Plain or filled with jam, Nutella, or custard, maybe dusted with icing sugar or even drizzled with melted chocolate, there isn't a wrong way to eat a doughnut. I prefer to eat them filled with jam, those are my favourite doughnuts, but I also like them dipped in granulated sugar right after baking, that's how we used to eat them when we were kids.
Doughnuts are a type of fried confectionery pretty much everyone likes, whether they are homemade or from a local bakery. Two main types of doughnuts are yeast doughnuts and cake doughnuts. Both of them can be frosted and even filled, but for me, nothing can be compared to a lovely yeast doughnut, filled with homemade jam. Deep fried, of course.
Speaking of deep frying, yes, a lot of oil is used, and yes, some of the oil is absorbed by the doughnuts during frying. The paper towel absorbs some of it, though. You can shallow fry them to cut back on the amount of oil used, that is up to you. One last tip I have is that you do not have to make miniature doughnuts, you can make them regular, and fry them the same way (only adjust the time, because they will need a bit more time to be done in the centre).
450 grams plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
200 ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons butter, softened
300 grams thick jam (to fill the doughnuts)
Take a large bowl, pour in the warm milk, add the sugar and the yeast, mix it well and let it sit for about 10 minutes in a warm spot, so the yeast can activate. While the yeast is dissolving, sift the flour twice, set it aside. Take a medium bowl, add in the egg yolks and quickly whisk them to break them up, then add vanilla and combine it.
Once the yeast has activated, add in about half of the flour, mix well, add the yolks and combine everything with a wooden spoon. Keep mixing the dough and adding the rest of the flour, until a smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, then gently knead it for about 5 minutes, gradually adding the diced butter as you knead. If the dough starts getting too sticky, add another tablespoon of flour.
Once everything is well kneaded, transfer the dough to a clean bowl, and cover it with a kitchen towel. At this point you can leave the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator, or let it rise in a warm spot for about an hour to an hour and a half. Either way, once the dough has risen, gently knead it on a floured surface, then let it rise for another hour. Once again knead the dough lightly, then roll it out to about 1 cm thickness, and cut out circles of dough with a small cookie cutter (2.5 cm; 1").
Let the dough circles rise for about 30 minutes, while the oil is preheating. If you have a thermometer, heat the oil to about 160-170˚C (around 325˚F), otherwise just make sure the oil isn't overheated, because the doughnuts will burn. Take only a few doughnuts at a time, place them into the hot oil, cover with a lid, and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Once they are lovely and golden, remove them on a paper towel so it can absorb some of the oil. When they are cool enough to touch, fill them with a jam of your choice (using a narrow piping nozzle helps a lot), dust them with some icing sugar and serve. Yields 45 mini doughnuts.