Every year I always ask YumJimmy if he'll make a cake for my birthday, and every year he says someday. I really thought this was going to be the year, but he had something else up his sleeve. Instead of a birthday cake, he decided to make me birthday doughnuts. The recipe comes from John T. Edge's book Donuts: An American Passion, and it whips up quite quickly. Sadly we were out of powdered sugar, but luckily we had some chocolate that was melted down for a quick glaze. Topped with a layer of hot pink sprinkles, this is one birthday treat to remember! If you want to check out the recipe for yourself — it was pretty easy, just give it a try! — read more.
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lard or shortening
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 gallon vegetable oil for frying
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, 2 cups of the sugar, the salt, and baking powder. Rub in the lard or shortening with your fingertips until the mixture is pebbly [I didn't really achieve "pebbly" but it came out fine.] Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well, then beat in the milk. Set aside.
- Working either directly on your flour board, or in a shallow pan [I used a baking sheet.], create a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Pour the egg-milk mixture into the well and start working the dry ingredients into the wet, using a pastry scraper or your hands to gently fold the dry and wet ingredients together. Be careful not to knead the dough like bread; work it gently to avoid creating a chewy texture.
- Turn the resulting mound over a couple of times on a lightly floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness. [It might be easier to sandwich the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.]
- Pour the oil into a cast-iron Dutch oven or other deep, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches a depth of 3 or 4 inches.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 325F. [We couldn't find the right thermometer, so we eyeballed it. Test with scraps of dough until it seems right.]
- Using a dough cutter [I used a measuring cup.], cut the dough into rounds, then cut out a smaller round from each for the center. Gather the scraps and reroll the dough as necessary.
- Fry each loop for two minutes per side or until puffed and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon [I used wooden chopsticks.] and drain on wire racks.
- Toss the cinnamon and remaining 2 tbsp of sugar together in a large brown paper bag. While the donuts are still warm, add a few at a time, shaking to cover with cinnamon sugar.