Is there a more welcoming sight than a big pile of jam doughnuts? These doughnuts have a pillowy interior and are oozing with jam. Fresh doughnuts are not a quick-fix dessert. The dough, enriched with eggs, butter and sugar, requires to prove several times, so you need to plan ahead. But man, are they worth it!
They are soft and chewy, and you get a good amount of jam with every mouthful. The dough is also easy to work with, as I can attest because I don’t have a stand mixer!
HOMEMADE DESSERTS RULE
You can find jam doughnuts in pretty much every French bakery, all year round, but the quality is often lacking. Unless you go to a bakery where they specify that they make everything themselves (which is becoming really rare) you can expect lemon tart filling that comes out of a can and croissants baked from frozen. I can’t even begin to describe how terrible the baguettes sold by the bakery across my street are. The ones sold in my supermarket are 10 times better, which is a real shame. Individual bakeries are all turning into parts of chains and their processed jam doughnuts are awful. They manage to be both incredibly greasy and stale at the same time. Whereas a batch of jam doughnuts made from scratch is such a treat!
They are warm and tender but with enough body to feel like you have something to chew. Extremely soft doughnuts that melt in your mouth in seconds are not for me, I want to enjoy my treats. Jam doughnuts made from scratch take a bit of time but they are really really really good. I dare you not to lick your fingers that will be coated in cinnamon sugar and with sticky delicious jam that would have spilled out of the doughnut as soon as you bit into it.
YOU CAN GET A HEAD START (OR CAN YOU)
If you want to serve jam doughnuts for breakfast or brunch you can get ahead by making the dough the night before. Prepare the dough as written in the recipe and leave it to rise for 45 min instead of 1h30. Then place the dough in the fridge overnight, where it will continue to prove. In the morning, shape the doughnuts as written in the recipe. Place them on the baking sheet and cover them as instructed. However, since the dough will be cold they will need more time to get going and double in size. So count at least 2h for the dough balls to prove. Then you will still have to fry and fill them. So unless you wake up very early, don’t expect doughnuts before 11 am.
Frankly, I would rather freeze fresh jam doughnuts and defrost them if I needed to serve them early rather than go through all this in the morning. Mornings are my favorite part of the day since that’s when I am the most productive and I always feel like I am wasting precious hours if I spend it all baking. But that’s a me problem! If you love freshly fried and filled jam doughnuts in the morning, you do you! In my family, we serve them for dinner, which will sound absolutely crazy to most.
Applesauce, apricot and strawberry jams are also commonly used in France to fill jam doughnuts. For even more decadent treats you can use pastry cream, dulce de leche, or your favorite chocolate spread! I also adore them plain, simply rolled in sugar.
→ MAKE THE DOUGH
Stir the yeast, 2 tsp of the sugar and 105g (¾ cup) of flour in a mixing bowl. Warm up the milk, pour it into the bowl and whisk until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the sponge rise for 30 min. Then stir to deflate it. Tip in the rest of the sugar, the salt and 350g (2 ½ cups) of flour over it. Mix. Add the eggs and mix with your hand then incorporate the butter in the same way.
→ KNEAD & PROVE THE DOUGH
Knead the dough on an oiled surface for 10 min. Place it in a lightly greased mixing bowl and cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1h30 in a lukewarm environment.
→ SHAPE & PROVE THE BALLS
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Transfer the balls to 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour, spacing them well apart. Loosely cover the baking sheets with damp tea towels and leave the balls to rise for 1h.
→ FRY THE BALLS
Fill a large pan no more than a third full with oil and heat to 180°C (355°F). Gently lower 3 to 4 dough balls into the oil. Cook the balls for 2min30 per side. Make sure that the oil is at the right temperature for the duration of cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate or sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat the process with the other balls. Don’t forget to check the oil temperature. Toss the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar while they are still a bit warm and oily.
→ FILL THE DONUTS
Make a hole in the side of each doughnut and swing through the interior to clear space (be careful not to pierce the other side). Fit a piping bag with a nozzle and spoon the jam into the bag. Push the jam down and twist the bag. Secure the twist with a food clip or a bag tie. Push the nozzle right into a doughnut, past the middle point. Slowly squeeze the jam in and stop when you notice a little bit of jam oozing out of the hole. Repeat with the other doughnuts.
Jam doughnuts freeze well but don’t coat them in sugar. With the humidity the doughnuts would absorb the layer of sugar. Wait until they are cool after frying, and then fill them as directed in the recipe (but without having first coated them in sugar). Once filled, place the jam doughnuts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid, about 2h. Then place the doughnuts in a large freezing bag, label it with the date and put it back in the freezer. The jam doughnuts will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Thaw them overnight in the fridge or for a few hours at room temperature. Once thawed, you can reheat them in the microwave if desired (a few seconds should do). If you notice that the exterior of the jam doughnuts is weeping, place them between layers of paper towels. Once dry you can dust them with powdered sugar. The jam would spill out if you tried to roll them in caster sugar since they are filled so I find that a dusting of powdered sugar works best.
