Doughnuts were first brought to America by Dutch settlers in New York and have long been a diner counter staple. This version is the classic confectioners' sugar-coated variety, perfect for dunking. The doughnuts should be cooled completely before coating, but they should be served the same day they are made.
- 3 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2. In a medium bowl, whisktogether the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the moxture forms a soft, moist dough. Dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough onto the work surface and lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently 5 or 6 times, or until smooth. Roll or pat the dough into a round roughly 10 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the round to a baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until firm.
3. Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter (or a 3-inch round biscuit cutter and a 3/4-inch cutter or pastry tip for the hole), cut out 7 doughnuts and holes from the dough. Gather the scraps together, reroll 1/2-inch thick, and cut out 3 more doughnuts and as many holes as possible. Place the doughnuts and holes on a baking sheet or 2 plates, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while heating the oil for frying.
4. Pour the oil into a deep-fat fryer or large straight-sided saucepan to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. heat the oil to 370 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
5. Fry the doughnuts and holes in small batches, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towels to drain, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. When the doughnuts and holes are completely cool, place the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Generously dredge the doughnuts and holes in the sugar, shaking off the excess. Serve the same day.