Debbie Dance Uhrig
This week I’m journeying back to my childhood for some terrific memories. Around the end of October each year mom would surprise us with homemade yeast donuts. Cold apple cider would be on hand and we would watch with anticipation as she ‘fried’ up the annual treat. As I recall we got one donut that night along with a few donut holes. Then the next morning we enjoyed them for breakfast. Man those were good times my friends. There’s nothing wrong with this tradition unless you prepare donuts every other week!
A few weeks ago I decided I would write a new yeast donut recipe, except they would be baked. I’m sure someday I’ll try ‘baked’ donuts again, but for now: “If you’re going to indulge in a donut, eat it FRIED!” The baked donuts had good flavor but the texture was something between a donut and a bagel. My assistant, Bonnie & I decided that we would change things again and go for a baking powder cake donut. We took away the age-old fear of yeast by doing a baking powder donut. And lastly instead of using my brand new deep fat fryer we fried the donuts in cast iron skillets. This way it doesn’t matter whether you own a deep fat fryer, you can still make donuts!
You will find this recipe is very tasty. The only thing that may pester you is the stickiness of the dough. Make sure you chill the dough as indicated. When you roll the dough use lots of flour and only roll a few at a time. This way the rest of the dough stays chilled.
The great things about these donuts is they can be cut and then quick-frozen on a parchment covered pan. After freezing place in a secure freezer bag. You will need to thaw them before frying because drastic changes in temperature will make the oil foam. The best ‘rise’ is seen when they are fried right after cutting. After freezing they rise nicely, but not quite as high as before.
We tried the donuts with pumpkin pie spice but felt it got stronger as the donut cooled, so we settled on cinnamon instead. The extra yolks also helped in the emulsifying stage.
You will need a thermometer to fry donuts. Or, as one guest commented: ‘You can fry in an electric skillet.’ Keep the heat right at 325 degrees. At 350 degrees plus they get too brown. At 300 degrees they don’t brown enough; instead they absorb excessive grease.
Wouldn’t it be fun to get up Christmas morning and fry donuts? They could be cut the night before and covered and chilled in the refrigerator! For the embellishment we chose powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Icing can be used, but we just chose not to. One guest stated they would like to make a coffee glaze for these. I thought this was a grand idea.
Everyone always wants to know what I’ve been up to lately. Allow me to state that I’m not sure our family has enjoyed a meal together all week. It’s been crazy. I drove back to Platte City for the memorial service of a good friend & mentor. Of course this meant I darted by Trader Joe’s on the way back home. Our high school football team is in the play-offs, so Friday night was spent at the football field. Saturday we assisted in a fundraiser for a young man here in Branson West who is battling cancer. Our community is extremely supportive in these situations and the benefit was very successful.
Some of our young children today have never experienced hayrides, apple cider, donuts and unconditional love. Make it your purpose to create a new memory this week for the children. There are kids everywhere needing a friend, someone who will listen to them. Each and every one of us have so much to share whether we are 8 or 85! Give of yourself, and fry up a homemade donut! YUM, what a week it will be. Imagine how good a warm donut would taste to a senior adult in a care facility?
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Sour Cream Donuts
4 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons softened butter, melted
4 egg yolks, large
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
Combine flour, salt baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl; whisking to blend. In a mixer, beat sugar and butter together until smooth. Add egg yolks and beat until creamed. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed sugar and butter. Add half of the sour cream, blend, and repeat ending with the flour.
Chill dough for one hour. Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick onto floured surface. Heat oil one inch deep in cast iron skillet to approximately 325 degrees. Cook until golden brown, (around 2 minutes) on the first side. Flip with a fork or spoon and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes. Drain well on paper towels then sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Icing can also be implemented.
Yields approximately 24, average size donuts.