 hours or until tripled in size.
Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto a clean work surafce, knock out the air then knead it a few times back into a smooth ball.
Flatten the dough with your hands then roll out on into a rectangle ½ inch (1.5cm) thick.
Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out round doughnuts about 3.5 inch in diameter. You can cut the scraps into random shapes for frying or re-knead them and roll out again to cut out more doughnuts.
Place the cut out doughnuts on a surface lined with baking parchment and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Leave to prove for 1-1.5 hours or until tripled in size.
While the doughnuts are proving, make the pastry cream and leave to cool (directions below).
When ready to fry heat a large deep pan or pot of oil until it reaches 170°C/337°F.
Cut the parchment paper into squares so that each doughnut is on an individual square of parchment.
Carefully drop the doughnuts into the oil and immediatley remove the parchment paper with tongs. It’s best to fry the doughnuts in batches and not overcrowd the pan.
Fry the doughnuts for 2 minutes then turn over and fry for another 2 minutes on the other side.
Remove and drain on kitchen paper for a around 2 minutes then roll the doughnuts in sugar. Leave to cool before filling.
How to fill the doughnuts
To fill the bomboloni insert a small knife into the side of a doughnut and move it around to make a small incision.
Fill a piping bag with the pastry cream or desired filling and pipe it into the doughnuts.
Serve immediately for best results or store in plastic containers for 1-2 days.
To make Italian pastry cream (crema pasticciera)
Put the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest in a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
Add the cornstarch and whisk again until well combined.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until hot then turn off the heat and let it sit for 1 minute.
Slowly pour in the milk into the egg mixture while constantly whisking so the eggs don’t scramble and there are no lumps.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on a low heat whilst constantly stirring until thick and creamy (about 10-15 minutes) the mixture needs to be very thick. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat or the eggs will scramble.
Once thick, turn of the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Place plastic wrap directly over the pastry cream so a skin doesn’t form and leave to cool.
- If you are using cups to measure the flour you must spoon the flour into the cup then lightly tap the cup until the flour has settled and leveled. This is important to achieve as accurate a weight as possible. A kitchen scale is recommended for accuracy.
- Texture of dough if using cups: there can be around 20-30g difference when measuring flour with cups. The dough should be tacky to touch and shouldn’t be wet or stick to your hands. If you find the dough is wet and sticky add 1 tbsp of flour at a time allowing it to absorb into the dough until the dough is at the right consistency.
- The parchment paper helps keep the doughnuts nice and round, you can easily knock air out if you handle them.
- If using a stand mixer keep it on a low-speed setting to avoid over kneading the dough (KitchenAid speed 2).
- The oil should be around 3 inches deep for best results when frying.
- Try not to overcrowd the pan when frying as the oil will cool down when you add more dough. Fry the doughnuts in batches to make it easier and safer to remove them too.
- Drain the fried doughnuts on kitchen paper for about 2 minutes to allow them to drain properly then roll in sugar whilst still warm. If you don’t do this when the doughnuts are warm the sugar won’t stick.
- Wait until the bomboloni are cooled before filling them.