However you wanna call them, I forgot how much FUN it is to make your own fresh donuts until I gave it a little extra thought. Oh yeah…now I remember. The 2am baker’s shift. 😮 The greasy film left on your face after frying. 😦 The task of changing the frying oil when it’s long past its prime. How could I have forgotten? Yet despite the rather optimum environment to sprout new zits, my fondness for fried sweet dough is such that in times of stress, nothing could be funner to make in the kitchen. That photo up top was a hoot to shoot — try focusing a bulky Canon with one hand while shaking powdered sugar with the other. The pups were ready to pounce on the donuts (Maddie especially) if they just so happened to fall on the floor.
Bomboloni or krapfen are two words that say filled donuts over here. Bomboloni is used for the major part of Italy while krapfen is more common in the Trentino-Alto Adige region. The high amount of butter makes this a fabulously rich yeast dough, and they’re still pretty darn good the next day, although better if zapped real quick in the microwave to warm them through. Traditional fillings are custard cream, apricot jam and Nutella, but I use whatever jam that’s sitting in the fridge. Happy frying!
Bomboloni / Krapfen / filled donut recipe
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk, warmed
1 cube fresh yeast (25g) or 1 packet instant dried yeast
4 oz. sweet butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
Jam, chocolate hazelnut spread or filling of choice
Combine flour, salt and sugar in mixer; make a well in the center. Pour in the warm milk and sprinkle in the fresh (crumbled) or dried yeast. Let stand until dissolved. Add the butter and eggs, and knead on low until combined. Scrape dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead by hand until smooth and silky; about 8 minutes. Round up dough into a smooth ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a light cloth and place in a warm place to rise until doubled; about 90 minutes.
After the dough has doubled, roll out into a 14 x 12 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface to an approximate thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter (mine was 2¼ inch), cut out rounds and let rest for 10 minutes before frying (5 minutes if your kitchen is very warm). I could’ve gotten 30 rounds if I had spaced them better but I got 28. The scraps can be kneaded together and rolled to make more rounds.
Heat about an inch of oil over a medium-low flame. I’ve never measured the temperature but you don’t want the oil to be too hot otherwise the donuts will brown too fast. Neither should it be too low or they’ll soak up too much oil. Proceed to fry 5 or 6 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Allow enough space to flip the rounds over easily. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
When the bomboloni are cool enough to handle, take a sharp paring knife and make about a 5/8 inch deep cut in the center (or on the side) without going all the way through. Fill small ziploc bags with your filling of choice, snip a small corner from one end and squeeze a generous teaspoon into the center. Place cut side up and sift powdered sugar over the top. If you’ve got hungry sharks following your every move, watch these disappear!