Beinets, crullers, bomboloni and zepole are all some form of doughnut. And Americans love them! The newest form capturing the fancy of doughnut lovers is the savory doughnut. They are appearing in all the best restaurants usually stuffed. At Tony’s we stuff them with the best Gorgonzola and serve them with prosciutto and a drizzle of excellent virgin olive oil.
But savory doughnuts can be filled with any cheese that will get oozy when fried. I chose Italian Fontina for its creaminess and served it on a salad of spring greens, crispy panchetta, strawberries and dates with a lemon vinaigrette. Brie and bacon would be another great combination.
The dough couldn’t be more simple. Yeast is dissolved in warm milk. Just enough flour is added to make a loose batter which is covered and allowed to rise until doubled and very bubbly which takes about an hour. More flour, and egg, salt, sugar and a bit of butter are added to make a batter like dough which takes about another hour to rise. At this point, it is easiest to refrigerate overnight as it is an extremely soft, somewhat sticky dough to shape right away – much like brioche.
After stuffing and shaping, these savory doughnuts can be covered and refrigerated for several days. They can be fried a few at a time or all at once. They never rise after shaping, making them even easier.
At the end of this blog, I have included a recipe for one half of the savory doughnuts to make 12 doughnuts.
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup milk, heated to about 90 to 100 degrees
3/4 cup flour (105 grams or 3 2/3 ounces)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 7/8 cups flour (260 grams flour, 9 ounces or 2 cups less 2 tablespoons)
5 ounces Italian fontina cheese
Place a cube of cheese in the middle of the dough.
and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
To serve later: Cover and refrigerate for several days. Fry off as above.
Makes 24 savory doughnuts.
Salad with Crispy Pancetta, Strawberries and Dates
4 ounces pancetta
Strawberries, as desired
Dates, as desired
1/2 olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
and place in a frying pan.
Slice strawberries and dates. Set aside.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Correct the sugar, salt and pepper as desired. Toss with the spring greens.
Divide the greens among 4 plates. Sprinkle with pancetta and arrange strawberries and dates over the lettuce. Top with 3 savory doughnuts. Serve immediately.
One Half Recipe for Savory Doughnuts
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, heated to about 90 to 100 degrees
6 tablespoons flour (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounces)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon butter softened
1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup, less 1 tablespoon flour (130 grams flour, 4 1/2 ounces)
2 1/2 ounces Italian fontina cheese