Monday, 7 February 2011
My grandmother always made fabulous doughnuts. They were not yeast doughnuts, but the cake type of doughnuts . . .
with a tender crumb and flavoured with freshly grated nutmeg. I remember them being so fat that the hole in the middle was always almost swollen shut, just like a big fat belly button . . .
Oh my but they were so very good. Served up warm with a nice tall glass of cold milk.
I can remember her standing there in her kitchen,in front of the old white enameled wood stove, wearing her flowered calico pinnie and cooking them in an old black iron kettle . . . . dropping them in and then turning them with a long handled fork.
She always shook the warm doughnuts afterwards in cinnamon sugar, in a brown paper bag . . . carefully saved and repurposed from a trip to the local grocery shop.
The paper would absorb any grease and the gentle shaking helped to coat them just perfectly in the sugar . . . I can still remember that beautiful smell . . . woodsmoke, hot brown paper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and . . . my gran.
We'd sit there afterwards, our mouths dusted with sweet cinnamon sugar, lips smacking with pleasure . . . each of us enjoying the soft and delicously, tenderly tasty results of her loving ministrations . . .
There would not be a lot of talk . . . but then . . . the happily satisfied smiles on our faces and the contented little mmmm's said it all. We did not need words . . .
Grandma's, doughnuts and Sunday afternoons . . . they are like the holy trinity of the heavenly home of a happy childhood . . .
Makes about 18
Easier to make and more cakelike than yeast doughnuts, these are great served fresh and warm with a nice tall glass of cold milk!
4 ounces milk (1/2 cup)
2 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 large free range egg, beaten
1 TBS butter, melted
7 1/2 ounces flour (1 3/4 cup)
Vegetable shortening or oil for frying
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar to dust when done
Whisk together the milk, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, egg and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour gradually, using just enough to make a dough that is soft, yet firm enough to handle. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a couple of turns. Roll out 1/2 inch thick and cut into 3 inch rounds, removing the centres. (You can also fry these!) Let rest for about 5 minutes while you heat the oil or shortening.
Using a heavy skillet, heat the oil or shortening (about 4 inches deep) to 182*C/360*F. Carefully drop in doughnuts a few at a time, frying until nicely browned on one side before turning to brown the other side. (Turn carefully using a long handled fork or a pair of tongs) Once they are brown all over drain well on paper towels and then dust with sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.