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Fennel bomboloni with orange jam

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian dessert recipe for fennel bombolini (doughnuts) with orange jam.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus standing, proving, cooling
  • Serves 6
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Fennel bomboloni with orange jam
These bite-sized beauties are equally good whether served in the morning or at any other time of day. Be warned - they're incredibly moreish. Serve them piping hot. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour
  • 8 gm dried yeast (about 1 sachet)
  • 60 gm (2 tbsp) honey
  • 2 oranges, finely grated rind only
  • 30 ml milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 70 gm raw caster sugar
  • 45 gm butter, softened
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • To serve: mascarpone
Orange jam
  • 3 oranges, peeled, pith removed, flesh coarsely chopped
  • 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Fennel and orange sugar
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 110 gm (½ cup) raw caster sugar
  • ½ orange, finely grated rind only


  • 1
    Combine 100gm flour, yeast, honey, orange rind and 130ml lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk until smooth, cover and stand in a warm place until foamy (45 minutes-1 hour). Change attachment to a dough hook. Add milk, egg yolks, sugar, 1 tsp sea salt and remaining flour. Mix on low speed to combine, add butter and mix until dough is silky and sticky (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for orange jam, combine ingredients in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and stir occasionally until jammy (25-30 minutes). Cool completely. Makes about 400ml. Jam will keep refrigerated in a sterilised jar for up to 1 month.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for fennel and orange sugar, dry-roast fennel seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat (1-2 minutes), then coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle. Cool, combine in a shallow tray with sugar and orange rind and set aside.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large deep-sided saucepan to 180C. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick, cut out rounds with a 3cm-diameter cutter (discard scraps). Deep-fry, turning once, in four batches, until puffed and golden (2-3 minutes), drain on absorbent paper, roll in fennel and orange sugar and serve immediately with orange jam and mascarpone.