NOTHING says ‘you’re special to me!’ like these crispy and creamy homemade doughnuts. My siblings and I were so thrilled to come home from school and find my mother making doughnuts. My son receives them as enthusiastically as we did, and my brother and sisters still get excited to find out they are on the menu.
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
Fresh peanut or vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Warm butter and milk about 1 minute in the microwave; cool to lukewarm, then stir into to the yeast. Mix in sugar, salt, eggs, and 2 cups of the flour. Blend at low speed, then beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead a few minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Place into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. (Note: dough can rise overnight if you get up early to roll and cut it.)
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter (No cutter?—cut into squares with a knife.) Place cut doughnuts on lightly floured waxed paper, leaving at least an inch between them. Let rise until double. Meanwhile, prepare glazes and toppings in separate bowls.
Heat 2” oil in a large skillet to 360°. Meanwhile, set out a wire rack with a tray underneath, a platter for the finished doughnuts, and small plates and mugs of cold milk or coffee. Call the children, because once you start frying you will need help with the glazing, and hot doughnuts should be eaten immediately.
Carefully slide doughnuts into the hot oil, a few at a time. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown (less than a minute for each), turning gently and carefully. For doughnut holes, turn constantly in the oil. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon, to drain on the wire rack. While still hot, dip doughnuts into the glaze, or roll in sugar, cinnamon sugar, or nutmeg sugar. Or, fill with jelly or Nutella using a cake decorator or cookie press, and dip in powdered sugar. Makes about 48 doughnuts; enough for 8-10 hungry people.
3 T butter (optional)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 T. vanilla
4-6 tablespoons hot water or milk
In a four-cup bowl, melt butter in a microwave, 30-60 seconds. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar,
vanilla and hot water (one tablespoon at a time)
to make a thin icing. Glazes 2-3 dozen doughnuts.
2 squares or 2 oz. semisweet or milk chocolate
2 T. butter
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
3-4 T. milk or water
Microwave chocolate and butter 60-90 seconds; whisk in sugar and milk until smooth. Glazes 12-18 doughnuts.