Daring Bakers Oktober Challenge: Banana Crunch Doughnuts (filled with blueberry jam) and a family recipe

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

At my region this kind of deep-fried stuff is called "Pfannkuchen" or "Berliner" (called after our capital of course). In carnival it's a kind of tradition to fill some of them with musturd - so if you're not lucky you'll find a very "special" one. During the last years you can also buy ones filled with egg nogg or chocolate but I prefer the traditional version with cherry or strawberry jam, covered with granulated sugar. Some use sugar glaze, but that's not how I like them. In my family we have a special recipe for "Quarkbällchen" what are small balls with a dough containing raisins and quark. I'll give you the recipe here, but I haven't made them in a while, so I unfortunately have no pictures what they are supposed to look like.
I have made doughnuts before, especially because I adore the ones from Dunkin Donuts and wanted to recreate them. Unfortunately it's a 3 hours drive to Berlin which is the next place I can get the original ... My maple sirup version (yeast dough) was not bad but far from the taste I expected. So I decided this time to go for dough without yeast. Some time ago I found I recipe by Tartelette, one of my favourite blogs which was using bananas. I saved it amoung my 'I have to bake/cook this' list but never came to the point actually doing it - until now. As I wanted to make a filled and 'normal' version I decided for blueberry jam filling - you have to know that my favourite doughnut at Dunkin Donuts is the blueberry crunch doughnut ...

Banana doughnuts with blueberry jam filling

(a slightly modified version of the ones from Tartelette)

  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups (440gr) all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (12gr) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2gr) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 small bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup (55gr) sour cream
  • canola oil for frying

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • dried bananas, crushed, for decoration
  • blueberry jam for filling
Sift together the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Beat together the eggs and honey for one minute until light and airy. Add the bananas and sour cream and beat until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients (little by little). The dough will be soft. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
On a well floured board or countertop, roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds either with a 3-inch doughnut cutter or use a 3-inch cookie cutter and a 1-inch small cutter to make the holes in the middle. Reroll the scraps as you go. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes if it starts getting tough as you reroll and cut, to relax the gluten.
In a large cast iron skilet, heat enough oil (2 inches deep or so) to 325F and fry the doughnuts 3 to 4 at a time, 1 to 2 minutes on each side, turning them once. Do not over crowd your skillet or it will drop the temperature of the oil and you will end up with soggy doughnuts. Drain on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
For the filling: Put the jam into a piping bag with a long slim nozzle. Put it into the doughnut and press gently for filling it.
In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Dip the doughnuts into the glaze and crushed banas and let drip on a wire rack set over a piece of parchment paper.

Now as promised the recipe for the "Quarkbällchen"
  • 200 g quark
  • 250 g all purpose flour
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • a handful raisins (optional)
  • canola oil for frying
  • granlated sugar for coating
Mix the flour with the baking powder and set aside. Then beat the quark with the sugar until combined and add the eggs one at a time. Add the butter and milk and stir in the dry ingredients. You should get a sticky dough. At last add the raisins (if using). Using a teaspoon form little balls of dough, be careful and don't make them to big ... Fry as described aboveYou can prick the balls with a toothpick; whten it comes out clear, they are done. Drain on paper towels and roll in granulated sugar when still warm.

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