Neela Radhika asks: Do you have a recipe for doughnuts?

My reply: Here is a recipe from my first cookbook ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’.

A friend’s grandmother from Tuscany, Italy, parted with this recipe for doughnuts (Bomboloni). Serve them hot at afternoon tea for a delicious treat.

Italian-style Lemon Doughnuts

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes


FRYING TIME: 5 minutes each batch

YIELD: 15 – 20 doughnuts

4 cups plain flour

3/4 cup (185 ml) caster sugar

pinch of salt

75g butter, softened and cut into pieces

3 teaspoons fresh yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

ghee or oil for deep-frying

Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of sugar and the salt. Mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the butter, the yeast water, and the lemon rind. Mix well, adding enough lukewarm water to form a soft dough.

Knead until smooth, shape into a ball, and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down with your fist.

Roll the dough into a long rope and cut into 15 or 20 even-sized portions. Roll each into a smooth ball. Place on a buttered baking sheet and let rise in a warm place for another hour. The balls should double in size.

Heat ghee or oil to 180°C/355°F in a wok or deep pan and very carefully lower 3 – 4 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Deep fry, maintaining a constant temperature, for about 5 minutes, turning often until the doughnuts are dark golden brown. Drain and dredge in the remaining sugar. Serve hot.

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