The dough here is a spin-off of the no-knead Brioche dough from our first book. Francisco Migoya, one of our favorite pastry chefs, told us about “millionaire’s brioche,” a recipe that uses twice the amount of butter as normal brioche. We were immediately inspired to increase the amount of butter in our no-knead brioche recipe and the resulting doughnuts are light and tender with a texture that almost melts on your tongue. One of the great things about using no-knead dough here is that you can reroll it without any appreciable toughening. You do need to chill the dough between rolls, but that is a small price to pay for being able to use all of it. The lime glaze was inspired by a pre-dessert that we used to love at the now closed New York City restaurant Cello, headed up by chef Laurent Tourondel. It was a crackling mille-feuille with lime curd and a fresh lime consommé. The flavors were haunting and we believe that these doughnuts are an apt tribute to that favorite dessert.

Doughnut Dough Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups / 975 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 1.5 grams instant yeast
  • 31/2 teaspoons / 20 grams fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup / 100 grams sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup / 225 grams room-temperature water
  • 1/2 cup / 130 grams whole milk
  • 2 pounds / 900 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Doughnut Dough Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and milk. Whisk in the butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until the liquid is absorbed and there are no lumps. The mixture will resemble muffin batter. It may look a little lumpy and slightly greasy but be assured that all of the butter will be absorbed by the time the dough rises. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Uncover the bowl and use a rubber spatula to gently loosen the dough from the bowl. Dampen your hands with cool water and slide one hand under one side of the dough. Fold that side of the dough into the center and press it down gently so it adheres to itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the folding process two more times. After the fourth fold, flip the dough over so the seams are on the bottom. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
  3. Uncover the bowl and repeat the folding procedure in the previous step. Put the dough onto a plastic wrap–lined baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and pat the dough into a flattened dome. Refrigerate the dough until it is firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
  4. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly dust them with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and dust a countertop lightly but evenly with flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured countertop and dust it with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 3⁄8-inch (9 mm) thickness. Use additional flour if it begins to stick. Use a 3-inch (8 cm) doughnut cutter to cut out the doughnuts and put them onto the parchment-lined pans. Separate the holes from the doughnuts so they may be fried separately. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and let the doughnuts proof for 1 hour. Gently ball up the trimmings from the doughnuts, put them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until they firm up, at least 1 hour or up to 24. These trimmings may be rerolled to make additional doughnuts.
  5. Pour 2 inches (5 cm) of oil into a large pot and heat it over medium-high heat until it reaches 350F (177C). Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Put 4 to 5 doughnuts at a time in the oil and cook for 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon or spider to flip the doughnuts over and cook them for 1 minute on the other side. Flip one more time and cook for 1 minute more. The doughnuts should be golden brown. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the doughnuts from the oil to the rack to cool. Repeat to cook the remaining doughnuts. To cook the holes, put 12 into the oil at a time and cook for 45 seconds. Use the slotted spoon to turn the holes over and cook for 45 more seconds. Some of the holes may not flip, so use the slotted spoon to stir them in the oil so they cook evenly. Transfer the holes to the wire rack.

Lime Glaze Ingredients

  • Scant 2 1/4 cups / 250 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 60 grams cultured buttermilk, homemade or store-bought
  • 4 teaspoons / 20 grams fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon / 1.5 grams fine sea salt
  • Rice bran oil or peanut oil, for frying
  • 4 limes

Lime Glaze Instructions

  1. Put the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and pour in the buttermilk, lime juice, and salt. Use a whisk to stir the mixture together until it forms a smooth glaze. Reserve at room temperature and whisk until smooth before using.
  2. Dip one side of each doughnut into the glaze, then flip glaze side up and return to the cooling rack.
  3. Grate the zest of 3 of the limes over the glazed doughnuts.
  4. Once all the doughnuts are glazed, put the doughnut holes into the bowl with the glaze and grate the zest from the remaining lime into the bowl.
  5. Use a spoon to mix the holes in the glaze and evenly coat them.
  6. Transfer the holes to the wire rack and let the glaze harden. Serve once the glaze is firm to the touch, if you can wait that long.