Fluffy Apple Cider Doughnuts

Like just about everyone else, I *love* doughnuts. BUT, I like fluffy, soft yeast doughnuts. I don’t hate cake doughnuts, I just don’t feel as strongly about them. With the onset of Autumn, I’ve been craving tasty apple cider-y foods, so I thought I would try my hand at apple cider doughnuts. I am used to making yeast doughnuts, but to my chagrin all I could find were recipes for cake doughnuts (and they did look tasty, just not, well, fluffy). I decided that a get-together with the other first-year students in my program would be the perfect excuse to experiment with doughnuts, and I have to say I was very pleased with the results. The cider flavor is somewhat subtle, but definitely there, and makes these doughnuts perfect for Autumn. This recipe makes a good lot of doughnuts (just shy of 2 dozen plus doughnut holes) so is great for get-togethers!

For the dough

3 tbsp active dry yeast (or 2 envelopes)
1 ¼ c apple cider
½ c almond milk
2 tbsp real maple syrup
½ c sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 c shortening
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying

For the glaze

2 c confectioners sugar
4 tbsp cider, heated
pinch cinnamon
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
½ tsp real maple syrup

-Toast cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg just slightly in a large saucepan.
-Add the cider and heat until warm (about 110 degrees)
-Pour into large bowl
-In same pan, slightly heat almond milk, add to bowl
-Sprinkle yeast over liquid and whisk to combine.
-Add remaining ingredients, except 4 cups of the flour, and mix for 2-3 minutes by hand or in a mixer on medium-low speed.
-Gradually add flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
-Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes or until dough springs back when pressed.
-Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled (about an hour and a half.)
-Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll out to ½ inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter (or a biscuit cutter and a shot glass.)
-Let dough rise again until double.
-Whisk glaze ingredients together to make an icing that is thin but not runny. Set aside.
-Heat oil in a large pan to 350 degrees. Add doughnuts a few at a time to the oil, turning once to cook evenly. Set to drain on a wire rack.
-Dip doughnuts in glaze while still warm, or drip glaze over the top.

The only picture I have is the one I took on my phone en route to the party.


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