Hands-on Time
2 Hours
Chill Time
1 Hour
Yield
Makes about 18 doughnuts and holes (serving size: 1 doughnut and 1 hole)
Photo: Thomas J. Story 

How to Make It

Step 1

Make doughnuts: In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 3/4 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, cider reduction, and vanilla. Using a mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl on medium-high speed until fluffy and very light in color, 4 to 6 minutes. "You're beating air into the butter and sugar so you have a light, delicate texture," says Davis. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally.

Step 2

On low speed, beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture and beating just until combined.

Step 3

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust generously with flour. Put dough on sheet and sprinkle generously with flour. Pat or roll dough into a slab about 1/2 in. thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until center feels firm enough to cut, about 1 hour.

Step 4

Slip dough from parchment onto a flour-dusted work surface. Line baking sheet with a fresh piece of parchment. Cut doughnuts and holes, dipping a 2 3/4-in. doughnut cutter into flour each time and "releasing them with a strong flick of your wrist." Set on baking sheet. Gather scraps and reroll.

Step 5

Heat 1 1/2 in. oil in a dutch oven to between 350° and 360° on a deep-fry thermometer. Meanwhile, set 2 cooling racks over empty baking sheets; set them near stove. Make glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together cider reduction, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Step 6

Fry 2 or 3 doughnuts and holes at a time until a rich toasty brown, turning once with a slotted spatula or spoon, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Adjust heat as needed; "you want a lively bubble." Test the first doughnut and make sure it's cooked through (it will be light colored inside but shouldn't look wet).

Step 7

Transfer doughnuts to racks over baking sheets. Let cool just until comfortably warm; at this temperature, rather than cool, "they suck up the glaze." Dip all over in glaze and set on racks.

Grand Central Bakery, Portland and Seattle

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