Saint Isidore’s donuts

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Two years ago I published the recipe for these very typical treats from the festivities of Saint Isidore the Labourer, patron saint of Madrid. These rosquillas are very popular and a must during this month of May. Their names are quite interesting; they are called silly, smart, there’s the French and those of Saint Claire.

The four types have in common the dough and differ only by their toppings: The silly don’t have any, hence its name, the smart are topped with a glaze made with sugar, vanilla or lemon and water; Saint Claire’s have a white coat of merengue and the French have a coating of ground almonds.

I’m reposting the recipe because it was one of those from the beginning of me blogging that were written both in Spanish and in English in the same post, and I’m afraid that is why it escaped the attention of many of my English speaking readers. So here they are again. Enjoy!


Ingredients for the rosquillas

  • 1 kg of flour
  • ¼ kg of sugar
  • ¼ liter of oil (preferably olive oil)
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons anise
  • Ingredients for coatings
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Ground almonds
  • Vanilla



In a mortar crush the anise, and mix it with oil, eggs and sugar. Then slowly add the flour, the dough will become increasingly difficult to mix, it is best to use the appliance to mix bread of the mixer or finish it with your hands. Work it a while to make it easy to form cylinders and bent them to form the donuts.

Preheat oven to 220 º C (430 ºF) and as it warms, place the donuts on a baking tray (usually not necessary to grease) and paint them with an egg wash. To prepare this mixture use the same amount of whole eggs and egg yolk, I just needed one egg and one egg yolk.

The donuts can be glazed twice. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until donuts are browned and slightly cracked.

Now, here come the differences.IMGP7060

Silly donuts

Just use the egg wash and then bake.  Allow to cool and sprinkle them with icing sugar

Smart donuts

In addition to the egg wash, once baked and while still hot, we are going to dip them into a bowl with syrup made with ½ liter of water and ¼ kg of sugar.  Then we bathe them with a glaze.

The one I used is very simple but you can use any glaze you like. Simply mix 175 g of icing sugar with 2 or 3 tablespoons of hot water and ¼ teaspoon vanilla essence. If you want to make lemon flavor, substitute the vanilla with a tablespoon of lemon juice for every two of water.

Give them two baths with glaze; the first covering the entire top of the donut. The second is applied after the first one has dried, pouring the glaze irregularly on top of it. Place them on a rack to do so.

French donuts

These ones, need a generous layer of ground almond (coarsely ground) after the egg bath. Then bake like the silly ones.

Saint Claire’s donuts

These are the ones that take a little more work. Once baked they need a coat of white meringue. To prepare the meringue you will need:

  • ¼ kg of sugar
  • 125 ml of water
  • 1 egg white beaten until stiff

In a saucepan put together water with sugar on the stove until you obtain syrup. When you achieve a thick strand, add the egg whites and mix until you get a thick white bath. Bathe the donuts with that mixture and bake again at 150 ° C (300 ºF) until the meringue has dried.

It seems too much work but once we have all the coatings, the process is very fast and success is assured.

28 Replies to “Saint Isidore’s donuts”

    1. ¡Muchas gracias MD! Si, el cartel es muy bonito. Todos los años hacen uno muy chulo. Tengo una duda. No sé si me hablas de usted por a) falta de confianza o b) porque crees que soy tan mayor que debes llamarme de usted…
      Tutéame, por favor 🙂

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