Friday, April 23, 2021


Is there anything better or more rewarding to a baker, than enjoying a piping hot pastry they have created, right off the baking sheet, as the filing is still molten? The joy of creating the food combined with the pleasure of eating the food.
These doughnuts are made with my favourite type of dough, the yoghurt dough. Ever since I started working with dough, I have loved it, as it is incredibly soft and supple. I never make it too sweet on its own, which makes it absolutely perfect for the lush filling.
And the filling is the classic pairing of chocolate and peanut butter, deepened by the glistening caramel topping. It will be soft and almost chewy as they are taken out of the oven, but it will set up as they cool.
The texture of these doughnuts is what makes them even more appealing; they are soft and smooth all through, with just the softest crunch from the topping. However, if you prefer crunchy peanut butter, use it; adapt them to your liking and preferences.
Speaking of preferences, I like making my doughnuts small; that way, they are easier to pick up and enjoy, and they bake up much quicker, making them even softer, if that is possible. Just keep in mind that the filling will leak out as they bake if you overfill them. If you are fine with that, as I am, be as generous as the dough will allow.
I always serve them hot, with a glass of cold milk and a cup of freshly made espresso, and the same I recommend to you.

For the soft baked doughnuts
350 grams plain flour
120 grams dark brown sugar, divided
6 grams salt
100 grams vanilla soya yoghurt
100 millilitres warm water
60 millilitres vegetable oil, divided
15 grams fresh yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the chocolate peanut butter filling
100 grams dark cooking chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)
60 grams smooth peanut butter
½ vanilla bean paste

Start by sifting the flour into a large bowl. Add in 20 grams of sugar, all of the salt, and whisk really well. In a small bowl, whisk together the fresh yeast and the warm water, and set it aside for about 10 minutes so the yeast can activate. Once the yeast is fragrant and bubbly, make a little well in the centre of the flour, pour it in, and add in the yoghurt, 30 millilitres of oil, and vanilla, and mix with a wooden spoon until a very soft and sticky dough forms. It should not stick to your hands, but if it does, add another tablespoon of flour. Place the dough into a large bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise, at room temperature, for about an hour, or until doubled.
Towards the end of rising time, make the chocolate and peanut butter filling. Chop up the chocolate finely and add it to a medium bowl. Add in the peanut butter, and place the bowl on a double boiler, letting them melt together nicely. Stir it occasionally, until completely blended. This can also be done in the microwave, being additionally careful not to burn the chocolate. Once melted, stir in the vanilla well, and set it aside to cool down slightly and start firming up, as it will be liquid when hot.
When the dough is risen and ready, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it very briefly. Divide it into 12 equal pieces, and shape each of them into a ball. Flatten each of them into a disk, place a portion of the filling in the centre, and carefully close the dough around it. Pinch the seam tightly, and place each of the doughnuts onto a large baking sheet. When all of them are formed, working quickly, brush them with the reserved oil, and dip the top of each one into the remaining dark brown sugar.
Arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and let them rest for 30 minutes more. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 10 minutes, or until done. Serve them hot off the baking sheet; as soon as they have cooled down to be handled comfortably. Yields 12 servings.