Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buttermilk Pioneer Doughnuts

We simply call these doughnuts "Christmas Doughnuts" at our house.  My mom made these every Christmas while I was growing up and we always ate them along with sausage and eggs on Christmas morning.  My Mom's mom also made them while my mom was growing up, so you see, these doughnuts are tradition.  Maybe that is why we make them...and the fact that we LOVE them.  They aren't like any other doughnuts that you have eaten.  They are very dense and full of nutmeggy goodness.  You don't frost or glaze them.  They are just good as is.  It never fails that my kids have friends over and my boys will ask for a doughnut.  Of course the friend is always excited to have a doughnut too, but we always have to explain these doughnuts before anyone eats them.  We are a little protective of them and can't handle people being disappointed because they aren't getting a doughnut that they are expecting.  It is a sweet dough doughnut and apparently the pioneers made them.  Some of my siblings don't have families that love them but mine absolutely goes bananas for them.  The recipe makes a lot and we freeze them and eat them all through November and December (we usually eat our last bag on Christmas), but this year I made them on Christmas Eve and we had them all eaten by the end of the boys' school break.  This doughnut above was the very last one (and then I ate it :)

Another thing to note is how precious these are.  I have to admit when McKay fed his to Sasha one day I nearly cried.  I am a bit selfish with these as well.  They aren't the easiest to make, so when they are gone, we know that they are gone for another year (seriously I grumble through the whole process of making them because the dough is DENSE). 

I have thought of sharing this recipe in the past, but it is not for the faint of heart, so I always end up bagging the idea.  This year I have had quite a few requests for the recipe so I thought I would post it, but be warned.  It is a crazy dough recipe.  Also be warned, this recipe isn't your best :)  Okay now that I have scared 99.9% of you off from ever making these I will share the recipe...If there is a 0.1% out there that does make them, I would love to hear about it!

5 cups of sugar
4 TBS of shortening
4 eggs
lots and lots of flour (like at least 10 cups...)
4 tsp soda
1 1/3 tsp salt
2 tsp nutmeg
1 quart of buttermilk
1 can of Crisco (for frying the doughnuts, and yes you will need it all...these aren't low fat either.  There goes that 0.1 %)

Cream together (I use a Bosch to make these because the dough is so dense and when it starts having trouble, I finish up by hand...) sugar and shortening.  Add eggs and mix.

Sift together (you can either use a sifter or do as I do and just wisk them together)  5 cups of flour, soda, salt and nutmeg and then add it to the egg mixture.

Now start adding your flour.  You add until the dough is no longer sticky.  Not sticky at all...and that is a lot of flour.  So just keep adding and adding and you will get there soon :)

Once your dough is the desired consistency roll it out to about 1 inch thick (these doughnuts puff up when being cooked so you don't want them too thick at all.)  Cut out with a doughnut cutter.

Put all of your can of Shortening in a stock pot and heat it on medium.  I usually wait about 10 minutes and then put one of the doughnut holes in to see if it cooks.  You DO NOT want these to cook too fast or they will be doughy in the middle.  You want them to gradually turn golden brown (the color of the above doughnut).

When the top is golden brown, turn them so the other side can get brown.

I cut up a paper grocery bag (the way my mom always did it :) to lay these on so it will absorb the left over oil.  You could also lay paper towels across it.

Then you are done.  We really do love them. Then end.

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