Munkki – Finnish doughnuts
Our lovely friend Maija was so kind as to share her excellent family recipe for Finnish Munkki doughnuts that we printed in our book ‘Fika & Hygge’ a few years ago.
Both Maija and her husband Rob work in nursing for the NHS here in London and we wanted to give them a shout-out today to say thank you for all that they and their colleagues do at the moment during these difficult times
Did the Finns invent the doughnut? Perhaps not, but the Finnish version of doughnuts – known as munkki – are absolutely delicious. They have been an integral part of Finnish baking culture for generations and are especially popular around Walpurgis Night. In Swedish, these doughnuts are called munk ringar (monk rings), which refers to the iconic hairline of the monks.
- 25 g/1 oz. fresh yeast or 13 g/21/2 teaspoons dried/ active dried yeast
- 250 ml whole milk heated to 36–37°C
- 30 g caster sugar
- 400-500 g plain flour (plus extra for kneading)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 50 g melted butter
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 litre vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
- Granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar (mixed at a 1:5 ratio, to coat)
- If using fresh yeast, add the yeast and milk to a mixer with a dough hook attached.
- Mix until the yeast has dissolved (If using dried/active dry yeast pour the milk into a bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly). Pour into the mixer with a dough hook attached.
- Add the sugar and mix with the dough hook until dissolved. Combine the flour, salt and cardamom and start to add to the mixer bit by bit. Pause adding flour when the dough begins to stick and add the butter, egg and lemon juice. Continue again to add the flour until you have a firm, yet sticky, dough. Be careful not to add too much flour at this stage or the doughnuts will be dry.
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm/plastic wrap and leave the dough in a warm place to rise for about 30–35 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it through. Add a little more flour if needed. Portion off a piece of the dough and roll it into a small sausage of about finger thickness. Join the ends together to make little rings of around 5–6 cm in diameter, leaving a good sized hole in the middle. Scatter more flour on a surface and place the rings there as you go along.
- Cover the dough rings with a kitchen cloth and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or large, deep saucepan to 180°C. Carefully test a doughnut in the hot oil. It should need between 1–2 minutes each side to turn light golden-brown all over.
- Cook the doughnuts in batches then remove and drain on paper towels before rolling in cinnamon sugar (or just granulated sugar, if preferred) to coat (do this just as soon as the doughnut is a bit drier, don’t wait or the sugar won’t stick).
- Eat on day of making.
Tip: You can also make round doughnuts and pipe them full of raspberry jam/jelly or pastry cream.
Recipe by Maija Hansen from Bronte’s book Fika & Hygge, published by Ryland, Peters and Small. Photo by Pete Cassidy, styling by Tony Hutchinson.