To the bowl of your electric mixer, add all the ingredients starting with salt, flour, milk powder, yeast, sugar, yogurt and water.
Knead the dough at med speed using the dough hook for 4 mins and then incorporate the softened butter and knead at med to high speed for 6 mins.
Take the same bowl you used to mix the dough, lightly grease it with oil and transfer the dough into it.
Coat the top surface of the dough with oil too so that it does not dry out and allow it to proof in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
Instant Pot Proofing: Alternatively you can proof the dough in the Instant Pot too. Grease the inner pot with oil, transfer the dough into it, cover with a glass lid. Choose the Yogurt Mode and set the time for 30 mins.
Punch down your proofed dough to remove the excess gas. Then divide into 14 equal portions.
Roll them to form a cylindrical shape of 12 cms and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. (Always keep the dough covered with a kitchen towel while you work on the rest).
Allow for second proofing - 30 mins.
While the dough is proofing, prepare the cinnamon sugar mixture by simply combining the sugar and cinnamon powder on a plate. Set this aside.
This is also the time to heat your oil on low to medium heat. The temperature of the oil should be 170°C - 180°C. If you do not have a thermometer; drop a small piece of dough into the oil. It should not float immediately on to the top. If it does then your oil is too hot. Rather it should pop up slow and steady with little bubbles around it.
Drop your doughnuts upside down that is the top portion should hit the hot oil first carefully one at a time and fry on each side for couple of minutes say around 2-3 mins or until light golden brown in colour.
Using a slotted spoon remove the doughnuts and transfer to a paper towel. Let it sit for 2 mins and then coat it with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste until stiff peaks form.
Transfer it to a piping bag fitted with 1M nozzle and set aside.
Filling the Doughnuts
Once cooled make a slit in the centre of the doughnuts, keeping the base of the doughnut intact.
Pipe the prepared cream filling in the centre.
Fill another piping bag with strawberry jam. Make a tiny cut in the piping bag and pipe the jam on top of the cream.
Voila.. your finger donut is ready!! Enjoy it fresh.
As a general rule of thumb, for making breads I prefer using Instant Yeast as it can be mixed directly with the rest of the ingredients without having the need to activate it before hand.
I also recommend adding milk powder to your bread recipes to enrich the dough.
Ensure that you are using Warm Milk to knead the dough. As of the rest of the ingredients should be at room temperature. Butter should be soft enough to knead into the dough.
Oil temperature should be 170° to 180°C. Too hot oil would cause browning of the doughnuts giving an assumption that the doughnuts are cooked whereas in reality it would remain undercooked. So temperature of the oil is crucial to make a good doughnut.
A simple trick to add doughnuts to the hot oil is by making use of the parchment paper on which the doughnuts were proofing. Cut the parchment paper to the size of the doughnuts and using that lift your doughnut and carefully drop it upside down into the hot oil.
Do not add the hot doughnuts into the cinnamon-sugar mixture as it might melt the sugar making it sticky and won't look appetizing any more.
Using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla essence would take your doughnuts to the next level in terms of flavour.
Since this donut fingers are sliced in the centre; it gives us so much choice to fill it with like imagine making Gulab Jamun Doughnuts, Rasmalai Doughnuts and few other variations has been discussed in the blog post.
Bread Flour: Can be replaced with APF
Milk Powder: Can be skipped.
Instant Yeast: Can be replaced with any variety of yeast like Active Dry or Fresh. Just remember to activate it before using. The quantities would also vary.
Water: Milk can be used instead for a more enriched dough.
Yogurt: Use equal amount of Eggs instead.
How to make Finger Doughnuts in the Air Fryer?
Preheat the air fryer to 180°C for 3 mins.
Brush the basket with oil and place the doughnuts into it.
Bake for 3 mins. Ta-da.. How simple!!
Once baked, brush the top of the doughnuts with oil or butter for a glossy look and immediately dunk in cinnamon sugar mixture.