One of my favorite fall traditions is visiting a local apple orchard that serves up fresh, hot doughnuts and cider. But you don’t have to leave home to enjoy this autumn snack. It’s easy and fun to make doughnuts at home. If you have older kids, it’s something the whole family can do together.
The ingredients you need for your doughnuts are:
2 tbs shortening
3/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 – 3 cups vegetable oil
Additional white sugar or powdered sugar to coat the doughnuts
To start, you need a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and a candy thermometer that clips on the side of your pot.
Fill the pot with two to three cups of vegetable oil. You want to bring the temperature of the oil up to 375 degrees over medium heat, and maintain it there. Too hot and your doughnuts will burn. Too cool and your doughnuts will soak up the oil while they cook and be soggy.
While the oil heats stir up the batter. It should be mixed by hand, not with an electric mixer. Start by beating the eggs slightly with a fork in a large bowl. Add sugar, shortening and milk. Stir. Mix in flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Stir the nutmeg and cinnamon together in a separate bowl then add to the rest of the mixture. Dough will be slightly sticky and moist. I think it resembles biscuit dough.
Now you can turn the dough out on to a floured surface, roll and cut into rounds with a doughnut cutter. But it’s faster to just make doughnut holes by dropping rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the oil. I like to use a small scoop.
So when the oil hits 375 degrees go ahead and drop your batter in. You can do three or four doughnut holes at a time depending on the size of your pot. Watch the temperature and adjust your burner as needed to maintain 375 degrees.
While your first doughnuts are cooking you can get two plates and fill one with white sugar and one with powdered sugar for rolling the finished doughnuts in.
The doughnut will float to the top when it’s ready to be turned. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side. The doughnut should be a deep golden brown. Watch that they don’t start to burn.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked doughnuts to paper towel to drain.
When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, roll them in the white sugar or powdered sugar. Personally, I prefer the white sugar or no sugar at all.
Then enjoy while still fresh and warm!