The Mistake Prue Leith Says You're (Likely) Making With Fried Jelly Donuts – Exclusive

Prue Leith close up
Prue Leith close up - Mike Marsland/Getty

A well-fried donut is perfect any time of year, but when the holidays come knocking on the door, it is an especially good time to fry and fill them up. Sufganiyot, a jelly-filled donut, is a traditional food for Hannukah, the Jewish festival commemorating the Maccabees' reclamation of their land and the miracle of a day's worth of Menorah oil lasting eight nights. What goes better with a celebration about oil? Fried food, of course!

Making a good jelly donut can be a little tricky, which is why we were not surprised that judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood decided to make a panel of celebrity contestants try their hands at making them as part of the technical challenge of the 2023 "The Great American Baking Show:  Celebrity Holiday." The results were mixed, to say the least.

We got the chance to speak with Pure Leith in an exclusive interview about the most common mistake people make when preparing jelly donuts. She states, "The most common fault with any donut is putting it into the fryer before the fat is hot."

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Why Being Patient Pays Off

plate of jelly donuts
plate of jelly donuts - Viktoria Hodos/Shutterstock

It is natural for people to want to get through the frying process quickly. But Leith explains that putting donuts in oil not brought to the proper temperature can have disastrous effects. "If you do that," she says, "the oil soaks into the dough and sogs it up, and you never get rid of it. It's very greasy and heavy." Of course, a donut is going to be a little greasy; it is deep-fried, after all. However, donuts should also be light and pillowy. The problem is all that oil is going to soak into the donut and weigh it down, making it unpleasant to eat.

On the other hand, Leith notes that "If you lower the donut into the fat when the fat is absolutely at the right temperature, very hot, it'll immediately make a crust. The fat doesn't penetrate it, and then the donut grows in the heat because it expands with the reaction to the heat. You get something which is really light and not greasy." The standard temperature to deep fry donuts is between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not own a deep fryer with a thermometer, you can use a thick-bottomed, high-rimmed pot on the stove and attach a candy or deep fry thermometer. A basic thermometer can be purchased relatively inexpensively and can make a big difference in how your donuts turn out.

"The Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Holiday" is available for streaming on the Roku channel.

Read the original article on Mashed.