I love to bake, so this week I made one of my favorite sweets, the mini doughnut aka. Berliner – as we call them in Germany! I remember my Mom making them for us on Sundays or on special occasions. It might sound cheesy, but they remind me of home, my childhood, and the special get-togethers our Family has. So, while I was making these doughnuts, I had my wonderful Family in mind and was hoping to be able to give my kids that same beautiful memory.
On a second thought, I was thinking about if I could make the kids a smaller bite size doughnut – something they could hold with their itty-bitty fingers, and also make them small enough so they wouldn’t inhale that cinnamon-sugar they are coated in when biting into the sweet treat.
I started by prepping the dough the night before, I found this method works best for us because I am able to set the dough out in the morning and make doughnuts at noon. Then I covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and a towel. And in order for the dough not to over-expand, I set the bowl in the fridge overnight.
This is what I get when I set the dough out of the fridge at 9am, and let it rise until 12pm.
Once the dough has doubled in size, I flour my surface and knead the dough for a few minutes, until the flour is all gone that I used to cover the dough with the night before. The dough shouldn’t be so sticky anymore.
I looked through all my glassware for my cutouts, in the hopes to find the right diameter. A wine-glass had just the right size. Then I added some flour to my work surface, and started cutting out my mini doughnuts.
In case you wonder why the flour? If you don’t use flour the dough will stick to your glass, and you’ll end up with a mess!
Always let the cutout doughnuts rest for 10-15 minutes, this important if you want them to get puffy and light. Since I rolled out all the air bubbles, this step is crucial and you shouldn’t skip ahead.
I turn my pot of oil on, right when I finish cutting out my dough. I set it to medium heat with my timer for 10 minutes. When the oil reaches 350 degrees F. I start adding a couple of my doughnuts. Let them (golden) brown on one side, then turn them.
This next step is my secret weapon. Coating the doughnuts with cinnamon-sugar, makes them PERFECT! Do this after they have dripped off all the excess oil, and cooled down just so you can handle them with your fingers.
I am obsessed with these mini doughnuts, so cute and delish’. Great with a cup of coffee in the morning, yep that’s exactly what I am having right now- yum yum…
Oh, and if you want them sweeter, just inject the little sweethearts/balls with your favorite jelly. My head is spinning, wow!!!
Speaking of hearts, easter, and special occasions, did you know you can use cookie cutters on this doughnut? Yes, cut them into any shape and fry them. Now that would be a fun Easter plate of bunny and egg shaped doughnuts, right?!
- 1 package fast rise yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (100 F.)
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus ½ cup for tossing
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 stick butter (melted)
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 cups Canola oil, enough to fry
- Mix the yeast with ¼ cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into a small bowl and let sit until it grows a foamy head, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the remaining sugar, the lemon extract and salt. Pour the warm milk over the sugar and stir until the sugar is melted. Melt the butter and set aside. Beat the eggs and add to the sugar and milk mixture and whisk constantly. Add the butter.
- Slowly add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until a dough forms. Then cover the dough with flour, plastic wrap, and a clean dish towel, and let rise or set in the fridge overnight if you make the doughnuts the next day. On the next day, set the dough out and let it rest for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Pour out the dough onto a floured work surface, cover it with flour and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Roll out the dough to ¼” thickness (10mm). Cut out the dough and let rest again for 10-15minutes.
- To fry, add 2 inches of canola oil to a pot over medium heat. Heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees F. Carefully drop into the hot oil. Fry a few minutes on each side. Remove and drain onto a paper-toweled-lined plate.
- In a separate bowl, add the sugar and cinnamon. Cover the drained doughnuts with the cinnamon-sugar until fully coated. Serve immediately.