For the better part of my life, I had never really considered how simple and straightforward it would be to make doughnuts at home. Until making paczkis, I had come to accept that the likes of Dunkin Donuts were as good as it got. Oh how wrong I was.
Not only can you indulge for breakfast–you should. Saying its like having deep-fried cake for breakfast might make it sound like a not-so-healthy idea, but everyone should enjoy a good doughnut now and then…and this is a good doughnut. Tender inside, crisp and golden on the outside–just what a good doughnut should be.
I was largely by this recipe for cake doughnuts. This recipe is a solid base recipe to play around with flavor-wise. I went with a light touch of spice (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla) and a sweet, tangy, purply blackberry glaze. I’ve also played with a coating of cinnamon-sugar, a dusting of powdered sugar, and a richer chocolate ganache-style frosting, all of which worked wonderfully. Whatever your poison, these doughnuts have you covered.
- 3.75 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 3 Tbsp butter
- Your fat of choice for frying (e.g. canola/peanut/vegetable oil)
- Blackberry Glaze
- 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup blackberry puree
- dash ground cinnamon
- dash ground cardamom
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry bowl only just enough to blend well. The batter will be somewhat tacky and delicate. As such, you’ll find that its a lot easier to work with if you chill it for a bit to firm it up. If you have the time, throw it in the fridge for an hour or so. I was in a rush, so I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes and then the fridge for another 10 and found it worked just fine.
Either with a generous amount of flour on all surfaces or pressed between two layers of plastic wrap (I prefer the latter), roll the batter out with a rolling pin to be approximately 1/2 inch thick.
Don’t forget to heat up the oil (~4 inches or so) for deep frying. Aim for ~350-375°F, or, if you don’t have a thermometer like me, low-medium/medium heat preheated for about ~10 minutes.
With a doughnut cutter (or biscuit cutter, glassware, measuring cup–some round, narrow edged thing that would cut a convincingly shaped doughnut with about a ~3 inch diameter), cut the doughnuts and holes. Gather up the scraps, reroll, and repeat the process until you’re out of dough. You can also make the doughnut holes or just throw them in the scrap pile to be re-rolled–whatever you prefer.
In a deep pot/deep fryer, fry a few doughnuts for about a minute on each side. Don’t overcrowd your pan–you’ll drop the oil temperature too much which will yield an oily, soggy doughnut. I did about four or five at a time with a few doughnut holes thrown in for good measure.
Remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and lay out on a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.
As for the glaze, I’ll confess, this was kind of improvised and I had no idea how much glaze would be appropriate, so I just made more as needed during the frying. The most important ingredient in the glaze: the confectioner’s sugar. This is what adds thickness and allows the glaze to harden (after all, nobody wants a wet, drippy doughnut). So if at any point, you think the glaze looks a little too thin, beat in some more sugar.
Begin by pureeing some blackberries and straining to remove the seeds–you only want that sweet, black juice. Then, in a small bowl, whisk this with all of the remaining glaze ingredients. Again, thicken it with sugar if it seems too thin to you. It should be somewhat viscous and your finger should leave a trail when you drag it through.
Finally, once your doughnuts have cooled some (you should be able to pick them up bare-handed–if not, they’re still too hot), lay them flat in the glaze on one side, remove, and place on a plate/rack to allow them to cool and for the glaze to set (shouldn’t take long).
Finally, pour yourself a cup o’ joe, grab some doughnuts, and enjoy! If you have leftovers, get them in a sealed container shortly–you can keep them from going stale for about 3 days.