Vegan Raspberry Doughnuts

No egg. No butter. No dairy. Take one bite of these raspberry bliss bombs from doughnut guru, Michael James, and there’s no going back.

 

Prep: 30 mins (+95 mins passive time) | Cook: 25 mins (60-70 secs each side)  | Serves: 12 

Recently, we had the good fortune of meeting with Michael James, one of Australia’s most beloved bakers and masters of all things doughy and glutinous. Michael started his career as a chef in London, cooking alongside Tom Aikens at the Michelin starred restaurant Pied-à-Terre. It was here, amongst meticulously constructed French cuisine, that he met his Australian wife Pippa. Not long after they moved to Sydney and Michael took a job at the famous Bourke Street Bakery. Under the guidance of Paul Allam and Dave McGuinness, Michael’s captivation with the craft of baking was born, and he never looked back.

Michael founded the successful Tivoli Road Bakery in Melbourne’s South Yarra in 2013 and published his first book “The Tivoli Road Baker” in 2018. Readers are treated to the secrets of over 80 recipes, including some of his most-loved Tivoli Road creations — special sourdoughs, almond croissants, galettes and you guessed it, delectable doughnuts. 

Luckily for us, Michael loves exploring the ties between new and native ingredients, and kindly tweaked his treasured doughnut recipe to create a vegan-friendly version using Almo Milk. And the results blew us away! Hot and crisp on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside. One nibble of these vegan doughnuts and you’ll see precisely why Melbournians have happily queued around the block for Michael’s Tivoli Road treats. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and let’s get baking!

Tip: For the best results, choose strong bakers flour containing 13-14% gluten, and conduct a “windowpane test” to check the dough has been sufficiently kneaded. Simply stretch a small piece of dough. If it turns translucent before it breaks, then it’s ready.

Ingredients

  • 215g Almo Milk
  • 4 cups (520g) bakers flour Or bread flour. 
  • 1/2 cup (90g) sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (7g) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp 4g salt
  • 3/4 cup (110g) apple purée 
  • 110g vegan butter*     
  • Cinnamon sugar, for rolling
  • 2 litres cottonseed oil, for frying
  • Raspberry jam, for filling

*Prepare vegan butter the night before by combining 55g Almo Crème and 55g coconut oil in a food processor and refrigerating overnight to set.

Method

  1. In a bowl for an electric mixer, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, apple purée and Almo Milk. Mix a low speed for 5 minutes, or until the dough starts coming away from the sides. Check the dough’s consistency. It should be a little slightly sticky to touch. If it’s too dry, add more milk.
  2. Scrape the bowl and mix on medium speed for another 5 minutes. Gradually add vegan butter, about 30 grams at a time. Mix on high speed for another 7-8 minutes until the dough is smooth, glossy and very stretchy. 
  3. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel for 30 minutes. Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a lightly floured bench and knead for 2 minutes. Place back into the covered bowl and prove (rest) for another 30 minutes, preferably in a warm place at around 24-25°C. Meanwhile, line a tray with lightly greased baking paper.  
  4. After 30 minutes, pre-shape the dough into 50-gram balls and rest on the bench, covered for 20 minutes. Shape once again, before placing the doughnuts on the greased baking paper. Cover and prove for at least 45 minutes, or until the doughnuts are considerably larger and wobble when you shake the tray. This may take longer in cooler climates and quicker in warmer climates—though generally, no longer than 1½ hours.
  5. When the dough is close to ready, fill a deep pan with oil and heat to 180°C. Once the oil has heated, very gently with your fingers, peel the dough off the paper and carefully place into the hot oil. Fry for about 70-80 seconds each side.
  6. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Do this in batches of 2-3, depending on the size of your pan. As you go, check the oil temperature hasn’t changed.  
  7. Once cool, roll the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar and fill with jam, custard, or lemon curd using a piping bag. You’ll want to fill each doughnut until nicely plump, roughly 30-40 grams, depending on the type of filling.
  8. Enjoy immediately. Or if you have the restraint, store in an airtight container for later. They will remain fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.