Buttermilk Doughnuts

Does anyone else feel like the world is spinning extra fast this holiday season?

Nothing gets me grounded like creating a kitchen project that fills the house with warm, toasty, sweet scents and, of course, fills our bellies with the comfort and nurturing one can only get from homemade goods. Thank goodness, then, for my doughnut-loving nephew and his birthday a few weeks ago. Just as the holiday season was kicking off, we were celebrating this young man turning thirteen and knocking us out with his sharp wit and grown-up sense of himself. For example, when pressed to complete his very first tackle football season (his dad was an all-star footballer in high school and the kid got his aptitude), he looked me right in the eye and said, "Auntie, I'm the person who wants to help people up, not knock them down." That shut me right up. He followed that up with a firm, but gentle man sentence: "I'm not willing to play". Oh, where does the time go???

Rather than cake, I wanted to make the nephew his favorite treat: doughnuts. His favorite are chocolate, mine are buttermilk. Today, we'll talk buttermilk and later this month, I'll post the chocolate.

While I most definitely consider myself an expert doughnut eater, I'm not an expert doughnut maker. Honestly, I have a healthy fear of hot, bubbling oil and am always quite anxiety-ridden over how long to leave things in there. Like, I look at it and it seems done, but is it really? And if it's uncooked on the inside, I can fry it again, but that makes for an oily texture and pretty disgusting flavor. Essentially, unless I fry things perfectly, I've wasted the ingredients, the oil and my (very precious) time.

I sought out an expert doughnut maker and discovered Elinor Klivans who happens to have written a cook book called "Donuts". She gives all the technical advice I needed to execute perfectly fried, delicious doughs and offers tons of suggestions on prettifying them, too. For this recipe, we're keeping it simple, which is always my favorite place to start.

Before beginning, you'll need a few pieces of special equipment if, like me, you don't own a deep fryer:
1. an 8+ quart stock pot
2. a candy thermometer
3. a doughnut cutter

Buttermilk Doughnuts with Cinnamon Sugar

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