1 cup fresh-pressed apple cider (the quality of this ingredient has the most impact on your apple flavor – replace a quarter cup of the cider with apple butter
to boost the flavor even more!)
1 large egg
1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup (235g) sourdough starter (I always use room-temperature sourdough that was fed the day before)
3.5 cups flour (510g)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 quarts of oil for frying*
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
This is a lazy sourdough method – if you know what you’re doing, feel free to stretch and fold just like you would a regular sourdough!
The night before
Prepare the dough. Mix the apple cider, egg, sourdough starter, and sugar together. Add 1/2 of the flour, along with the spices and salt. Once that’s been incorporated, add the remaining flour and butter and knead for 7-8 minutes. I use a stand mixer, but if you’re mixing by hand you may need to add a bit more flour to keep the dough from sticking to you. Place the dough in a loosely covered bowl and let it rise overnight on the counter.
The next morning
Your dough should have puffed up but not quite doubled. Turn the dough out onto well-floured parchment paper. Sourdough is delicate and wetter than other doughs, so don’t skip this step! If they stick to a cutting board or other surface as they rise, you’ll have a really hard time getting good doughnuts.
Shape the dough into an 9×12 inch rectangle, then cut into 12 3×3 inch squares. Don’t knead the dough, because we want to retain some of the air bubbles and “rise” that have already occurred. Cut doughnut holes if you’d like, or leave them whole for a beignet or bomboloni-style doughnut (get wild and fill them with an apple pie pastry cream!). Separate them with at least an inch in between each doughnut, brush the tops lightly with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let them rise for 2 hours. You don’t want the “skin” of the doughnut to dry out before the inside can rise, since sourdough takes longer to proof. You won’t see a big rise out of these doughnut, but they’ll puff up like crazy in the fryer!
Time to fry
Put three inches of oil in whatever frying vessel you’re using and heat it to 375º F/190ºC. I use a Fry Daddy
that’s been in my family for as long as I can remember! Use a wooden spatula to carefully transfer doughnuts, one or two at a time (the Fry Daddy could only fit one at a time) to the hot oil. If you have doughnut holes, start with those as a test fry. The doughnut should begin floating within ten or fifteen seconds of entering the oil.**
Fry for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a shallow, wide bowl filled with cinnamon sugar and coat. Wait a few minutes for the doughnuts to cool off, then enjoy!
*I use Chosen Foods Chosen Blend oil even though it’s pretty expensive – I don’t fry food often, but if I’m going to have that much oil I like to make sure it’s a good brand. You can use any oil you’d like, but refined coconut oil is a good choice as well!
**If it doesn’t float, it hasn’t risen enough yet, so wait another hour and try again. This part can be frustrating, so have a backup breakfast on hand so you don’t get hangry! If everything else has gone well, these doughnut should be just fine.
Keywords: apple cider doughnuts, apple, cider, fall doughnuts, fried, fall recipes