With the lovely Autumn season upon us (not to mention Thanksgiving – if you celebrate), this cold weather has me craving spiced baked goods. I know everyone loves a good old Pumpkin Spice anything this time of year, which had me brainstorming a few delicious recipes. I decided one of the most comforting desserts has to be a fluffy donut (or doughnut as we say in Canada), but not just any donut – a bombolone. Bomboloni (or Bombe) are essentially a stuffed Italian doughnut, commonly filled with a custard or even Nutella. Both great options, but not Autumnal enough for my liking. I decided one of the best fillings for this time of year would have to evoke my favourite spiced flavour – the pumpkin! I will show you how to make these bomboloni as well as a pumpkin (spiced) mascarpone filling for these beautiful doughnuts. Most commonly, these are tossed in sugar, but to further highlight that Fall feeling, I coat them in a cinnamon sugar (which makes them good enough to eat, even without this delicious filling). I have a YouTube video HERE (as per usual) teaching you how to make these, but below is the written recipe and directions for your convenience:
Bomboloni Dough Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Sugar
3/4 Cup Milk *Warm
2 + 1/4 Tsp Active Dry Yeast (or 1 packet)
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour (+extra for dusting)
2 Large Eggs *Room Temperature
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Rum (or Rum Extract)
1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup of Butter *Room Temperature *Cut into Chunks or Cubes (approx. 75g)
Bomboloni Dough Instructions:
Warm the Milk in a small or medium bowl for about 30 seconds in the microwave (you can do this in a saucepan on the stove if you prefer, but it must 30 to 40 Degrees Celsius (not hotter or colder, or else the yeast will not activate). Once warm, add the 1 Tbsp of Sugar, give it a mix, and then add the 2 + 1/4 Tsp of Active Dry Yeast, give that a little stir, and leave it in a warm place for 10 minutes – I usually leave this in the microwave.
While the yeast is proofing, add the Flour, Sugar, and Salt, and give that a stir in the stand mixer. In a separate bowl, add the eggs and extracts, give them a mix, and then add to the flour mix, and once the yeast has bubbled (after the 10 minutes), add this to a stand mixer with the dough-hook attachment (if the yeast hasn’t bubbled/proofed, you will need to make it again). Mix everything (but not the butter, yet) for about 3 minutes on a low to medium speed. You might notice after the 3 minutes or so that the dough will climb the hook a bit. At this stage, slowly add in the chunks of room temperature Butter. You can increase the speed a bit and let this mixture go for another 3 minutes or until everything looks combined. Once all the butter is in, you can mix for an additional 2 minutes or until the dough is looking formed, and ball-like.
Transfer this dough to a large, clean bowl, and cover this with plastic wrap, and a cloth on top. Leave this dough for about 1-2 hours in a warm spot (again, I usually leave this in the microwave or near the stove, as those are the warm spots in my house). During this time the dough will increase in size. I usually leave my dough to proof for 2 hours.
*If you would like to refrigerate this dough to fry the next day for example, after the 2 hour rise, punch it down, recover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. Then follow the next steps as you would…
*During this wait time you can prepare the filling
Pumpkin (Spiced) Mascarpone Filling:
1 Tub of Mascarpone (About …)
1 Cup of Pumpkin Puree (Canned)
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp All Spice
1 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Ginger
2 to 2 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar
With the paddle attachment, mix the mascarpone cheese on a medium speed to soften it up. Add the Pumpkin Puree and Spices, and mix to incorporate. Then add the Icing Sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. I usually taste this at the 2 cup mark and decide if it needs more sugar or not. It is a good idea to sweeten to your taste. The mix is ready and can be refrigerated until needed. Once ready to use, place in a piping bag.
*Back to the Bomboloni…*
After the 2 hours, bring out this risen dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Work the dough for a few seconds with your hands and form into a round mound or ball of sorts. Lightly flour the top, and with a rolling pin begin to roll out the dough. You want to roll the dough to be about 1 inch thick.
