Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My first doughnut

I was happy to find one of the many food magazines I subscribe to in the mailbox last weekend.  In it, there was a recipe for doughnuts.  I commented to my husband, "I've sure seen a lot of doughnut recipes lately."  Some of my favorite blogs and magazines have featured their own twist on the classic doughnut.  So my husband said, "Why don't we make them tonight?" 

You see, I've never attempted to make doughnuts at home. But as I was stuck in the house again because of the cold and snow, I was ready to take on another project.  Thankfully, most doughnut recipes call for baking ingredients I already have in my cupboards.  So I didn't have to thaw my pick-up truck and scrape the ice off the windshield to drive to the grocery store.

We picked an old-fashioned cake doughnut recipe from the latest issue of "Taste of Home" magazine.  The recipe reminded me of the "Salvation Army doughnuts" that I first heard about at a visit to our county historical museum. 

According to the museum's WWI display, Salvation Army nurses used to hand out doughnuts and coffee to U.S. troops when they arrived in the train stations in Europe.  The doughnut-coffee pairing became so popular with the soldiers that they requested it when they came back home.  Soon, every little diner and cafe in America offered doughnuts and coffee for breakfast.

On a cold night in February, doughnuts and coffee sounded pretty darn good to my hubby and me.  So I mixed up the dough, refrigerated it for 2 hours as directed and then broke out my handy-dandy doughnut cutter, a nice little kitchen tool I picked up at a local antique fair for $1.

I didn't need to roll out the dough, just press it to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Then I cut out the doughnuts.

It was hard to believe that these flat circles would turn into doughnuts.  But they puffed up the minute they hit the hot oil.

Once again, beginner's luck was on our side, because these turned out so good!  Not quite as sweet as the gas-station doughnuts I grew up with, but they more than made up for it with their tender, cakey texture.  Our only problem was that we didn't fry them quite long enough, so a few doughnut were still a little "doughy" on the inside.  But that's an easy remedy with a little more practice.

They were so easy and fast to make (if you don't count the 2 hour chill time, they took less than 15 minutes to cut and fry), I'm not sure why more people don't make their own doughnuts at home. I'm sure we'll be making these again next time we have overnight guests.

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