Last time my parents came up for a visit we bummed around Kansas City for awhile, taking in the shops on The Plaza and hitting up a knitting store in nearby Westport. We tried to hunt down an embroidery shop for my mother, but when we got to the address we found it was replaced by... a thrift store.
18 February 2008
However, instead of being upset, we hustled inside. Because, you see, I share a certain affliction with my parents. I can't stop buying used cookbooks. So there the three of us sat, tucked into the back corner of the thrift store, thumbing through the treasure-trove of used cookbooks they had. And we all trotted out happily loaded down with our great finds.
Among the books I found that day: my very own copy of Farm Journal's Country Cookbook. One from the late 1950s, it's a compilation of tried-and-true recipes from Farmer's Wife Magazine, and there are some real treats in there. Living in Kansas and married to a man from farming country, I can tell you one thing for certain: those farmers' wives make some mean baked goods.
After Peabody and Helen's Time to Make the Doughnuts event, for some darn reason I couldn't stop making the things. And voila, what was one of the first things I flipped to? Raised doughnuts. They had an orange version, but I changed it up and made it lemon (had to get rid of the last few in my fridge, they're too expensive to waste these days). One mistake I made? I don't have a doughnut cutter, but though I could get around it by rolling my dough into ropes and "pinching" them closed before the final rise. Ha! Ha ha! That did not work so well; they seemed well formed but popped apart as soon as they hit the hot oil. Hence my "squiggle" doughnuts. So a word to the wise: doughnut cutters are your friends.
They still tasted fabulous, though, regardless of their odd shape. Give them a try; they are wonderful with some warmed fruit jam for dipping :)
Raised Lemon Doughnuts
(Adapted from Farm Journal's Country Cookbook, 1959)
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry active yeast
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/3 c. shortening
Scald the milk. Add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm temperature.
Sprinkle yeast over warm (~110 F) lemon juice. Stir until dissolved. Add milk mixture, 2 c. flour, and lemon zest. Beat well. Stir in shortening, then eggs.
Add remaining flour, kneading in last portion on a lightly floured surface. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Turn out on a lightly floured board. Roll dough about 1/3-inch thick; cut. Let cut doughnuts rise until very light (30-40 minutes). Leave uncovered so that a crust will form.
Pick up on a wide, floured spatula and ease into deep fat fryer/fry pan of oil (at 375 F). Fry until golden brown, turning once. Drain and dust with powdered sugar. Makes 2 dozen.