My baked salted caramel doughnuts are finger-licking good. Nice and soft and covered in a delicious salted caramel sauce, these doughnuts are sheer indulgence. Whoever said that doughnuts are very bad, definitely didn’t think of baking them, rather than deep-frying them. Once the dough is ready, all it takes is 10- 15 minutes in the oven. And nothing more.
The secret to always baking perfect doughnuts is letting them proof in a warm place, so that the dough can double in size, otherwise the doughnuts will be flat in the end. And do prepare yourself for some good kneading. 15 minutes at least, no cheating, please. Also, the salted caramel sauce must be prepared in advance, as it takes some time cooling down and thickening. Remember, patience is a virtue, and in the kitchen you must never ever rush, otherwise you will not get the results you want. But then, when you get to have a bite of these super duper doughnuts, you will congratulate yourself on the great job you have done. So let’s get going!
Baked salted caramel doughnuts
For the doughnuts:
- 250 g plain flour
- 100 ml milk
- 5 g dried yeast
- zest from one lemon
- 3 sachets of vanilla sugar
- 60 g caster sugar
- 1 drop of lemon extract
- 50 g butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
For the salted caramel sauce:
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- 200 ml milk
- 60 g salted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- Warm up the milk and pour it in a jug.
- Add the yeast and vanilla sugar and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, zest of one lemon, egg and butter. The butter and egg should ideally be at room temperature.
- Now pour over the milk and mix everything well with your hands.
- Transfer the dough to the working surface and knead it for at least 15 minutes, it will become less sticky and will have a lovely texture.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Oil the bowl and place the dough in it, oiling it lightly as well.
- Cover with cling film and wrap the bowl with a clean tea towel.
- Leave it to proof for at least 3 hours, so that it can double its size.
- To make the salted caramel sauce, place a saucepan on a low heat.
- Add the sugar and leave it to melt. Do not be tempted to bring the temperature higher, otherwise the sugar will burn.
- Tilt the saucepan from time to time so that the sugar can spread evenly, it will help melt quicker.
- Once the sugar has melted, add the butter, salt and milk. At this stage the caramel will harden, but no need to panic, the saucepan is not ruined forever, once the caramel melts, it will look like brand new.
- Leave it to simmer on the same low heat until all the caramel has melted.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to cool completely.
- Once it is cooled, the sauce will thicken and have the right texture.
- When the dough is double its initial size, transfer it to the working surface again.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten it and cut round circles. A cookie cutter will be good, otherwise a glass always does the job.
- Place the dough rounds on the baking tray and again leave to proof for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Bake the doughnuts for about 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them so that they don’t burn.
- Leave to cool, then top with the salted caramel sauce and sprinkle over some sugar strands.