Monday, April 2, 2012

sunday donuts


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 ├ęclairs 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!


Homemade Donuts
~makes about 6 donuts and 7 holes. Can be doubled.

Ingredients:
 
Dry:
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

Wet:
1 egg
1/4 Cup whole milk
1/8 Cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Toppings:
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 


 Method:

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.  

22 comments:

  1. What a wonderful memory! The mystery of what was inside sounds like fun. I'd take a doughnut any day of the week!

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  2. How wonderful to be able to pass your childhood tradition down to your children. Those donuts look mighty good :)
    x

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  3. I've always wanted to try making my own donuts - this looks more manageable than I had expected! :) Nice work.

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    1. They can be a lot more complicated than this, but I like the simplicity of these :)

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  4. THIS IS MY FAVORITE THING EVER. I have a terrible weakness for donuts...and sadly they often don't fit too well into the farming lifestyle. I am baking these ASAP! Love it, love the simplicity.

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  5. What a lovely memory and now you are making memories with your family and child! :)

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  6. What a wonderful memory and such a good Mum for creating these traditions and moments in time for them to enjoy!I've been thinking of making some doughnuts for awhile now, thanks for sharing your recipe!

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  7. Wow...those look incredible. My husband sometimes stops at the farmer's market on the way home and brings still-warm homemade donuts home. They're unbelievable. My son is gluten-sensitive so I must search out a method for gf donuts! Too good to be missed out on!

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  8. Cider doughnuts, tossed in cinnamon sugar, bring me instantly back to late Fall apple picking and the annual trip to buy a Christmas tree. Both activities took place at the orchard just down the road from my childhood home, lots of very happy memories there. I've wanted to try my hand at making doughnuts for ages, and with this inspiration, I just might finally give it a whirl! Thanks, Jamie!

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  9. Oh! My mom used to make us some like that when I was a little girl . It was such a treat!!!

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  10. I love the tradition of donuts too. My grandmother made some for us every time we made the 10 hour trip to visit her. Now, I make her batch every year at Christmas, and usually once in the summer for a reunion.

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  11. What a great memory to have growing up. I love donuts. I have been searching for a great baked donut recipe, but alas have not found a tasty one. These sound pretty tasty!

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  12. Those look delicious! And what a nice tradition you are passing on (and making better...)

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  13. it's nice to see how a donut can bring up a memory. i think of my grandmother when i make donuts.
    now i need to make some donuts. thanks for sharing.

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  14. Fabulous! I love your new take on an old family tradition. Superb! Matt occasionally makes doughnuts, but I've never tried my hand at it.

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  15. I want to make this tradition my own! What delicious looking treats - thank you for posting the recipe.

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  16. Gosh, I haven't made donuts in forever. Yours look so mouthwatering. I'll have to make some as soon as I have a kitchen!

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  17. For goodness sake - how did I miss this!? Lovely :)

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