Yesterday was a busy day and when we all came home and P got F ready for bed I decided I needed a minute on the sofa. And then I got glued to it and couldn’t get myself to turn on the computer and write out the post I had planned. I’m delivering it today and in addition I am going to post something tomorrow. I want to accomplish my goal of posting five times per week during this Vegan Month of Food.
In German doughnuts are called Berliner Pfannkuchen (Berlin pancakes) which, depending on where you live, is shortened to either Berliner or Pfannkuchen. Some people also call them Krapfen. What a weird word. It goes back to Old High German, which probably explains its weirdness. The first time I heard it was when I watched an episode of ALF. ALF tried to hypnotise the cat Lucky to eat him. (I was horriefied by that thought. Sure I would eat a sausage made from pigs. But a cat? What a terrible and crazy thought! We had cats. We wouldn’t eat them.) You probably know that in Germany all non-German TV-programmes are synchronised. So I heard ALF say “Du bist ein Krapfen!” (You are a doughnut!), while trying to hypnotise the cat with the help of a watch. I always wondered why they chose the word Krapfen to translate doughnut. Maybe because Kennedy already had decided he was a Berliner? I guess we’ll never know.
This was my first attempt at frying doughnuts. We don’t have a deep fryer and it was still simple. You just have to heat the oil in a large pot to 180°C (350°F), dump the doughnuts in and fry them for a minute on both sides. A candy thermometer works great here. Now you’re probably going to ask me, if you can bake these. You can, but then you’ll have a completely different product which is not called Krapfen or Berliner. There are not baked Berliner. What you will get if you bake these is called Buchteln and the recipe is here.
I made these Krapfen using the yeast dough recipe I already used for the Franzbrötchen. I made mini Krapfen instead of the regular sized ones and filled them with apricot jam. You can use any jam you like. There are different methods to glaze these: you can choose between powdered sugar, sugar, or sugar glaze. This is a hot topic, even in our family. P prefers powdered sugar on top while I love sugar glaze. I think I mostly love it for practical reasons. Sugar coated doughnuts get messy. You eat them and then there’s sugar all over your face, clothes, and the floor. Glaze is a bit more practical, I think. Which is not true, if you are a toddler. I tried to photograph these while I was alone with F. So I gave her one to distract her and tried to get a good shot. (Forget all those food photography tips. Forget that you need time and patience to get a good picture of your food. Not if there’s a toddler around! Be quick so she won’t tear the flat apart.) I made my pictures while F covered half our living room in sugar glaze.
Berliner (Yeasted and Jam Filled Doughnuts)
240 g (2 cups) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
120 ml (1/2 cup) luke warm soy milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
Frying: 1.5 – 2 litres of oil suitable for frying
150 g jam
100 g (3.5 oz or 1 cup sifted) powdered sugar
4-5 teaspoons water
To make the Berliner dough:
Combine flour, yeast, and milk in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add oil, sugar, and salt and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in the bowl, cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled (about 90 minutes).
Roll the dough out. It should be 2 cm (0.8 inch) thick. Cut out little rounds. I used a round cookie cuter with a diameter of 5 cm (2 inch). Place them on a piece of parchment paper, cover and let rise for an hour. Prepare the frying oil. Carefully slide the doughnuts into the oil and fry them on both sides. This will go pretty fast, they’ll turn golden brown in under a minute. Have some paper towels ready and place the doughnuts on the towels. Let cool.
To fill the doughnuts use a pastry bag with a pastry tip that looks like a long small tube. Use the tip to poke a hole into the doughnut and then pipe some of the jam into it. This takes a little experience but after a couple of doughnuts you should get the hang of it.
To glaze the doughnuts combine powdered sugar and water. Use the back of a spoon or a knife to decorate the doughnuts. Wait until the glaze has dried and serve.