- Servings: 18
1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter, warmed to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don't have, you can substitute an equivalent amount of milk with a hefty splash of cider vinegar, or, if you're frying for dairy-free folks, cider vinegar plus coconut milk is a crazy good substitute)
oil for frying
1 cup sugar tossed with 1 heaping spoonful cinnamon to finish
Start by reducing the cider: Pour into a saucepan, and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce until it's just high enough to maintain a rolling simmer, and let cook off until reduced to 1/4 cup, ~20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Fit a mixer with a paddle attachment, and beat together the softened butter and sugar for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, stopping to scrape down the sides. Add the boiled-down cider and buttermilk, mix until well combined, then add the flour mixture and stir on low until the mixture just comes together — do not overmix!
Line two sheet trays with parchment or waxed paper, and sprinkle generously with flour. Turn the dough out onto one of the sheets, sprinkle with a bit more flour, and pat/roll until it's 1/2-inch thick. Transfer the tray to the freezer until it firms up slightly, ~20 minutes.
Remove from the freezer, and round up some dough cutters (Dawson recommends 3-inch rounds, but I used my 2-1/4-inch round cutter for the doughnuts, and a well-cleaned cap from a bottle of Campari for the holes). Cut out the shapes, and transfer to the other tray. Mush the scraps together, re-roll, and cut out the remainder. Move the tray to the refrigerator, and let relax there for 20-30 minutes.
When the dough is nearing the end of its relaxing time, heat a few inches of high-heat oil in a large pan (I used my cast iron Dutch oven) over a medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Prepare a rack for the cooked doughnuts, or a plate lined with paper towels or brown paper (I ripped up a few grocery bags). Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
When the oil is hot, add a test doughnut. It should become brown on the first side in about 60 seconds, and on the second side in a little less. If it passes this test, add a round of doughnuts. Cook until brown, flip, and fry until brown on the second side. Transfer to your prepared tray/rack, let drain/cool for a moment, then transfer to the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Coat with the mixture on each side. Enjoy hot, or not.