Monday, April 2, 2012
When I was young, almost every Sunday after church, my family would stop at the local (and only) donut shop in our small town. The owner sold day-old donuts in paper sacks for 50 cents or a dollar. If we made the early service at church, there were always many bags to choose from. The contents of the bags were a secret - stapled shut and unlabeled. Sometimes we got really lucky and found Bavarian cream filled éclairs inside. Other times, just sugar donuts or big raspberry filled "bear claws." It didn't really matter. The fun was in the tradition.
Where I live now, there isn't really a local donut shop, and we often travel quite a ways to get to church. And goodness knows, I'm not sure they would even sell day-olds these days, let alone half a dozen for 50 cents! But I've been thinking about that tradition, and how special it was, and decided to make an attempt at recreating it for my own little family in a slightly modified way. We can still have post-church Sunday donuts - homemade ones!
~makes about 6 donuts and 7 holes. Can be doubled.
1 1/3 Cups all-purpose flour, organic unbleached
1/8 to 1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly gated nutmeg
1/4 Cup whole milk
1/8 Cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
The sky is the limit! For these, I used cinnamon and sugar for the donuts, and powdered sugar for the donut holes. You could also glaze them, or dip them in melted baking chocolate, etc....
Neutral oil for frying
1. Stir together the dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
3. Combine the wet into the dry. The dough will be sticky and airy looking.
4. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and knead lightly. Add a little flour to reduce stickiness if needed.
5. Pat the dough into a disk of medium thickness.
6. Cut the donuts out, reshaping the scrap pieces until all the dough is used up (This is how I ended up with 7 holes - I just shaped the last bit of dough into a "hole"). I used a biscuit cutter for the main donut part, and the lid from a spice jar to make the holes. Flour the cutters as needed to reduce stickiness.
7. Heat frying oil on medium high. The oil is hot enough when the donuts sink and then rise right away when dropped into the pan. Reduce heat if donuts look dark brown (you want more of a golden brown look). They fry up very quickly, and depending on thickness, only need 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
8. Drain on a rack or towel, and dip in toppings while still warm.
Enjoying with a big glass of milk is optional, but highly encouraged.