National Donut Day

I should have known this day was coming.  I try to stay current on important holidays but somehow this one slipped through the hole.  Thankfully, I was woken up just before sunrise by our squawking chickens.

It was actually my wife who heard them and dutifully elbowed me mumbling “Chickens!”  I had set my alarm to go off twenty minutes later anyway, so I decided to just get up.  The Ladies (as we call them) were still squawking as I got dressed and found the flip but was still looking for the flop when they stopped.

So I put on some coffee, turned on Morning Edition and started to putter.  That’s when I learned it was National Donut Day.   (Thanks, NPR.)  I know many of my friends would have looked at the clock to see if they had time to run out and get some donuts to celebrate at breakfast.  I too looked at the clock to see if I had time, but wanted to make homemade donuts, so my decision was whether to go with yeast donuts or quick donuts for breakfast.  I went with the quick donuts and whipped up the dough.  When my daughter got up to begin to get ready for school, our porch kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma of fried dough.

A friend used to say that every culture has its own form of fried dough.  Since donuts are ours, we get to have a National Donut Day, which gives me a great excuse to celebrate and enjoy some delicious, classic donuts.  My favorite recipe is below.

By the way, I did finally get out to check on the chickens because after breakfast they once again began to squawk.  After scattering a little scratch and giving them some fresh water I checked the laying box. Once I touched the huge, smooth, brown, just-laid warm egg I thought if it had been mine I’d be loudly squawking too.

I got the following recipe from Eula Mae’s Cajun Kitchen by Eula Mae Dore

Mini Doughnuts (makes about 14)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted
4 -5 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspon ground nutmeg
3 c. vegetable or peanut oil for deep-frying
Confectioner’s sugar

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Combine the eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla, and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the egg mixture, and stir in one direction with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and all the flour is incorporated.  (Hold the ball in the center with a fork and run the dough around the bowl to pick up the flour on the edges of the bowl.)

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a disk about 1/2 inch thick.  Use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (or a glass) to cut out the doughnuts.  Dip your index finger in some flour and punch a hole in the center of each doughnut, then turn it around your finger to make the hole about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Once you put the doughnuts in the hot oil, the holes close up a bit.

Heat the oil in a deep, heavy pot or an electric fryer to 360 F.  The oil should be deep enough so that the doughnuts float and do not touch the bottom of the pot.  Add the doughnuts, 2 to 3 at a time, turning them around in the hot oil until brown.  (Usually, the cough crack a bit and that’s how I know they’re done.”)

Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, and serve warm.

For more of my thoughts on donuts, check out another one of my BadgerChefTalk blogs: “Donuts vs Doughnuts”

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