I let the bread machine do the kneading (as I usually do- but the kids always enjoy the measuring part!) and actually found that this needed extra flour- but it could just have been all the moisture in the air (it feels like it has rained for months now!). We then shaped these, and fried them in the oil before dredging them in cinnamon and sugar. They were lovely and went down a treat!
They are really quite simple to make and the yeasty hit that you get when you bite into them is well worth the effort! I didn't bother with putting the jam in, doing that with kids would have totally ruined the experience, so we served jam on the side. I reckon though that it might be worth having a go at 'syringing' the jam in afterwards, that I think the kids would definitely enjoy!
Mini Jam Doughnuts (From Nigella’s Feast)
15g unsalted butter
250g bread flour
1/2 packet (1 1/2 teaspoons) easy blend or instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g caster sugar
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
vegetable oil for deep-frying
Warm the milk and butter together in a saucepan, taking it off the heat when the butter is melting. Put the flour, yeast, salt and 25g of the sugar in a bowl. Beat the egg into the warmed milk and butter and pour this into your bowl of dry ingredients, mixing it with a wooden spoon.
Either using your hands, or a dough-hook of a freestanding mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth and silky (don't worry, it will get to that stage eventually), if you're doing this by hand (which is a better option), it'll probably take about 10 minutes.
Pat the dough into a round ball and put into a buttered bowl, covered in clingfilm and leave to rise somewhere warm, it should double in size and this could take 1-2 hours.
When it gets to that stage, punch the dough down and kneed again to make the dough smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 2cm thickness and cut out circles with a 4cm round cutter. You can re-roll the dough to make more circles.
Make the dough circles into flatter rounds in your hands and then put an 1/8 teaspoon jam in the centre and fold in half and carefully roll it back into a a round ball shape. Sit the doughnuts on a baking sheet as you make the rest.
If you decided not to use any sort of filling, just shaped the dough into small sized balls and place them on a baking sheet.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or a wok and then cook the mini doughnuts roughly six at a time for about 5 minutes in total, flipping them over halfway through cooking so that they brown evenly on all sides. Make sure to use a lower heat setting and watch the oil so that it doesn't overheat, this is important as it'll make the little doughnuts darken to quickly.
Put the remaining sugar into a shallow bowl and as the doughnuts come out of the fryer, dredge them in the sugar, rolling them around to get and even coating