These may just be the ultimate doughnuts! Naturally leavened for great taste and filled with dulce de leche. Soft and fluffy but also hearty.
I love a doughnut just as much as the next person. And I have made videos about different doughnuts in the past. One being a brioche doughnut filled with jam and the other a regular doughnut with a delicious lemon crème filling.
But sourdough doughnuts have always been my favourite. I feel like they should not exist like some forbidden fruit. Not sure why. Perhaps I’m just used to using my starter for non-sweet bakes most of the time.
It is the natural leavening that sets them apart and makes them unique. You could fill a doughnut with whatever you like and make it taste like the filling. But a sourdough doughnut has more flavour brought forward from the dough itself.
Along with the taste also comes texture. These doughnuts are soft and springy, but they also have a bit of a bite to them.
A doughnut is a great canvas for creativity. You can use your favourite filling and coat them with various flavoured sugars or even glazes. The customizability has no limits.
I chose a simple yet tasty filling of dulce the leche. It is sweetened condensed milk that is cooked in the tin for several hours until it turns into a tick caramel-like substance. It is extremely easy to make and if you love caramel, then this is the way to go.
To coat the doughnuts, I used cinnamon sugar. It goes well with the caramel.
The recipe makes 12 small doughnuts, but they are quite filling. You can double the amounts of ingredients to make more.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the preferment –
70g (2.5oz) white bread flour
70g (2.5oz) water
70g (2.5oz) sourdough starter
I used room temperature ingredients at about 24C (75F). To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
For the main dough –
230g (8.1oz) white bread flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2g (0.07oz) salt
1 egg yolk
30g (1oz) softened butter
5g (0.17oz) vanilla paste or syrup
55g (1.95oz) cool water
To learn more about dough temperature when using a preferment click here.
The four I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration.
If you are curious about why the dough contains butter, egg, and sugar, click the links to learn more about the effects those ingredients have on bread dough.
For the filling –
1 tin, 400g (14oz) sweetened condensed milk. I cooked two tins in the video, but one is more than enough.
For the cinnamon sugar –
100g (3.5oz) caster sugar
2g (0.07oz) ground cinnamon
Oil for frying
- Make the preferment (poolish). In a bowl combine the water, starter, and flour. Mix well until there is no dry flour left and there are no lumps. The ratio and fermentation time of the preferment is up to you. If you make it at 1:10:10, then you could leave it to rise overnight to be ready the next day. Mine took 4 hours to rise.
- Right before I made my dough, I started cooking the filling. Take the labels off the tins and place them in a pot filled with water. Make sure the water covers the tins fully. Place a lid on the pot to prevent the water from evaporating. Simmer the tins for 3 hours. After three hours place the pot in your sink and run cold water over it until the tins cool down. DO NOT OPEN THE TINS UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETELY COOL.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl combine the water, egg yolk, salt, sugar, and vanilla paste. Mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the poolish, butter, and remaining flour. Mix to a dough.
- Tip the dough out on the table and knead it for 5 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 26C – 27C (79F – 80F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
- Cover and ferment for 2 hours.
- Ferment for 2 more hours.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and pre-shape.
- Rest for 20 minutes.
- Final shape into round balls. Place them on an oiled tray and cover them.
- Final proof 2 – 3 hours or until doubled in volume. During this time open the tins of filling and scoop into a bowl. Mix well until it is nice and smooth and then transfer to a piping bag. Keep at room temperature.
- Heat up the frying oil to 160C (320F).
- Carefully place the doughnuts in the oil and cook them for 2.5 minutes per side. If they look a bit pale, then give them 30 more seconds per side.
- Drain on a rack. After a couple minutes of draining, roll them in the sugar.
- Leave to cool down for at least 30 minutes.
- Poke a hole in each doughnut and fill with the dulce de leche.
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Watch the video here