Glazed, jelly-filled, Boston cream — you name it, as long as it is a doughnut in any shape or form, I’m in! I have stopped by Dominique Ansel Bakery far too many times with no hope, or luck, in getting a Cronut. Recently, I tried a variation from Crumbs and was not impressed by the combination. If I didn’t have the tiniest bit of self control, my breakfast would be a rotation of croissants and doughnuts, but something about fried laminated dough seems wrong to me and I think ultimately, a good yeast doughnut should be left alone in its big, fat, fluffy perfection.
It’s safe to say that Doughnut Plant is still my favorite doughnut shop in the city. They always have a standing selection of the classics, such as tres leches and cashew-orange blossom, and a rotating menu with some new and seasonal flavors. One of my favorites is lavender, but I haven’t seen it on the menu again in recent times. Sometime you just have to take matters into your own hands and make some doughnuts.
Meyer lemons are such special ingredients. Are you with me? These sweet, juicy, thin-skinned beauties are blessed with a floral scent unlike any other lemon. It’s not a surprise that it goes so well with lavender.
And it goes without saying, once you have the dough ready, you can let your imagination roam freely and create whatever filling or icing you like. I actually divided the batch in half and made some with toasted coconut and coconut cream pastry cream filing. Now go and make some doughnuts!
- For the doughnuts:
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 tbsps unsalted butter
- 2 (¼ oz) packet instant yeast
- ⅓ cup warm water (95 to 105°F)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ tsps salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- For the glaze:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp lavender buds
- ½ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- Food coloring, optional
- In a saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and butter over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Let the mixture cool until warm to the touch.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it stand until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. Pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and butter mixture, first making sure that the mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Using the paddle attachment, add the eggs, salt, and half of the flour. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are well combined. Add the remaining half of the flour, and mix until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough. Change to the dough hook attachment and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth and elastic, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for one hour or until doubled in size. Dough is ready when you push your finger into the center and an indention remains. Lightly punch down the dough to let out the air.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to ¾-inch thick. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out as many doughnuts as possible. The scraps can be re-rolled to cut out more doughnuts. Set on a lightly-floured baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365F. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil and fry until golden brown, about for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before glazing.
- In a small saucepan, heat lemon juice until simmering and turn off heat. Add lavender buds and let it cool to room temperature. Strain out lavender buds with a sieve. In a mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar until the glaze is smooth and lump-free. Dip doughnuts into the glaze, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Allow the glaze to set before serving.