Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Ode to Grandma's Donuts.

My love affair with homemade donuts started many, many years ago. My wonderful grandma would wake up at 5am to have hot, crispy, fluffy, powered sugar donuts waiting for us as a treat. She'd always double or triple the recipe - since there was usually at least a dozen people at her house. We'd sit around the table in shifts - with our plastic cup of milk and licking powdered sugar off our fingers.

Those were glorious mornings.

When we made them at our house for the first time - it was odd. As if out of the context of grandma's house, they were no longer as special. My almost-16-year-old (oh my gosh, I am so old!) sister is as obsessed with making food as I am, so we made some this weekend.

Here's the recipe - illustrated! [Give it a try - it takes some time, but mostly just waiting for things to rise. Perfect for a Sunday morning.]

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup soft shortening
3 1/2 (or so) cups flour

Bring the milk to a boil and then cool.
I'm so in love with these kind of cook tops. Sigh. I dream of a day when things don't get caught under my burner.

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Add milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening, and half of flour.

Mix with spoon until smooth.

Grab a cute sister to pose for you. {Promise sister you won't put picture on internet. Put it on internet anyway.}

Add enough remaining flour to handle easily; mix with hands.
Somehow, Emmie is bossy enough that I ended up doing this part. Which is kind of annoying, really, have your hands covered in sticky dough.

Turn onto lightly floured board.

Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes)
I recorded an adorable video of little sister demonstrating kneading. Silly Flickr.

[Get distracted by fridge. Wait, is that what I think it is??]
On their fridge...

[I love my mother. Who apparently loves Jim.]

Wait! Where was I? Oh, donuts. Yes.

Spray or grease bowl.

Place dough in bowl and then flip over, so it's all greasy. Yum.

Cover with damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place (85 deg.) until doubled - about 1.5 hours. (We had to put ours in a slightly-cooled oven since the house was chilly. After it rises, punch down and let rise for 30 more minutes.
{Halloween-esque towel is optional.}

Roll out dough 1/3" thick. Cut with 3" floured donut or cookie cutter (you could always cut it up into squares if you don't have a donut cutter. Pillows taste yummy, too!). Let right again for 30-45 minutes. Leave uncovered, so crust will form on the dough.

Drop into vegetable oil that is HOT (around 375 deg. or when the sizzle when you drop them in).

Flip them over when you start to see the brown edges (usually less than a minute).

Cook a bit on the other side, too.

Then drain on paper (or cloth!) towels.

For powdered sugar donuts (aka: pure heaven), place in a bag with sugar and shake.

Eat them before everyone else does.

Dang it. Now I'm all hungry and stuff.


  1. Wow, those look so yummy! I will definitely have to give them a try.

  2. Those look and sound delicious. Mabye it's because I'm not feeling 100% right now, but I'm definitely not ambitious enough to make those. Maybe someday though. I will make a mental note that you have this lovely recipe on your blog. I love that you shared the story about how special it was to eat them at your grandma's house. My grandma tried to make donuts once and I don't remember them being all that great. hahaha

  3. We make our with lemon glaze--yum!!
    So unhealthy, but SO good.

  4. mmmmmm. deep fried dough. it just doesn't get any better. xo

  5. Okkaaay...donuts are one thing I have never made. I am so trying that THIS weekend. And that picture with the cookie-cutter cuts - looks like some cool piece of dough art - rad! (Um, hopefully they turn out better than my Samoa cookies - did ya read that post? ugh.)

  6. Dude, you made donuts. That's impressive,and makes me want a deep fryer.

  7. Wow - those look delicious. I'm definitely going to have to try those.

  8. those look AMAZING! And I am all about doing dough from scratch. It is therapeutic. Now the deep frying part, I've never done that before. But I'm sure the whole experience is a blast, specifically the eating part. :)

  9. That is seriously impressive.

  10. my mouth is wide open ....HOME MADE DONUTS?!?!?!?!?!? O-mg. fantastic!!!!

  11. I love how you got distracted by the Jim notepad -- you are too funny! Yay for alla your pictures you posted along with the recipe! So cute you and your sis were cooking together! those donuts look sooooo yummmy! beyond yummmy! i want some!

  12. I can promise you that I literally drooled by the last picture :)

  13. YUM! I am really hungry and could definitely eat a doughnut!

  14. Holy cow. I was wondering how you made those, they are amazing! I totes want one. Also, I love your mom too, I need that Jim notepad.

  15. omg you get donuts and donuts holes simultaneously!

  16. LOL'd at the Jim notepad. I want Jim on all my notes too!

  17. Oh my goodness! That looks and sounds absolutely DIVINE! And not challenging at all.

    ... I know what I'm making the next time my boy is in town!

  18. I am salivating. too delicious.

  19. holy crao those look just amazing!!!

  20. Love the pictures to go along! I've always said if I opened a restaurant or wrote a cookbook I would include pictures of EVERYTHING.

  21. and now I'm hungry too after reading about your doughnut adventures. I am quite impressed with your skills, and I so want to try making these! I bet they taste a hundred times better than any storebought ones could.

  22. Woahhhh those look yummy! I will definately have to try...I usually take the easy way out and use biscuits...cut donut hole in them; fry and toss with cinnamon and sugar they are delicious too but these look out of this world.

    Love your blog...found you on I AM Stylish....

  23. Those look incredibly delicious!

  24. My grandmother used to make those, too! In fact, I think they ruined me for Krispy Kremes and Dunkin Donuts because I have never really cared for either. Maybe that's actually a good thing!


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