So let me set the scene for you…… it’s a wonderfully warm (OK make that hot) Saturday afternoon, lunch was a few good hours ago and those pesky munchies are starting to rear their ugly heads, so what does one do to keep them at bay? Well you make yourself a quick batch of Korean doughnuts! OK so maybe quick is an understatement (it took me about two and a half hours, but lets put reality aside for a moment and focus on the matter at hand.
Having decided that the only thing that could sate my hunger was a warm, sugar coated ball of fluffy dough-ness, I rolled up my sleeves and scoured the internet for a suitable recipe to make then I made my way to the kitchen. All I needed was a few key ingredients and I was good to go.
Flour, an egg, butter, sugar, yeast………. yeast, no yeast in the cupboards, looks like the munchies would be victorious in the end, but thank goodness, not 5 mins up the road our local shop would come to the rescue with an ample supply of instant dried yeast.
Now that I was suitable armed with the necessary ingredients, I melted, mixed, stirred and kneaded my way to happiness, and although it took a while before the doughnuts were cool enough for me to sample one (who am I kidding, I ate about 4 of these bad boys) the whole process was well worth the effort. They were some of the lightest, airiest, crunchy on the outside while still being fluffy on the inside, non oily doughnuts I had every made. I was hooked.
Once you make these Korean doughnuts, you’ll always find an excuse to make more. So enough with the chit chat, lets get cracking and give this recipe a whirl.
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus a little extra for dusting your work surface
- 2 tablespoons butter, preferable unsalted
- 2¼ teaspoons dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons fine white sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for the coating
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- any non flavour oil for frying, eg corn oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted remove from the heat and add the milk and sugar. Mix together then add the egg and mix well. Add the yeast and mix everything together then set aside for about 5 mins while you prepare the dry ingredients.
- Into a large bowl, sift the flour and salt together. *Tip – it’s safer to mix the salt with the flour because adding it to the yeast mixture could kill the yeast, and that’s not what we want. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour and use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. Knead the dough with your hands for a few mins till everything comes together. Be aware this dough is quite sticky and wet so you may need to add a little flour to prevent sticking, but be careful not to add too much.
- Leave the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place till double in size for about 1 to 1½ hrs. *Tip – if it’s not a hot day and your kitchen isn’t very warm a great tip is to place the covered bowl in your oven with the light on. The heat from the oven light should be sufficient to help rise the dough.
- After the dough has doubled in size, knock out the air by kneading the dough for a few mins. After this first rise the dough should have lost some of it’s moisture and become a little easier to handle. Place it back into the bowl, cover and let it rise again for another 1hr or until doubled in size again.
Shape your doughnuts
One thing I forgot to mention is that these Korean doughnuts are supposed to be twisted. In Korean they are called Kkwabaegi 꽈배기, which means twisted doughnuts, but in my case, on this occasion I didn’t have the time (or patience) to spend another 10 to 15 min twisting the dough. I figured the taste wouldn’t be affected, so all I did was shape them into your standard doughnut balls.
- Deflate and knead the dough for a few mins. Add a little flour to your work surface if necessary. Divide the dough into equal portions, it’s here my slight OCD nature took over, I weighed my dough then divided it into equal 50g portion balls, but you can just eyeball each ball, as long as they are relatively even. I got 14 balls out of my dough but depending on your sizes you may get more or less. The recipe I followed said I should get 16.
- Take a ball of dough, cover the other balls with plastic wrap, and shape the dough into neat balls. You can either fold and pinch the dough, or cup your hands over the dough and move it around in a circular motion to produce lovely, smooth shaped balls. Again whatever method you decide to use is fine as long as they are nice and round.
- Mould and shape the other dough balls then leave them to rise a further 20 to 30 mins or so. *Tip – remember to place a little flour on your surface to prevent the dough from sticking and don’t put them too close to each other or else they may stick together once risen.
Make the coating
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar into a paper bag and mix in the ground cinnamon. Shake to combine and set aside.
Fry your doughnuts
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat your oil to about 350° F or about 175° C. Lower the heat slightly then gently place a few balls into the oil, remember not to over crowd the pot as this lowers the temp of the oil.
- Cook for about 5 mins, occasionally turning them over till they are a lovely golden brown.Remove the cooked doughnuts from the oil and let some of the oil drip off. Put them into the bag of cinnamon sugar and shake to coat. Place the coated doughnuts on a plate and repeat with the rest of the dough. It’s at this stage where you’ll have to exercise restraint. With so many golden balls (ha ha) on a plate its hard not to sneak a taste, but control yourself because the reward is well worth the wait.
When you’re done frying and coating these babies that’s when you get to dig in. I find it’s best to eat them while they are hot or slightly warm. You can of course save a few for the next day but in my opinion they’re not as good, but they are still fine.
So that’s it folks, you’re done!
After the feast I eventually managed to slay the munchie beast with a belly full of hot and crispy, sugar coated Korean doughnuts, was I a happy bunny? Yes I most definitely was. Would I make these again, heck yes and next time I may slip a small square of chocolate into the centre of the dough, for a chocolaty surprise!!!
*PS. If you really want the doughnuts twisted, check-out the Youtube video by the quirky chef Maangchi!