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NYC bakery owner explains French’s mustard doughnut creation

A co-owner of New York City’s popular Dough doughnut chain is hoping his latest mashup will cut the mustard.

Steven Klein has partnered with French’s condiment brand to celebrate National Mustard Day on Saturday with a kooky new confection.

Klein created a mustard doughnut using the iconic classic yellow mustard for a sweet glaze complemented by a cake crumb topping.

According to the 70-year-old Canarsie, Brooklyn, native, McCormick & Company — which owns French’s — asked him to come up with a savory mustard twist to his beloved artisanal treats.

“We were enthused about it because we love doing these kinds of projects,” Klein told The Daily News. “We love coming up with something that tastes great and looks great.”

Throughout the past decade, Dough has become popular among the young foodie set, who have been known to line up around the block of its flagship Flatiron shop to munch on handcrafted doughnuts with unique flavors like Dulce De Leche, Passion Fruit and Hibiscus.

Though his expertise is specializing in flavors and textures to satisfy different cravings, the former high school classmate of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said developing the doughnut was quite a challenge — entailing about three weeks of testing with executives and stakeholders from the food giant.

“In the end, everybody agreed on this savory doughnut that looks mustardy, but tastes exceptionally well,” he shared.

As expected, National Mustard Day is serious business for French’s.

Last year, the country’s largest mustard maker celebrated the national food holiday with the release of limited-edition mustard buns. In 2019, it partnered with Los Angeles-based ice cream company Coolhaus to create a mustard ice cream.

Klein — who previously worked with MMA fighter Conor McGregor and his Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey brand, and Nike for a custom Kevin Durant doughnut — told The News that these types of product hybrids are a perfect fit for his business.

“It’s given us a marketing ability, since we’re very creative and we do very authentic, exceptional doughnuts,” Klein said.

“We wanted a doughnut that people would say, ‘Wow, we want to try this because it’s different,’ and ‘It’s exciting, we want to taste it and see how mustard goes with a doughnut.’”

Internet buzz surrounding a doughnut like this one is something he also said brings value to his company, which has six locations around New York City.

“The yellow glazed mustardy doughnut with the crumbs [appeals] to people who want to try it or take pictures because you can see the creativity,” he said. “We’ve done colors before, and if you have a striking color especially on a doughnut, people want to take pictures of it, and post it…you get a lot of Instagrammers and bloggers who want to you know about it, taste it and then post it.”

On Saturday, doughnut and mustard lovers will have a chance to try the sweet, zingy treat for free when French’s takes over Dough Doughnut’s shops with bright yellow furnishings featuring vibrant pop art and theme-inspired swag.

Visitors of New York City Dough locations — Flatiron (14 W 19th St.), Brooklyn (646 Vanderbilt Ave.), Astoria (21-70 31st St.), Rockefeller Center (10 Rockefeller Center), Urbanspace Vanderbilt (230 Park Ave.) and Smorgasburg (90 Kent Ave.) — will receive a free doughnut while supplies last.

Those outside of New York City can also visit Dough’s website on Saturday morning to reserve a complimentary order of the doughnuts, which will be shipped nationwide.

For those who want to try making it at home, French’s has posted the recipe for the doughnut glaze on its website.

When asked if a ketchup flavored doughnut could be in the works, Klein replied: “Who knows? It could be, because we’ve done doughnuts with chicken, burgers and even egg sandwiches.”

The next National Ketchup Day falls on June 5, so stay tuned.

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