Home baking is killing Ainsleys. (Tech Bake pt 2.1)

Yesterday I made my own jam doughnuts.


I used the Bertinet kneading method, which doesn’t involve constantly swearing at the dough because all it’s doing is sticking to the worktop. This dough did do that, but only for the first eight minutes of kneading. Nothing like the baba dough that I had such trouble with last year.

The biggest problem I had was trying to get the jam through a too-small piping nozzle. Back in the day when I worked for G*bsons we had this ace machine that was like two wide-bore needles sat on top of a bucket of red goo – I hesitate to call it “jam” but I suppose it technically was – and you’d spike the doughnuts onto it and push a lever and jam would happen. I was wistfully thinking of that machine when trying to get whole strawberries through a 3mm nozzle. In future, use fresh lemon curd, creme pat or jam that has no bits in.

BTW, kneading is so much easier when there’s a radio in the kitchen. I bought a cheap DAB one to replace the one which only managed to pick up local pop or sports last week and I’m amazed at how clear it is.

I also deep cleaned the kitchen. It’s like a law; when you can’t be bothered getting properly dressed for the day because it’s cold & wet out there and you don’t want to leave the house (and have no real reason to) then you have to clean the kitchen before spending the rest of the day with tea, biscuits and a Big Bang Theory box set. I still don’t have enough room in my cupboards, though.

Oh, and the doughnuts were awesome. For the record it’s basically brioche dough, no special additions or tweaks, that’s been shaped and deep fried. I added some mixed spice to the flour and – this is really important – used caster sugar to roll them. Arguably this could be a pre-run of the doughnuts technical bake challenge, so let’s call it the experiment stage and move on. For the record half a batch of Bertinet’s sweet dough will make 12 appropriately-sized doughnuts, but do them at 170°C, not 180. By “appropriate” I mean “smaller than you’d normally find in the shops, but that’s fine”.

This entry was posted in bread, cakes, cooking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Home baking is killing Ainsleys. (Tech Bake pt 2.1)

  1. Pb says:

    That’s interesting – the ones that I made recently, to the same recipe, yielded 15 or 16 (memory fails) and cooked perfectly at 180 degrees. I don’t like jammy doughnuts, so I just rolled mine in cinnamon and caster sugar.

    I miss AInsley’s… mainly for Bismarks, Croissants and those fabulous Bavarian Cream Doughnuts.

    • backwardslion says:

      I didn’t weigh out my dough balls but I suspect they were a little over the 30g/ball that Bertinet recommends. In fact, all I did was split it into 1/2, then half again, then thirds. The 180 would probably have been fine for slightly smaller ones, but I had ever so slightly soft middles or slightly overdone outsides, but I’m being picky 🙂

      • Pb says:

        I weighed mine, at about 35g but wasn’t too anal about it. I used an ordinary pan plus thermometer, not a thermostatically controlled fryer – if that is pertinent.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s