When you are in the mood for down home comfort food, these donuts definitely fall into that category.
Every Christmas, my Uncle Lorne burns the midnight oil and makes up several batches of these simple, yet delicious treats for the family...I have been known to hipcheck my cousins out of the way at the dessert table to get my mitts on them first!
Whether you dunk them in a cup of hot coffee or enjoy them with a cold glass of milk, they just might take you on a trip down memory lane to the "olden days"!
To whip up a batch of these old fashioned treats, you will need, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, buttermilk, eggs and shortening.
In a large bowl, measure out 4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour...
2 tsp. of baking powder,
1 tsp. of baking soda and 1 tsp. of salt...
...and 1 1/4 tsp. of ground nutmeg...mix together until all is incorporated.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with hand beaters), beat 2 eggs,
...3/4 tsp. of vanilla,
...1/4 cup of melted shortening (such as "Crisco")
...and 1 cup of granulated sugar...
Whisk until all is mixed together.
Add half of the flour to the egg mixture and stir gently...do not over mix, you still have the buttermilk and the rest of the flour to add in so it will be lumpy at this stage.
Next, stir in 1 1/4 cups of cold buttermilk into the sugar mixture alternately with the rest of the flour...do not overmix or your donuts will turn into paper weights!
The dough will be sticky at this point...cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
When the dough has "set up", melt 2 pounds of shortening or lard in a deep fat fryer, or a large heavy duty saucepan...using a deep fat frying thermometer, heat the fat to about 360 degrees.
Next, prepare the sugar coating and glaze...I use plain white sugar and for the cinnamon coating, combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon...For the glaze, whisk 1/3 cup of melted butter, 2 cups of icing sugar and 1/2 tsp.of vanilla...set glaze and sugar coatings aside.
While you are waiting for the fat to reach 360 degrees, roll portions of the chilled dough out on a floured surface to about 1/3 inch thick.
Using a donut cutter, cut out "donuts", dipping the cutter in flour after each use.
This is a donut cutter...since they aren't a popular kitchen tool nowadays, you can also use a round biscuit cutter and a bottle cap for the middle...anything will do!
Continue to roll out dough and cut "donuts", placing them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet that has been sprinkled lighlty with flour (so they don't stick).
When the fat has reached temperature, gently place each donut into the hot fat ...do NOT get any drops of water into the fat as it will splatter like a volcano and will DEFINITELY leave a mark!
Once the donuts rise to the surface, flip them over with a fork...
...and fry until golden brown on both sides...fry in small batches making sure you do not over crowd the pan...this will allow the donuts to cook through evenly.
Drain donuts on a paper towel lined tray (use fresh paper towels as needed while frying the rest of the batches).
Dip each warm donut and donut hole in the cinnamon sugar coating...
..or the plain sugar, turning the donuts to evenly coat on both sides.
Dip some of the cooled donuts in glaze and place them on a wire rack until dry.
Leave some plain too for a good "coffee dunker"!
These donuts taste best when eaten the same day...you can store some in the freezer for a quick treat in case of the "unsuspected drop in" guest...you will look pret-ty damn good serving homemade donuts at a moment's notice!
"Olden-Days" Buttermilk Donuts
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of melted shortening
1 & 1/4 cups of buttermilk
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, vanilla, sugar and melted shortening together until fully combined.
3. Next, add the buttermilk into the sugar mixture, alternately with the flour mixture until combined...do not over mix.
4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
Cinnamon sugar coating:
1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. cinnamon...stir until combined.
1/3 cup melted butter, 2 cups icing sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla...whisk until combined.
How to Fry
5. Melt 2 pounds of shortening or lard in a heavy bottomed, large saucepan or in a deep fat fryer...heat fat to about 360 degrees.
6. While waiting for the fat to reach temperature, roll out portions of the dough on a floured surface to about 1/3 inch thick and cut into "donuts" with a flour dipped donut cutter.
7. Place cut donuts on a wax paper lined baking sheet sprinkled with flour.
8. Fry donuts in small batches, flipping once until golden brown on both sides...drain on a paper towel lined tray.
9. Dip warm donuts in sugar coatings, dip cooled donuts in glaze and set on a wire rack until dry... or leave plain, kicking it old school!