Bomboloncini (doughnut holes)

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A bomboloncino is a golf-ball-sized version of the larger bombolone, the sort of pastry you’d find at every festival or market, freshly deep-fried from the back of a van. These innocently small round balls of light, sweet, fluffy dough – sometimes injected with pastry cream – are the perfect mouthful. says Emiko Davies.


15g fresh yeast or 7g dry yeast
1 1/3 cups (200g) plain (all purpose) flour
160g sugar
30g melted unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
Pastry cream or jam of your choice (optional)

pastry cream (makes about 860g)

4 egg yolks
120g sugar
30g cornflour
2 cups (500ml) warm milk
Zest of 1 lemon or 1 tsp natural vanilla extract


  1. For the pastry cream, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl until pale. Stir in the cornflour. Put the mixture in a saucepan over a low heat and add the warm milk, little by little, stirring between each addition. Add the lemon zest or vanilla extract. Stir continuously with a whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. You are looking for consistency similar to mayonnaise (when cool, it will also firm up further). Do not let it boil – remove from the heat at the very first sign of a bubble.
  2. Remove the pastry cream from the heat. Prepare an ice bath and cool the pasty cream quickly by transferring to a mixing bowl set over the ice water. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic is touching the surface of the pastry cream so it doesn’t develop a skin. Keep in the fridge until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in 1/3 cup (80ml) water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Combine the flour, 50g of the sugar, the butter and salt in a bowl, and pour over most of the yeast and water mixture. Mix until it comes together. You may not need all the water, but you may need a dash more – this will depend on your flour and environment. Knead the dough on a floured work surface for about 8 minutes until its no longer sticky and you have a soft and elastic ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let it rise in a warm spot away from draughts for 2 hours.
  4. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured work surface until its about 1cm thick. Cut out circles using a little drinking glass or a small round cookie cutter – I use one about 5cm in diameter. Cut out rounds until you have used all the dough.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil to 160°C in a saucepan large enough for the bomboloncini to float (they shouldn’t touch the bottom of the pan). Deep-fry in batches of 3 or 4 for 2 minutes on each side, or until deep golden and puffed. You can sacrifice your first one as a test to check that the inside is fully cooked. If not, you may need to turn down the heat ever so slightly and fry for a bit longer. Drain on paper towel for a moment, then immediately roll in the rest of the sugar and enjoy while still warm.
  6. If you want to fill your bomboloncini with jam or pastry cream, use a metal or plastic tipped piping bag to squirt a small amount of filling inside each bomboloncino. If you don’t have a piping bag, simply place a teaspoon of jam on one disc of dough, moisten the edges with water and sandwich another disc on top.

Credits: Delicious