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Chronicle and Echo - A Slightly Healthier Donut

Chronicle and Echo - A Slightly Healthier Donut

Tuesday 7th April 2020
Barefaced Eating

Doughnuts. How can an item of food give such pleasure? There are now a number of varieties about that can fit vegan, gluten free or reduced sugar diets, and they are a treat to be enjoyed by nearly everyone!

So, the Easter holidays are upon us and we may be getting together with family, we may have children around us that require an entertainment programme to suit A-List celebrities or we may just fancy doing a spot of home baking, so how about doughnuts?

But who created these lovely sweet bakes in the first place? Typically, they are an enriched yeast dough that is shaped and deep fried. The most common shapes are the ring variety with an assortment of sugars, sprinkles and icing on top, or a round 'bun" variety with the delicious filling in the middle that oozes out when bitten in to.

One theory to the origins of these delights, is that they were originally traced back to the Dutch in the early 1800s and their oly koeks, a sweetened cake fried in fat. They didn't start off as the well-known ring shape and were described as a "ball" of sweetened dough. The Americans then claim that a Hanson Gregory invented the true ring shape in 1847 whilst onboard a lime trading ship.

So, is it doughnuts or donuts? Both are respected spellings of these cakes, with doughnuts being the way the UK tend to spell it and donuts being the USA way. Either way, you're not going to be wrong.

When making your own doughnuts at home, it can be a rather long process, messy and requiring the deep fryer, which many of us are a little scared of now. We spent years watching the TV campaigns thinking that these things would burn your house down as soon as the telephone rang (it can, so be warned, again!) or if the fire didn't get you, the saturated fat would! And don't get me started on the sugar...So, doughnuts do have a little bad press when it comes to making at home.

Let us take a moment to get a grip -
Consuming doughnuts on a regular basis will not be particularly good for your health, especially if you are not an active person.
However, enjoying doughnuts from time to time is allowed, but be mindful and consume as part of a healthy diet, on the whole.

But for those who are really trying to be good (it's Easter and its hard work!), here is a great little recipe to home bake your own doughnuts. No frying, no bread proving and a controlled amount of sugar. Grab yourself some cheap silicone doughnut moulds and set yourself up a lovely little "Doughnut Bar". These tasty treats are oven baked, ring shaped and you're going to have a whole heap of fun decorating them.

Doughnuts - makes approx. 9
• Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6
• Beat together 65g caster sugar and 70g softened butter together until light and fluffy.
• Add 1 egg, 60ml milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
• Stir in 85g plain flour, ½ tsp baking powder, pinch of salt until well mixed.
• Pour into your doughnut mould and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly coloured, risen and springy to touch. Leave to cool before popping them out of the mould.

When cool get your toppings out:
Melt chocolate (use those Easter Eggs up!)
Chopped nuts
Cocoa Powder to dust
Icing sugar and water to glaze
Chopped pretzels
Coconut Flakes
Lemon Zest and curd
Peanut butter melted
Caster sugar and cinnamon to dust

Be creative, have fun, they will look amazing and be a much healthier alternative to the deep-fried varieties.

Happy Easter and Happy Baking!