18 February 2008

Raised Lemon Doughnut Squiggles

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.

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
2 eggs

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.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, one more of your wonderful recipes on my to try list now. :)

These are fantastic! I can't resist lemon doughnuts.

Anonymous said...

I, too, love to comb through thrift store collections of used cookbooks. The 1970s era cookbooks are almost always so unappetizing -- the creams and gravies and aspics truly present a visual horror fest at time -- but the vintage finds are such a treat.

My favorite find, ever, was out here in California. I found a fundraising cookbook put out by a group from an elementary school in the Chesapeake Bay area, back in Maryland. It came all the way across the United States and was waiting for me. I'm from Maryland, so I grabbed it up. I flipped through it, and was instantly overjoyed. Not only did it have a recipe for my favorite childhood cake -- oatmeal cake with broiled topping -- the recipe was submitted by ... my own Aunt, long deceased.

$1.00 later, it came home, to my hands.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is yum. I love the idea of a lemon donut and your's looks fabulous!

Peabody said...

I could see why you would want to keep making these!!!

Helene said...

Wow! I can't believe I just saw these! They are going in the "urgent" file right now!!

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