A legendary doughnut recipe by Justin Gellatly for the #BakeforSYRIA Cookbook.




Less than 30 minutes plus chilling the dough overnight


Less than 5 minutes per doughnut


Super easy


The doughnut dough:

500g strong white flour

60g caster sugar

10g fine sea salt

15g fresh yeast

5 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

150g water

Zest of 1 orange

15g Lebanese-7-spice

125g softened unsalted sugar


Sunflower oil for deep frying


Caster sugar


Place all the ingredients for the dough (apart from the butter) in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the beater attachment, mix on medium speed for 6-8 mins or until the dough starts to come away from the sides and form a ball.

Then turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 1 minute. Start the mixer again on a medium speed and slowly add the butter to the dough 25g at a time. Once the butter is all incorporated, mix on high speed for a couple of mins until dough is glossy, smooth and elastic when pulled, then cover the bowl with cling film and prove until it has doubled in size. Knock back the dough, re-cover and put in the fridge to chill overnight.

Take the dough out of the fridge and cut in 50g pieces and roll them into smooth, taut buns and place onto a floured baking tray. Leave plenty of room between them as you don’t want them to stick together as they prove. Cover lightly with cling film and leave to prove for around 3-4 hours or until they have doubled in size.

Get your deep fat fryer ready or get a heavy based saucepan and fill up ½ way with sunflower oil. Heat the oil to 180°C.

When the oil is heated to 180°C carefully remove the doughnuts from the tray by using a floured pastry scraper and place into the oil. Do not overcrowd the fryer. Fry for 2 mins on each side until golden brown, then remove from the fryer and place on some kitchen towel. Toss them in caster sugar while still warm from the fryer, making sure that you cover all of the doughnut in sugar.

Repeat until all fried, but make sure the oil temperature is correct each time you fry.

These doughnuts are delicious as is but if you want to take them to the next level you can fill them with Justin’s irresistible toasted sesame chocolate custard with a shard of Rose Petal & Pistachio honeycomb.

To fill the doughnut, make a hole in the crease of the doughnut. Fill the piping bag pipe in the doughnut until swollen. Roughly 20-50g is the optimum quantity. Garnish with rose, pistachio and honeycomb.

Recipe by Justin Gellatly, from the #Bake for Syria Cookbook. Justin was the co-founder of artisanal bakery Bread Ahead in London’s Borough Market and ex head baker and pastry chef at Fergus Henderson’s St John restaurant.