Monday, March 1, 2010

Doughnuts

Many a Saturday night in high school I would spend the night with my friend Nikki.  On Sunday mornings we were expected in church regardless of the late hour we had stayed up the night before. Of course, being high school girls, we stayed up late doing silly things that only high school girls do and then we slept until the very last second with just enough time to get dressed and brush our teeth.  Since we didn't leave enough time for breakfast it could be a very long morning...that is until Nikki got her driver's license.  We learned from the older kids who attended the same church that there was just enough time between Sunday school and church services to make a run to a local grocery store that sold incredible, fresh, homemade doughnuts.  After a little bit of coaxing and pleading, her parents began allowing us to take the van and get our mid-morning Sunday snack.  Many of my adventures with Nikki were a little odd to those who weren't actually there, and there are definitely some that I hope my kids never do, but this Sunday morning tradition of eating doughnuts and laughing together in her van is one that I cherish.  Insert the doughnut recipe below.  It reminds me very much of the doughnuts Nikki and I used to buy at that little hometown grocery store.  I hope you try them, and start your own tradition...they are worth the extra bit of time and effort.
These doughnuts are not the prefectly fried bits of dough one will find in every mega mart across the United States. They are oddly shaped at times and they may be any color between light golden brown to deep, dark brown depending on the cook, the oil and how distracted she may be.  The texture is between that of a store bought, dense, cake doughnut and a lighter than air, machine made, raised doughnut.  My husband declared them, "incredible," and my kids wanted to know I was going to make them again before we had even finished making the first batch. 

Doughnuts
Recipe Source: Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (1979)

3 to 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 c milk
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c shortening
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
Cooking oil or shortening for deep-fat frying
Glaze or sugar (optional)

In a large mixer bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast.  In saucepan heat milk, 1/3 cup sugar, shortening, and salt till warm (115 F to 120 F) and shortening is almost melted, stirring constantly.  Add to flour mixture in mixer bowl; add eggs.  Beat at low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly.  Beat 3 minutes at high speed.  Mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can to form a soft dough.  At this point you can knead by hand or continue letting the mixer run and allow it to do the kneading for you.  Knead until smooth and elastic (5-8 minutes).  Shape into a ball.  Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.

Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide in half.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes.  Roll each half of dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut into doughnuts using a floured doughnut cutter with hole in center--or a glass like I did and then cut circles out of the middle with a small round cookie cutter.  Cover and let rise in a warm place till very light and fluffy (35-40 minutes).  Fry a few doughnuts at a time in deep hot fat (375 F) till golden, about 1 minutes on each side.  Drain on paper toweling.  If desired, dip warm doughnuts in glaze or shake in a bag of powdered or granulated sugar.  Makes 15-18 doughnuts.

Glaze: Combine 2 c powdered sugar, 1/4 c milk and 1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate Doughnuts: Prepare doughnuts as above except heat two 1-ounce squares of semisweet chocolate with the mil, 1/3 c sugar, shortening, and salt.  Cover and let dough rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours the first time.  Cut with cutter.  Let rise.  Fry in deep hot fat (365 F) about 1 minute on each side.  Dip warm doughnuts in Chocolate Glaze, then in 1/2 c finely chopped nuts, or shake in sugar.

Chocolate Glaze: In a saucepan, melt 2 oz chocolate and 2 T butter or margarine over low heat.  Add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.  Stir in 1/4 c boiling water until smooth.
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3 comments:

  1. Hello Heaven! On special occasions my parents would make doughnuts. This was a family event that I will always have found memories of. Then on some saturday mornings if we were lucky my dad would make a run to Lonies market for doughnuts. Ahhh. . . such goood memories. I enjoyed reading about yours and Nikki's.

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  2. I just wanted to say Thank You for this recipe! I made these a couple of nights ago. My family loved them. Next time I want to try the chocolate... Yum! :) PS- I love reading your blog everyday it shows up in my email.

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  3. I'm glad you liked them Ellie! I have another recipe I am going to try this weekend. It belonged to my husband's grandfather so he can't wait for me to try it.

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