Thursday, September 19, 2013

Potato Doughnuts

When my brother, sister and I were in elementary school, our mom would come to each of our classrooms and make doughnuts for our class.  She brought the dough already prepared and she would heat up her wok.  She would cut the doughnuts out in front of the class and we would watch them fry.  Each time she came, the smell of her doughnuts would fill the school and it must have been torture to everyone else who had to smell them but not get to eat one!  I also remember her frying hundreds of doughnuts at  church Halloween parties, school fundraisers, and at our house for special guests.  She would only make this recipe in the fall, so when I feel the weather begin to change from summer to fall, it's like there is a force greater than myself forcing me to pull out the Potato Doughnut recipe and get frying.  It's just in my blood now.

1/3 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together in mixer.

2 eggs
3/4 cup cold mashed potatoes
3/4 cup milk

Then add eggs and potatoes.  (I usually use instant potatoes, but if you have a couple of leftover baked potatoes, that works well too.  If I mash my own potatoes, I prefer to keep some little lumps in the potatoes.)  Then add milk and mix.

3 3/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg

Add all dry ingredients at once and mix until well combined.
Chill dough for at least an hour.

Prepare oil:  My mom always used her large electric wok and a whole can of Crisco.  It will take about 10-12 minutes to get the oil hot enough, so get it going before you start rolling out the dough.  I recently used a dutch oven to fry them in and it also worked great.  I used vegetable oil and filled it about 3/4 full and it was fine, I could only do about 5 at a time though.  With the wok you can do several more at once.

Prepare dough:  Roll out dough but not too thin (thin dough makes a crunchy yucky doughnut!), maybe 1/2-3/4 inch thick.  Cut with a doughnut cutter (a biscuit cutter with a circle in the middle.)  Place cut doughnuts on a lightly floured pan to let rest for just a few minutes.  While they are rising, use a sharp knife and make several small slits around the circle.  This will give them a great texture when they fry.

(In this picture, you see the side of the doughnuts that didn't have the slits.)

Test the oil to see if it is hot enough by placing a doughnut hole in it.  It should sink to the bottom and be covered with bubbles and then pretty quickly come up to the top covered in little bubbles.  When the oil is hot enough, gently slide a few doughnuts into the oil.  Depending on your heat (which I would say should be med to med-high), it will take about 3 minutes per side.  Use two forks to flip them over. I like them to be just golden brown.  Let them cook on the other side until golden and then remove from oil and place on a cooling rack lined with a paper towel to cool.

Prepare glaze:  The glaze doesn't really have a recipe.  It's just powdered sugar, vanilla, a pinch of salt and milk.  I start with about 2 cups powdered sugar, about 1 tsp vanilla, a pinch of salt and then about 1/2 cup milk.  Whisk it well and maybe add more milk or sugar depending on the consistency desired.  I've always made it pretty runny so you can hold the doughnut and dunk it half-way into the glaze and then let sit, if you can, to let glaze set.

makes about 2 dozen
You should probably double the recipe because your neighbors will be able to smell it and they will want some too!

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