James Morton's Yum Yums
The artisanal yum yum is the best thing you will ever taste. At the request of a certain sister of a certain member of a boy band called One Direction, I tentatively present one of my very best recipes. I’ve got a feeling I’ll have to spend the rest of my life dealing with the health repercussions of this. If you’ve not had a yum yum before, it’s basically a croissant, deep-fried and then drenched in icing. And the ones you bought from the shops may have been the most delicious things in the world – until now. Thankfully (or dangerously), this particular method is so very easy. You don’t need to own any special equipment or do any kneading.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 8g salt (or about 1 heaped teaspoon; reduce if using salted butter)
- 2 x 7g sachets fast-acting yeast
- 30g sugar
- 80g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 250g water (a tiny bit warm)
- 1 medium egg
- oil for frying
- For the icing:
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- 4 tbsp water or lemon juice
WATCH James prepare his incredible Yum Yums!
1. In a large bowl, weigh out the flour, salt and yeast. Lightly rub the salt and yeast into the flour on opposite sides of the bowl, then rub in the sugar.
2. Add the diced butter to the flour and don’t rub it in – you don’t want it like breadcrumbs. Just lightly stir the butter into the flour.
3. Add the water and the egg to your mixture and mix using a wooden spoon until it begins to come together. Then, use your hands to mix until your dough has mopped up all the flour. Cover your bowl with clingfilm (or a wet tea towel) and rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. Once the dough is rested, it’s time to laminate. Flour a work surface and roll your yum yum dough out into a long rectangle. Turn your rectangle so the long side is facing you. Take both ends, and fold them into the middle. Then, close the whole thing like a book. Roll out again and repeat the whole folding process until your lumps of butter have disappeared, about 2–4 times. Wrap your laminated dough in cling film and put in the fridge for another half an hour to rest.
5. Once rested, roll your dough out one final time on a floured surface into a big rectangle. Cut into strips of your desired size. To each strip, make a cut down its length, but leaving at least 2.5cm attached at both ends. Twist this round into a yum yum shape as shown overleaf.
6. Leave to rest on an oiled surface in a warm place for at least an hour, until doubled in size. Near the end of the rest, make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and water. Then, heat your oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan (or deep fryer) to 170°C.
7. Fry your yum yums until a golden brown on each side. As soon as they’re done, remove from the oil and brush liberally with the icing. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack before enjoying.
Time spent in the kitchen: 10–15 minutes • Time taken altogether: overnight, plus 4–18 hours
Extracted from Brilliant Bread by James Morton. (Ebury, £20) Photography by Andy Sewell