The James Bond novels don’t just offer fine dining; some of the eating is very much ‘on the run’. Let’s take doughnuts as an example. In Goldfinger (1959), nurses distribute coffee and doughnuts to Goldfinger’s associates ahead of their attempt to break into Fort Knox. In The Spy Who Loved Me (1962), a kindly police officer brings along coffee and a bag of doughnuts for Vivienne Michel after she escapes the clutches of villains Horror and Sluggsy at the Dreamy Pines Motor Court. In both cases, the doughnuts are brought round in the morning. The implication is clear: for Ian Fleming, doughnuts are an informal breakfast item. Here’s a recipe for ring doughnuts to have with your morning coffee.
Makes a good number of doughnuts
- 500g strong white flour
- 7g dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 300ml milk (warmed)
- 1 beaten egg
- 50g butter (softened and cut into cubes)
- 25g caster sugar (plus 100g for dusting)
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
Sieve the flour and place in a bowl with the dried yeast and salt. Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add the egg, water and sugar and mix until a dough is formed. If required, add more flour. Add the butter gradually and mix until absorbed. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is soft and smooth and not sticky. Place somewhere warm and prove until doubled in size.
Stretch out the dough, 1cm thick, on a floured surface. Cut out circles using a doughnut cutter or alternatively use an 8cm pastry cutter and remove the centre of each circle with a 3cm pastry cutter. Remould the remaining dough and repeat the previous steps until all the dough is used.
Place the doughnuts onto a floured greased baking tray and prove until doubled in size. Remove them from the tray and, using a frying pan, fry in oil (2cm deep) heated to 180C for approximately two minutes each side or until each side is golden brown.
Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper. Dust the doughnuts in sugar mixed with cinnamon and cool on a wire rack.