Do or Donut, There is No Try

Our annual Donuts with Dad was this past Friday.  I remember our very first Donuts with Dad.  

Krispy Kreme Manager:  "How many donuts do you need?"
Me:  "A whole bunch of donuts."

I also remember the second Donuts with Dad.

Krispy Kreme Manager:  How many donuts do you need?"
Me:  "All of the donuts."

This is such a fun and special event.  Then again, any event centered around family and donuts is special.  Our family has donuts occasionally on the weekend.  We check social media early Saturday morning to see which local shop has the most intriguing donut specials.  On really special occasions, I make donuts at home.  Donuts are a little time consuming to make but absolutely worth it.  I make the dough the night before, let it relax and proof the next morning while I set up whatever glaze, icings, fillings and/or toppings we want and get them frying while the coffee brews.  Since I'm an "early riser" I usually have a first batch done before everyone makes it to the table.  Simple glazed donuts are a favorite but I like a maple flavored icing (with a nice piece of crisp bacon).

Yeast Donuts

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (I like to use butter flavored)
2 packages instant yeast
1/3 cup warm water (100-105 degrees)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
23 ounces all-purpose flour (about 5 cups) plus more for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying

Place milk in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Place shortening in a bowl and pour warm milk over shortening.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water and let stand for 5 minutes.  Pour mixture into bowl of stand mixer and add milk and shortening mixture (be sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm).  Add eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg and half of the flour.  Combine with paddle attachment on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.  Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.  Change to the dough hook and beat on medium speed approximately 3-4 minutes.  Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour. (I usually divide the dough into 4 equal portions and freeze 3 portions.  This recipe will make nearly 30 donuts!)

Sprinkle flour on counter top.  Roll out dough to desired thickness (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick is recommended).  Cut dough with large pastry ring (use the smallest pastry ring for the hole).  At our house I just use a pizza wheel and cut the donuts into squares and only use a small pastry ring for the hole.  Set donuts on a floured baking sheet, cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oil to 375 degrees.  Gently place donuts into oil.  Cook for 1 minute per side (wooden chopsticks are a great tool for flipping donuts).  Move fried donuts to a cooling rack placed over a baking pan.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes prior to glazing.
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