Faschings-Pfannkuchen – Carnival Jelly Donuts Recipe

Also called Berliner in Northern Germany, these are tasty jelly-filled doughnuts or rounds, that are not only a staple of Faschings (Carneval), but also Silvester (New Years Eve).  While many Germans will pop into their local bakery for a fresh batch the morning of the festive day, these can also be made by hand within a few hours.

Difficulty: Moderate.
Preparation Time: 2 hours.
Portions: 2.5 dozen.

Ingredients:Berliner Doughnut

  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package fresh yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 4 egg yolks (reserve whites, see Step 8 )
  • canola oil for frying

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, place 4 1/2 cups of flour, making a well in the center.
  2. Mix yeast, sugar and milk (warmed to approximately 110° F)  together in a small bowl until sugar and yeast are dissolved.  Pour into the well.  Mix in a little flour from the sides.  Cover the bowl with a warm towel (heated in the microwave is easiest), and place in a warm place for 15 minutes, or until a bubbly texture has formed.
  3. Add the salt, butter (cut into pieces), and egg yolks into the bowl.
  4. Mix by hand or spoon from the middle out, gradually adding in the flour until a soft dough forms.  Add a little more flour if dough is too wet.
  5. Knead for 2 -3 minutes until dough is smooth, but not sticky.
  6. Make dough into a large ball, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place in warm spot until dough is doubled.
  7. For filled doughnuts, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick, cut rounds (2 1/2 – 3 1/2 inches in diameter) with a biscuit cutter, reusing dough no more than twice.
  8. Place a teaspoon of filling into each center.  Paint the edges with egg white and place a second circle on top.  Press firmly to seal edges.  Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  9. For unfilled doughnuts, roll to 3/4 inch thick, cut out circles, let rise for 20 minutes and continue to frying process.
  10. Heat oil to 350° F.  Fry only the amount that will fit into the fryer without overlap.  Slide the doughnuts into the hot fat quickly, cover and fry for 3 minutes.  Turn over and fry for 3 -5 minutes until golden brown.
  11. Place doughnuts on paper towel to remove excess oil.  If desired, when cool, roll doughnuts in powdered or granulated sugar.
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