Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Old-Fashioned Donuts

Lemon poppy seed old-fashioned glazed doughnuts
Can poppy seeds get you high?

One beautiful day in Seattle, my husband Blair and I were walking through Pioneer Square looking for a local coffee shop that was reputed to have the best hot chocolate in the city. On our way, we passed by a home-challenged man standing on the street corner. He was asking everyone who crossed the street for spare change.

When we approached, he took one look at Blair, tilted in his head and just said, "Got any weed?"

Lemon Poppy Seed Old-Fashioned Donuts
Check for poppy seeds in your teeth before heading to the meeting

I guess something about Blair's sun-freckled, shaggy bearded, mountain man appearance made him look more like a THC supplier than a C programmer. If this home-challenged man only knew how my husband spent his Saturday morning on 4/20...writing Google Chrome extensions and script apps instead of lounging around, "baked" in the sun.

Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts with Vanilla Glaze
Mmmm...get glaaazzzeed

But what I'm curious about is if it's true that if you eat too many poppy seeds that you'll test positive on a drug test? If so, be sure not to eat this entire batch of lemon poppy seed old-fashioned donuts if your work does random drug testing. But I'm sure you'll be fine with 3 or 4.

"Spare change? Spare change? LEMON POPPY SEED DONUT??!"

Absolutely, man. Here you go! :)

INGREDIENTS for 12 old-fashioned rings and holes

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Vanilla Glaze (adapted from Top Pot's Vanilla Doughnut Glaze in Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp powdered agar (This is a weird ingredient. Look for it at an Asian market or order online.)
1/3 cup water


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tbsp poppy seeds and whisk all together to combine and aerate. Set aside for a sec while you do the next two steps.
  2. Pop on the paddle attachment to your mixer and blend the 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest and 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice at medium speed until you have a well-incorporated lemony mush. If you don't have a Microplane Zester/Grater, you need one. It's the best zester I've ever used and it works great for shaving off your fingertips too!
  3. Add the 2 large egg yolks and the 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix again on medium speed for about 1 minute.
  4. With your mixer speed turned down to low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream. Mix until just combined.
  5. Throw the dough in a bowl, cover it with plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 24 hours. Easy!
  6. Once your dough is chilled, the next step is to make the glaze. It might seem strange to make the glaze before you've rolled, cut and fried your donuts, but all those steps go pretty fast, and you want to be sure your glaze is ready when the donuts are still hot. Combine the 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp corn syrup, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in your mixer bowl and let it hang out there for a sec while you do the next step.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat the 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp powdered agar and 1/3 cup water on low-medium heat. Bring it to a boil to make a syrup and simmer for about a minute, whisking occasionally. By the way, powdered agar is a gelatin substitute that helps the glaze set and keeps it from sweating. I found it at my neighborhood Asian market, Ranch 99, but if you don't have the luxury of an Asian market nearby, just order it online.
  8. Flip on the mixer to medium, pour the sugar and agar syrup into the powdered sugar and company and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to get all the sugar incorporated.
  9. Fill a medium saucepan with about 2" of water and heat it on the stove to an easy simmer. Remove your mixer bowl from the mixer and just plop the whole bowl in the water like a double boiler. If the glaze cools down below 88° F, the agar will set. No biggie, you just have to reheat and give it a good stir, but keeping it in the simmering water bath ensures that the glaze stays warm and liquidy and ready to go for glazing time.
  10. Now you can roll out your dough and start cutting some donuts! Roll to 1/2" thick and go to town with your 2.5" donut cutter . Place each ring on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and set them on deck to be fried.
  11. Lug out your big stock pot and fill it 2” deep with canola oil, turn the heat on to medium, stick in a thermometer and wait for the oil to heat up to 325° F. Unload your dishwasher or do some other multi-tasking that keeps you in the kitchen so you can check the oil temperature frequently.
  12. Once your oil reaches 325° F, it's fry time! Using a metal spatula, lower each ring into the hot oil. The donuts will sink to the bottom at first, then pop up to the top. Cook them for 60 seconds then flip, cook the other side for 60 seconds then flip again. On the second flip, you should start to see some crackage and that's great! Fry until the donuts are golden brown and then transfer to a wire rack.
  13. Glaze the donuts while they are still warm by dipping them split-side down in the warm glaze. Turn them back over and let them cool completely on a wire rack. Use enough glaze to fill the splits and cracks and drip down the sides. And that's it! You did it! :D


  1. Almost right Misha... poppy seeds in the opiod family

    1. Opiates!! Great! I'll be eating these to treat my aches and pains. :) Thanks Morgan!

  2. Good to know. I love lemon poppy seed donuts, cookies, muffins, everything.