We’re just back from Venice – the city of gondolas, canals, seafood… doughnuts. Doughnuts?? My Mr has a bit of a thing for doughnuts, a deeply-rooted childhood thing I think, which sometimes results in us hunting around town to find him a fix. I was feeling the same about an Aperol by the waterside…
Normally I try and avoid buying doughnuts unless I know they are really fresh. Stale baked goods just aint worth the calories (though Ross would beg to differ). Anyway… On a small island called Burano, just outside Venice, we found a little bite of doughy heaven; a tiny bakery, with fresh ‘Fritelle Veneziana’ for €1 a pop.
The leathery guy behind the counter asked do we want to eat it now or later? (I can’t speak much Italian, but the international sign language of hands next to face and bite was a good clue). We were in need of a quick boost after a long boat ride, so he wrapped the apple-size balls in waxed paper and we left the shop in a hurry, to munch in the street outside.
Fritelle are sort made with an enriched yeasted dough, and these had a slight orangy note and a regular punctuation of plump raisins and currants. Rolled in sugar, and just-warm they would give any fancy cronut a run for its money.
Simple is sometimes best, no?
There’s a recipe for oven baked doughnuts in What to Bake & How to Bake It, which you can pre-order here. And to give you a taster of the recipe, here’s a shot I took after recipe testing. The easy dough can be made ahead, plus the shaped doughnuts can be frozen then brought out, proved and baked the day you want to eat them.