I cheated here, I added a dollop of leftover filling to the doughnut !
I wasn't paying attention the other day when I placed my order with Amazon Fresh and ended up ordering twice the amount of Ricotta I needed. So here I am with extra Ricotta , what should I do with it? Off to Google Land I go. After searching and searching this recipe caught my eye : Baked Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts. Hmm,baked doughnuts-well that's healthier than fried, right ? Filled with a Lemon Ricotta filling-yum that will use up my leftover Ricotta. Dusted in lemon sugar-okay I'm sold.
This is what they really look like out of the oven, the filling permeates the center of the doughnut, so you have a moist ricotta center.
Next time I make these I will do a few things differently. #1 Freeze the little scoops of ricotta filling-being a soft cheese the ricotta melted into the doughnut,still delicious, but I prefer to find a nicely filled center when I bite into a doughnut. I think if the ricotta filling is frozen to a truffle type consistency-not rock hard-it would soften nicely while baking. #2, I would not mix the lemon zest with the sugar until I dried out the lemon zest a bit. The moisture in the lemon zest makes the sugar clump. Either that or wait until the very last minute to mix up the zest and sugar. And #3, I would probably try a nice lemon glaze instead of the sugar and sprinkle the zest over it while the glaze was still wet.
The doughnuts are delicious straight out of the oven, but then again what isn't ? The next day they were a little dry but a quick 30 seconds in the microwave solved that problem. This is a really good recipe and I love the dough-seems like you could make some really good savory doughnuts with it. It bakes up like a fluffy biscuit. Maybe I'll try some feta filling with spinach and work some sun dried tomatoes into the dough. Oh the possibilities are endless.
After coffee and a doughnut I'm off for a long, long walk. Maybe if I add another mile to my walk I can justify a doughnut for dessert tonight. Remember I'm the Queen of Rationalization ! Bon Appetit.
Baked Lemon Ricotta Doughnuts
adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveler
5 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup plus 3 Tablespoons super fine sugar (Baker’s Sugar in grocery stores)
1 package of yeast
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup lukewarm whole milk plus extra for brushing
1/3 cup buttermilk at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
Lemon Ricotta Filling
8 ounces Ricotta
1/4 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 large egg
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup super fine sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Prepare one large or two medium sized baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
Combine flour, sugar, yeast and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer-use a whisk to combine. Once combined fit the mixer with a dough hook. In a separate bowl whisk together warm milk, room temperature buttermilk and eggs and the melted butter. With the mixer running on slow, add the liquids to the flour mixture, then mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic (about 4-5 minutes). Shape the dough into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1 – 1 1/2 hours).
Lemon Ricotta Filling
Whisk together ricotta, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg just until smooth. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and chill for at least 1 hour.
Gently punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness or just slightly under (5mm thickness). Cut out 24 rounds using a 3” cutter. Cut out another 24 rounds using a 2” cutter. Place a heaping teaspoon of lemon ricotta filling in center of 24 2” rounds. Brush edges of the 2” rounds with milk, cover with the remaining rounds 3” rounds and press firmly to seal the edges. Trim with the 2” cutter. Transfer to baking sheet(s), cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the doughnuts for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms are golden-the tops will bake up with just a blush of brown.
For the finishing garnish, melt the 4 ounces of butter and set aside. For the lemon sugar, place the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl of a food processor and pulse until the sugar is aromatic. Pour into a bowl and fluff with a fork or a whisk.
Once you remove the doughnuts from the oven dip the hot doughnuts immediately in the melted butter and then toss in lemon sugar. Serve warm.