Even chefs have a soft spot for fried comfort food. Steven and Michael decided to turn that affection into a business. At Federal Donuts, they use several of my spice blends in both fried chicken and glazed doughnuts. This recipe is a twist on the traditional sufganyot donuts that are made for Hanukkah. The Sri Lanka N.14 spice blend adds a mild sweetness to the fluffy dough and a great anise flavor that marries wonderfully with the coffee-raisin glaze.
Makes about 20 doughnuts
Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov, from "The Art of Blending" by Lior Lev Sercarz
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (350g)
3 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (5 packets, 30g)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
1/2 cup milk powder (115g)
2 teaspoons Sri Lanka N.14 spice blend (10g)
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (14g)
2 large eggs
5 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (720g), plus more for cutting the doughnuts
1 quart canola oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup hot coffee
One 16 ounce box confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon Sri Lanka N.14
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
Place half of the water in a bowl and add the yeast. Let stand for 20 minutes (the mixture should turn foamy).
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter with the sugar, milk powder, Sri Lanka spice, and salt at medium speed until you get a sandy and homogenous mix. Beat the eggs in a bowl and then slowly beat into the butter mixture. Beat in the yeast mixture, the rest of the water, and the flour; mix at medium speed until well-mixed and slightly stringy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: Soak the raisins in the hot coffee for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Combine the raisin puree and the remaining ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until it is warmed through; thin the glaze with a little water if it's too thick (you want it to be a syrupy texture). Set aside.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Roll the dough out until it is 3/4 inch thick.
Dip a round (2-2.5 inch) cookie cutter into a bowl of flour and punch out the doughnuts. Combine any leftover dough, roll it out again and repeat, transferring the doughnuts to a baking sheet as you go. Let the doughnuts rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the oil to 350°F. Working in batches, place the doughnuts in the oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
When all of the doughnuts have been fried, dip one side of each into the glaze and let cool before serving.