The first time I made homemade doughnuts my son ran
into the kitchen and exclaimed
"It's like a party in the kitchen!".
That alone should convince you to try making your own
doughnuts at least once. It's a very easy process and one
the whole family can help out with.
By Brenda Hyde
Preparation is the key to making doughnuts without it turning
into complete chaos. Have all of your utensils, ingredients
and especially your coatings laid out, and give yourself plenty
of space. If you have a small kitchen, you could set up a
card table to put together your "assembly line".
Easy, Easy Doughnuts
The first time we made our homemade doughnuts we used
premade biscuits in the tube. This is so much fun, and it
just doesn't get any easier. You will need:
2-4 tubes of buttermilk or homestyle biscuits
vegetable oil for frying
a candy/oil thermometer (optional, but VERY useful)
tiny round cookie cutter (see below for option)
stainless steel tongs
cookie sheets lightly sprayed with cooking spray
Remove biscuits from tubes and place on sprayed
cookie sheet, one tube at a time works well. Take
a tiny 1 inch cookie cutter, or as I used, a clean
medicine cup that comes with children's pain reliever
(it's the perfect size!). Press down in the middle of
each biscuit until it cuts through the dough. Remove
hole and set aside on a cookie sheet. This is the
"assembly line" part if the kids are helping.
While you are preparing doughnuts, heat your oil
in a fryer or on top of the stove in a large pan (cast
iron works well for this) until oil is 370 degrees.
Place 3 or 4 doughnuts at a time in the oil, watching
carefully. When the bottom is golden brown, flip
over with the tongs, to fry the other side. This happens
very quickly! Remove doughnuts to a cookie sheet
lined with paper towel. Allow to drain/cool just for
one minute or so then drop in coating. When coated
remove to a plate. The "holes" can be done last.
Be careful, these fry VERY fast because they are so
Coatings: We used plain confectioners' sugar, and
cinnamon mixed with granulated sugar until light
brown in color. Place each coating in a medium
Doughnuts from Scratch
Since that first time I found a recipe in an old cookbook
that is easy, and makes a true homemade doughnut.
Use the same instructions as above once they are cut
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
Sift together flour, salt, soda, cream of tartar
and spices. Cream shortening and sugar; add
eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Add milk and
then sifted dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly until
smooth. With as little handling as possible, roll
dough out on floured board 1/4 inch thick. Let stand
for 20 minutes. Cut with 2 1/2 inch cutter or glass
bottom, and use a small cutter for the middle.
Fry as above. Makes about 3 dozen doughnuts.
Chocolate:Add 1 1/2 squares melted bitter chocolate, 1 tsp. vanilla
and 1/4 cup more sugar to recipe.
Orange: Add 2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind to recipe.
Using all egg yolks with give the dough and orange color.
Molasses:Reduce sugar to 1/4 cup and add one cup molasses,
1 tsp ginger and 1 more cup flour to recipe.
This is a great cooking project to do with the kids
and laughter will fill your kitchen while it's being
done, but do be careful around the hot oil. Place
the "assembly line" away from the stove, and be
sure to let the doughnuts cool slightly before allowing
the kids to put them in the coatings. Once you have
made them a few times I am sure you will come
up with your own variations!
Elyse from Florida sent me an easy fun way to make doughnut holes!
I just had to let you know that there's an even easier way to make the hole in the doughnuts, and kids can do this part, too! Just stick your finger in the middle of the biscuit (or dough mixture). Wiggle it around to make an actual hole.
About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a Mom of three, a freelance writer and
editor of the six newsletters here at Seeds of Knowledge.
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