Anarchy in a Jar

The revolution starts in your mouth // Small-batch condiments made in Brooklyn

How to Jam #8: Bomboloni Jelly Donuts

UncategorizedLaena McCarthy

BOMBOLONI JELLY DONUTS  -- Make it with 3’s Company Triple Berry Jam Donuts always intimidated me until my friend Carla, a masterful pastry chef and patient demonstrator, showed me how to make them. So fun and easy! Plus you can use an interchangeable array of jam flavors in the center.

Called Bomboloni in Tuscany and Sufganiyot in Israel, they are incredibly popular wherever they’re served. In Italy they’re made with the jelly or marmalade injected through the top, but otherwise resemble their other jelly donut cousins. In Israel and the Orthodox neighborhoods near my house in Brooklyn, they eat these during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of the Temple oil. Who doesn’t love a tradition where you get to eat jelly donuts for a month?

I’m not much of a baker, but I love making special treats for friends and family that are easy to execute; these donuts are a great treat that can be made anytime. I love serving them at brunch with simple herb & Gruyere cheese omelets and coffee for dipping them into. They’re also great to serve to kids, and healthier than the store-bought variety.

If you’re making these for grown-ups with mature palettes, try substituting Finger Lake’s Wine Grape Jelly or Blackberry & Lavender Jam for the 3’s Company Triple Berry Jam.

This dessert takes about 2 ½ hours total, with a half hour prep time, about 1 hour and 40 minutes inactive time as the dough rises, and then about 20 minutes to cook and cool.

MAKES TWELVE TO EIGHTEEN SERVINGS INGREDIENTS 4 to 4 ½ cups white bread flour, plus handful more for dusting 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 envelope dry active yeast (2 ½ teaspoons) 1 cup lukewarm milk 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for dusting 2 large eggs, beaten 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature Vegetable oil, such as canola, for frying ½ cup (4-ounces) 3’s Company Triple Berry Jam (page 000), at room temperature ¼ cup light Muscovado sugar plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon for dusting

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

1 pastry bag with a ½-inch round tip (alternately, use a plastic Ziploc bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip)

PREP

In the bowl of a mixer or large bowl, mix yeast with 2 tablespoons of the milk, vanilla bean seeds and 2 tablespoons sugar and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 4 cups flour and salt. Add the remaining milk to the flour.

Add the eggs and butter to the flour mixture. Mix the ingredients so they develop into soft and flexible dough that’s not too sticky. Depending on consistency, add a little extra milk or extra flour, if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and stretchy. You may prefer to do this in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, as it will take less time. Once smooth and stretchy, transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough by punching down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few seconds. With a lightly floured rolling pin, gradually roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick. As you roll the dough, let it rest occasionally for a few seconds. Cut out into 3-inch rounds (golf-ball size) with a lightly floured biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Re-use the scraps to make more balls. Place the balls on lightly floured baking sheets, spacing them apart, and cover gently with a dry towel. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

Pinch off fist-size pieces of dough and form them into small balls, about the size of a gumball. Cover the balls with a towel and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

COOK

Heat vegetable oil 4-inches high in a deep fryer, deep 6-to 8-quart Dutch oven or stainless steel pot to 350°F.

Transfer the risen balls to the hot oil and fry, a few at a time, until golden and puffed, turning frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Lift the doughnuts from the oil using a slotted spoon and let drain on the paper towels for a few minutes. Then roll them on a plate lined with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Let cool a few minutes.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small 1/2-inch round tip with 3’s Company Triple Berry Jam. Poke a small hole in the end of the donut and insert the tip, piping 2 teaspoons jam into the donut, being careful to not insert the pastry tip too far or the jam will shoot out the other side. Repeat with each donut.

SERVE

Serve immediately while still slightly warm, along with hot coffee or a glass of prosecco to temper the richness.

As a variation, try adding 2 ounces orange blossom water, rum or brandy to the initial milk mixture; or make apple cider donuts with spiced beer jelly or apple butter filling by substituting 1 cup apple cider and ½ cup buttermilk for the milk and cutting the yeast, use baking soda and baking powder instead; experiment with other dry ingredients for dusting at the end, such as cocoa powder, vanilla sugar, cardamom sugar or confectioner’s sugar.