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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Mini Jam Doughnuts

    Hello! I tried to make the Mini Jam Doughnuts and the batter was liquid, so I added more flour - the recipe calls for 1 2/3 cups of flour and I added one more to make it kneadable. It rested for one hour and..nothing! What did I do wrong? Thanks.

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Mini Jam Doughnut recipe (from Feast and on the Nigella website) is a yeasted dough recipe. The recipe uses 1/2 cup warm milk and 1 tablespoon of melted butter and the dough should be slightly damp when mixed, but not liquid. All flours vary slightly and with yeasted doughs sometimes it can help to add around 3/4 of the liquid first, then the rest a little at a time until a soft dough forms. It should not matter if you have to add a little extra flour, though adding a full cup extra sounds a lot so make sure that you have measured the liquiid ingredients carefully.

    You mention that nothing has happened after 1 hour. Usually the dough will have risen a little. The doughnut dough is a "rich dough" as it has a slightly higer fat and sugar content than a regular bread dough, so sometimes can take slightly longer to rise as fat can slow down the action of yeast. Also make sure that the yeast used is the "instant" type (sometimes called bread machine yeast in the US) that can be mixed directly with the flour. Some yeasts need to be dissolved in liquid first so you should always check the instructions on the packaging. The extra flour added will also mean that the dough may not rise as much as the ratio of yeat to flour will have changed. Finally make sure that the dough is left to rise in a warm place. If it is too cool then the yeast will take longer to act.

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