Prepare a large pan with high enough walls (or two if you need) lined with parchment paper. Begin to cut out circles in your dough. These circles should be about 3 inches in diameter. Lay these dough disks onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet (you will get about 8 to 12 doughnuts out of this dough (8 if you roll a thick dough, 12 if you roll your dough a bit thinner – I tend to prefer thicker Bomboloni, so I rolled out 8). Once you have all of your donuts cut out and onto the sheet (you may need to re-roll your dough scraps once to cut out more circles), you can cover the top with plastic wrap, and let rise once more for about 30 minutes.
I have also made this recipe using a 2 inch round cutter for mini Bomboloni. The fry time is the exact same, but they are smaller, therefore you can fry around 4 at a time. *Pictures coming soon of the mini stuffed donuts!
*During this wait time you can prep your “fry station”, and prepare the sugar coating*
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Salt
Cinnamon Sugar Instructions:
In a medium sized bowl (large enough for a doughnut to be tossed in), add all the ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, salt) and give it a mix to incorporate. Set aside until needed. Super easy!
After I make this sugar, I begin to prepare my frying station, that way I am ready to fry the Bomboloni after they have risen.
I begin by heating a medium to large pan with oil (I use vegetable oil, as much to fill the pan about 1/3 of the way up). A digital thermometer is important when frying because we want our oil to be around 170 Degrees Celsius (give or take a few degrees – 165 to 175 is fine).
While the oil is getting hot, prepare a pan with paper towels or napkins to place the cooked doughnuts on after frying. You also need that cinnamon sugar nearby to place the doughnuts in shortly after. You will also need something to scoop out the Bomboloni from the fryer with. As well, you will need a final pan or plate to lay the sugary doughnuts on.
Once your oil has reached 170 Degrees (you will need to likely keep your stove on the lowest notch at this point), you can begin frying the dough.
*Back to the Bomboloni…*
Remove the plastic wrap, and begin by placing about 2 or even 3 circular doughnuts into the fryer (I usually fry 2 at a time so that my oil temperature does not drop too quickly). You will need to fry these Bomboloni for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
After the batch is done frying, place on paper towels, place the next 2 or 3 doughs in the fryer. Once the new batch is in, you can take the still warm bomboloni and toss them into the cinnamon sugar mix, and then set on a new plate or pan to cool. Continue doing this until all of your bomboloni are fried. Ta-Da!
Now that they are cooled off, it’s time for the filling.
I usually fill these bomboloni from the side, but you can fill right from the top-centre as well. Either way, you will need to first make a small opening. You can use the back of a wooden spoon, or in my case, a chopstick, and make an opening. I make an incision about 1/2 way into the doughnut, careful not to pierce through. Then take your piping bag filled with the Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone filling, and pipe until the bombe feels filled and comes out slightly. Continue doing this for every donut. Now you are done!
*Since there is cheese in this filling, if I am not eating these all right away, I will usually leave these in a container in the fridge until ready to eat. These are best eaten warm, and instantly, though, but If eating from the fridge, remove 1 hr before (or even heat up for a few seconds in the microwave. If you are bringing these to an event, you can remove from the fridge and keep at room temperature for a couple hours until ready to eat*
There you have it! It may seem difficult at first, but once you make these, you will actually find them quite satisfying to make. There’s nothing like freshly fried doughnuts aka – Bomboloni! These Spiced Pumpkin Mascarpone filled Bomboloni are my favourite things to eat this time of year, and they are perfect for a Thanksgiving get together as well. I hope you give this recipe a try, I know you’ll be hooked!
P.S – I refer to these Bomboloni as Doughnuts, Donuts, or even Bombe (they have many names) – Doughnuts = Canadian spelling of Donuts, and Bombe = large Bomboloni are also called Bombe. I hope I didn’t confuse you all too much! haha.
*Please don’t forget to watch the video of me making this recipe on my YouTube channel, as it is very helpful to see how it’s all done* Watch HERE!
Love: Lisa (@ladolcelisa)