I've only attempted doughnuts once and they were just O.K. Definitely not quick enough or good enough to justify the time and energy spent when we have an awesome doughnut shop just down the street! But this morning my son got up super early and my husband cleaned up the kitchen before going to work so I had some extra time to make breakfast. I decided to try a different doughnut recipe.
These doughnuts took me 30 minutes from opening the recipe book to frying the last doughnut hole. I couldn't believe I was done! I used a round biscuit cutter (at least that's what I think it is -- I picked it up at a garage sale) and a corer to cut the center holes. I only rolled and cut the dough twice and then I just rolled it in to doughnut holes.
The only ingredient you may not have on hand is buttermilk, but I find that yogurt usually works as a great substitute for buttermilk. I have started keeping buttermilk in my fridge as a staple because I have so many great recipes that call for it. I thought the original recipe called for 3 cups of flour, but there is no way I could roll the dough with 3 cups so I just kept throwing in handfuls of flour until it wasn't so wet. Very scientific! Turns out the original recipe actually calls for 3 1/2 cups of flour. Ooops. Just add more flour if you need it.
The only directions for frying were to fry in oil. So I used about 3-4 inches grapeseed oil in an enameled cast iron pot.
Buttermilk doughnuts remind me of the doughnuts I used to get at a cider mill in the Fall (I hail from Michigan). But these would be a nice treat for MOM this weekend!
1/4 shortening (I use palm shortening found in the natural/organic aisle)
1 cup sucanat or sugar
2/4 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups (plus a few handfuls) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Oil for frying
Put oil in pot and heat to 365-375 degrees.
Beat shortening and sugar to blend. Add eggs and beat well. Add buttermilk and blend.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add to wet ingredients all at once. Mix just to combine.
Lightly flour a flat surface and roll dough 1/2" thick. Cut doughnuts with a 2-3 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter. Re-roll and cut as needed. Place on wax paper.
Once oil is hot, drop 3-4 doughnuts in to oil. Fry each side for 1-2 minutes. Remove from oil. Dust with sugar, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.
Adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham