Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Yesterday was my family's annual Doughnut Day when all the ladies get together to make homemade doughnuts. For one day out of the year, I forget that I try to bake healthy foods and jump into all the fried white flour yumminess.
Last year some of you asked for the recipe for homemade doughnuts. This is the recipe we've used for over 30 years, ever since I was a little girl (that makes me sound old!) I'm sharing it just like it is. If I was mixing up doughnuts, I'd replace the shortening with butter, the sugar with honey and replace some of the white flour with whole wheat flour. There may be a reason that I'm not in charge of mixing up the dough. I'm sure my brothers would think that I'm destroying a great tradition. But really, I think those changes could be made and still have a great doughnut - at least is you didn't mess up with the fried in lard part.
Strangely, one of the most popular recipes on this blog continues to be the baked doughnut. Honestly, baked doughnuts taste more like sweet rolls then doughnuts. They are still tasty but to get the real thing, you just need the fried grease.
I don't want healthy eating to become bondage and today I was thinking of Michael Pollan's Food Rules. Number 39 is "Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself." I partly disagree because I could make a awful lot of nutritional empty food for my family if I wanted to. But I get his point. Making doughnuts is a lot of fun when you can gab with your sisters and sister-in-laws. But by the end of the day, when we washed the last greasy pan, my feet ached and I was thoroughly sick of smelling doughnuts. Doughnuts didn't even look good to me anymore. No one in their right mind would go through that kind of work to get a doughnut with their coffee every morning. When our food consumption was tied to what we grew in our gardens and produced in our kitchens, our diets were healthier out of necessity.
Pollan's Food Rule # 60 is "Treat treats as treats." So I'll try to find some sort of balance and I will eat my doughnut guilt-free and with intense relish. These really are absolutely wonderful. The amount of doughnuts this batch makes will depend greatly upon the size of doughnuts made, how thin they are rolled, etc. We made four batches this year which made several hundred doughnuts which were divided among five families and shared with friends.
1 quart of milk, heated almost to boiling
2 cup mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
4 T yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
4 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 T salt
8-10 cups flour
Mix milk, potatoes, sugar, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar. After milk-potato mixture is cooled, add yeast mixture plus 4 cups flour. Mix well. Let stand one half hour in warm place covered with cloth. Then add eggs, salt and as much flour as needed to handle. If dough is a bit sticky, the result is lighter doughnuts.
Let rise until double in a warm place. Punch down and roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with doughnut cutter. Place cut doughnuts on lightly floured surface to rise. By the time you have all the doughnuts cut you can start frying the first ones cut. Fry in hot fat at 350 degrees.
Dip in glaze while doughnuts are still hot. Drip over pan until dry.
Wait until cool to sugar or fill doughnuts.
For freshest doughnuts, freeze immediately. They thaw quickly
For small amount of glaze (won't be enough for entire batch)
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar mix with 1/2 cup hot water, heat gently until dissolves. Don't boil!