My Cornish aunt’s recipe for inimitable doughnuts.
Mix the yeast to a smooth paste with a little of the milk, and gradually stir in the remaining milk and water. Place
Sieve the remainder of the flour and salt together, and rub in the butter. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre of the flour, and pour in the yeast mixture and the slightly-beaten egg. Mix well, cover with a cloth, and leave in a warm place for half an hour. Press the dough down with the knuckles until it is reduced to its original size, and again cover and leave in a warm place for a further half-hour.
Turn out on to a floured board, shape into a round of roll, and divide into 12 or 16 equal portions, according to the size required. Form each portion into a ball, flatten out, place about a teaspoonful of jam in the centre, brush half-way round the edge with a little milk, fold over and press the edges securely together so that the jam cannot ooze out, then place on a floured baking sheet and set aside in a warm place for a further 20 minutes.
Have ready the boiling hot fat. Drop in as many doughnuts as the pan will hold conveniently, and cook for 5–7 minutes. When one side of each doughnut is cooked, it will, if the correct mixture has been used, turn over to the other side automatically without being touched. When cooked, lift out, drain on kitchen paper, and roll in sugar and cinnamon.
©1975 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton