Lisa’s Letters Home: Play Dough and Doughnuts

Lisa’s Letters Home: Play Dough and Doughnuts

It’s the end of half term school break here, which means my children have been on a 7 day campaign to drive me over the edge. Everything’s booooooriiiiiiinnnnng and their siblings are SO annoying, Mum. I took unpaid time off work for this? Of course I did, because I am a mother and we are all clearly insane.

To top it off, we all have colds and we’ve got a new puppy who isn’t housebroken yet, which means we can’t leave the house for more than about two hours at a time. You can imagine the hilarity that has ensued around this house lately.

First things first, I made play dough. The strategy: keep them occupied while I try to do frivolous things like eat and go to the bathroom. Thankfully, it’s an easy thing to make and it seems to last forever as long as you remember to stick it back in a freezer bag or container.


Lisa’s Letters Home: Play Dough and Doughnuts


  • For the Play Dough:
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Food colouring (about 1tsp of liquid colouring)
  • A few drops of almond essence (this is what gives it that fabulous Play Doh style smell)
  • For the Baked Doughnuts:
  • (Makes 12 doughnuts)
  • 2 teaspoons fast action yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated/caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt, whole or low fat
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the Play Dough:

Mix together the flour, salt and cream of tartar

In a measuring cup, combine the boiling water, vegetable oil, food colouring and almond essence

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly.

It might look a little bit too sloppy, but it does firm up when it cools.

When it’s cool enough to handle, knead until smooth.

If it seems too sticky, add a bit of flour, knead, and repeat until you’re happy.

That’s it, happy children for at least 45 minutes.

For the Doughnuts:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Spray your tin or grease it with a neutral oil (like vegetable oil.)

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.

In another bowl (apologies now for the amount of dishes generated by this recipe), whisk the eggs, yoghurt, melted butter, vanilla, and yeast mixture until well combined.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into an icing bag and pipe into the tin, filling each well a little over half full.

Bake the doughnuts until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool the doughnuts in the pan for 5 minutes.

Transfer the doughnuts from the pan to the wire rack.

Decorate with honey, icing, or glaze and let the kids go nuts with the sprinkles. Kids love sprinkles.

Secondly, we made baked doughnuts. I found a fantastic non-stick doughnut tin on Amazon, which works brilliantly. There are lots of recipes out there (including some lovely ones made with almond flour and/or coconut flour), but this is the one we used:





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