Looking for other French desserts that you can cake have for breakfast? Here are some of my favorite recipes:Print
Is there a more welcoming sight than a big pile of jam doughnuts? These ones are soft and chewy, and you get a good amount of jam with every mouthful!
For the dough:
- 11g active dry yeast (1 tbsp)
- 50g caster sugar, divided (¼ cup)
- 455g all-purpose flour (3 ¼ cups), divided
- 180ml whole milk (¾ cup)
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 eggs, beaten and at room temperature
- 75g butter, cubed and at room temperature (2.5 oz or ⅔ stick)
- frying oil, I used 650ml (3 cups) of groundnut/peanut oil
For the coating and filling:
- 100g caster sugar (½ cup)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 320g raspberry jam (1 cup), not runny
- Make the sponge. Put the yeast, 2 tsp of the sugar and 105g (¾ cup) of flour in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat (or using the microwave) until it’s around 32°C (90°F). It shouldn’t be hot, simply lukewarm! Pour the milk into the bowl and whisk until completely combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let the sponge rise for 30 min. It should foam and then double in size.
- Make the dough. Stir the sponge to deflate it. Tip in the rest of the sugar, the salt and 350g (2 ½ cups) of flour over it. Mix until combined with one of your hands. Stir in the beaten eggs and then the softened cubed butter. Mix with your hand until you get a smooth(ish) dough. At first, the dough will look dry but it will come together after a few minutes.
- Knead the dough. Tip the dough onto an oiled surface and knead it for 10 min. Oil the surface again if the dough sticks to it while kneading. When ready the dough should be smooth, only slightly sticky and bounce back lightly when pressed. Shape the dough roughly into a ball and place it into a large lightly greased mixing bowl, seam-side down. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise until at least doubled in size, about 1h30 in a lukewarm environment. I usually place my dough in an oven that has been preheated to the lowest temperature for a couple of minutes and then turned off.
- Shape the balls. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper, dust them with flour and set them aside. Punch the dough and fold it on itself several times to remove the air. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, each piece should weigh around 70g (2.5 oz). Roll each piece into a tight ball by cupping the surface with your palms. Transfer the balls to the baking sheets (6 per baking sheet), spacing them well apart. Loosely cover the baking sheets with damp tea towels and leave the balls to rise until doubled in size, about 1h.
- Fry the balls. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl and set aside. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Fill a large pan no more than a third full with oil and heat to 180°C (355°F), or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds, over medium-high heat. Lower 4 dough balls into the oil, seam-side up, gently brushing off the flour stuck to the dough before doing so. Cook the balls for 2min30 per side. Make sure that the oil is at the right temperature for the duration of cooking. If it’s too hot the interior will burn but the interior will be raw, if it’s too low the doughnuts will turn out greasy. Honestly, I wouldn’t fry doughnuts without having a thermometer at my disposal. The doughnuts will be a deep golden brown and feel crispy when done. That’s normal, once they’ll cool down the steam on the inside will escape and they will soften. Remove the doughnuts from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain them on the paper towels. Toss the doughnuts in the sugar while they are still a bit warm and oily (the sugar will stick better), then place the doughnuts on a cooling rack or a large plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls until they are all cooked. Don’t forget to check the oil temperature!
- Fill the doughnuts. Use a small paring knife or a wooden skewer to make a hole in the side of each doughnut. Swing the knife or skewer through the interior to clear space for the filling but be careful not to pierce the other side. Stand the doughnuts, slit-side up, in a baking pan or a casserole dish. It will be easier to fill the doughnuts if they remain standing up. Fit a piping bag with a nozzle. Place the bag in a tall glass and fold down the top to make a cuff. Place the bag in a tall glass with the cuff around the rim of the glass. Spoon the jam into the piping bag. Unfold the bag, push the jam down towards the nozzle and twist the bag where the jam ends. Secure the twist with a food clip or a bag tie. Push the nozzle right into a doughnut, past the middle point. Slowly squeeze the jam in and stop when you notice a little bit of jam oozing out of the hole. Repeat with the other doughnuts.
Jam doughnuts are best eaten on the day they are made but you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. They will dry out though.
You can make the dough using a stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook) if you have one. Once the butter has been entirely incorporated into the dough, keep mixing for 5 min using medium speed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 402 calories
Keywords: deep fried jelly donuts, dessert for breakfast, french bakery treats