{Baked} Tunisian Yoyo (Orange Flavoured Doughnuts)

It's wonderful to try new desserts from all over the globe as part of my world food challenge. The only problem, of course, it it's potential impact on my health!! In Tunisia they have a dessert of fried orange flavoured doughnuts soaked in orange blossom and honey syrup. Sounds divine but oh my, I'm not sure if I should be eating that! So, I've dived well off the ladder of authenticity with this one and baked my doughnuts. I'm sure it creates a much different dish but honestly they were pretty delicious, although with a slightly more bready/bagel-y consistency than they were probably supposed to. I made my orange blossom syrup with agave instead of honey and I think that it replicated the flavour quite well.

1 x 7g sachet of yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups plain flour

Agave & Orange Blossom Syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tsp orange blossom water

To Make
1. Combine the yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes until the top becomes very frothy and it smells yeasty. Stir in the oil, orange zest and orange juice.
2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and then make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and stir well. Turn the dough out onto a floured benchtop and knead for 5 minutes (or use a mixer with a dough hook, I think I have one somewhere but I always prefer to knead my dough by hand).
3. Wash, dry and lightly oil the large mixing bowl and then return the dough to it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a cloth and set aside in a warm place to let it rise for 2 hours.
4. While it's rising you can make the syrup by combining the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and then bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the agave nectar and orange blossom water. Simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until thickened and syrupy. Transfer to a jar or bowl and cool completely. Once cool, refrigerate.
5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and then tear off pieces about the size of a billiard ball. Roll into a log between your hands and then connect the ends to make a doughnut shape. Now stretch the hole in the middle out so that it's a bit bigger than you think it should be (because the yeast will rise more as it bakes, so if you make the holes small they'll disappear when you bake them!). Continue until all the dough is gone.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes, until just golden. Remove from the oven a punch a couple of holes in them with a skewer to help absorb the syrup and then put the hot doughnuts straight into the cold syrup. Allow to soak, turning as necessary for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a plate. Serve.

NOTE: To make these more authentic, follow the recipe up to step 5 (inclusive), and then instead of baking them fry them in oil for about 3-4 minutes each side. Then drain briefly in a paper towel, punch holes with a skewer and soak in the syrup.

Makes about 14 yoyos.

This month I'm featuring lots of recipes from Tunisia!
Check out my other Tunisian recipe posts:

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