'O,' sweet: National Doughnut Day recalls doughboys of World War I

June 6, 2012 10:39:05 AM

Jan Swoope - jswoope@cdispatch.com

 

We humans seem addicted to bestowing a "day" upon almost anything. In June alone, there's Flip a Coin Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Sewing Machine Day and, a personal favorite, International Panic Day. So it should come as no surprise there is such a thing as national Doughnut Day. 

 

Annually celebrated the first Friday of every June, the holey doughnut (or donut, if you insist) was in the spotlight June 1, at least for those who noticed. If you missed it, no worry. Any day can be doughnut day in your kitchen, especially with today's recipes for some homemade versions. 

 

 

 

Doughboys 

 

What's most interesting about Doughnut Day is its origins. It succeeds a fund-raising event created in Chicago by The Salvation Army in 1938, to help the needy during the Great Depression and honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. 

 

As the story goes, soon after the United States' entry into the war in 1917, the Salvation Army conducted a fact-finding mission in France to see how they might best assist enlisted troops. One conclusion was that soldiers needed canteens or social centers (called "huts") that provided friendly smiles, baked goods, writing supplies and stamps and a clothes-mending service. The huts were established in the U.S. near Army training centers.  

 

About 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France. There, because of difficulties in providing freshly baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near the front lines, volunteers Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance are credited with coming up with the idea of providing doughnuts. It's said the sweet rings were sometimes fried in soldiers' helmets. They were an instant hit. Salvation Army records reveal that, after one busy day, Sheldon wrote, "Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts and 700 cups of coffee." 

 

 

 

Yes, Virginia, you can go low-fat 

 

If you've already given up your 20-ounce sugary drinks and are considering swearing off doughnuts, too, take five. You can actually make a low-fat alternative to commercial versions laden with saturated fats. Evaporated skim milk provides richness, while baking eliminates the added fat from cooking in a deep fryer, says Maddie Ruud at maddieruud.hubpages.com. The recipe is included. The approximate calorie count is about 143 calories, with 1.68 grams of fat. 

 

Baked doughnut topping options include cinnamon, sugar or confectioner's sugar. Just spray warm doughnuts thoroughly with nonstick butter-flavored cooking spray and toss in a bowl of cinnamon, white or brown sugar or powdered sugar. 

 

If you're still too bikini-conscious to allow yourself at least an occasional indulgence, you may have to wait for another of our unusual annual observances -- International No Diet Day, May 6, 2013.  

 

 

 

BUTTERMILK  

 

DOUGHNUTS  

 

Total time: One hour 

 

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen 

 

 

 

4 1/4 cups (18 ounces) plain flour 

 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

 

1/2 teaspoon salt  

 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

 

Pinch grated nutmeg 

 

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

 

2 eggs 

 

1 egg yolk 

 

3/4 cup sugar 

 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

 

3 tablespoons butter, melted 

 

 

 

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, grated nutmeg and cinnamon. 

     

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs and egg yolk with the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, two to three minutes. 

     

  • In a large measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and butter. 

     

  • Alternately beat the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into the egg mixture, one-third at a time, until all ingredients are combined and a dough is formed. It will be soft and sticky. 

     

  • With floured hands, remove the dough to a floured board and gently roll out until the dough is 1/2 inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter, or two biscuit cutters (a larger one measuring 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, and a smaller one measuring about 1 inch in diameter), cut the dough into doughnuts, spacing the doughnuts as close as possible. Collect the scraps and roll out to form another batch of doughnuts (note that this batch may be a little tougher than the first as the dough has been worked). 

     

  • Meanwhile, fill a deep fryer with oil, or a large pot to a depth of at least 3 inches, with oil, and heat to a temperature of 350 degrees. 

     

  • Gently place the doughnuts in the oil, being careful not to crowd. Fry the doughnuts on each side until puffed and golden, about one and one-half to two minutes on each side. 

     

  • Drain donuts on a rack and cool slightly, then frost and decorate as desired. 

     

    Each doughnut: 291 calories; 4 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 17 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 41 mg. cholesterol; 9 grams sugar; 237 mg. sodium.  

     

    (Source: latimes.com) 

     

     

     

    APPLE CIDER  

     

    DOUGHNUTS 

     

    Makes 12 doughnuts 

     

     

     

    2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 

     

    3/4 cup milk, at room temperature 

     

    1/4 cup apple cider, at room temperature 

     

    1/4 cup warm apple cider (about 110 degrees) 

     

    3 1/4 cups flour 

     

    4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 

     

    3 egg yolks 

     

    2 tablespoons sugar 

     

    1 teaspoons salt 

     

     

     

    For the apple cider frosting: 

     

    3 cup confectioners' sugar 

     

    1/4 cup butter, at room temperature 

     

    1/4 cup apple cider 

     

    canola oil for frying 

     

  • For the frosting, beat all ingredients together until a spreadable icing forms. 

     

  • For the doughnuts, in a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm cider in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. 

     

  • Add the flour, remaining cider, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, and salt until you have a soft, elastic dough that comes together easily into a ball. 

     

  • Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let dough rise until it has doubled in bulk, about one and one-half hours. 

     

  • Flour a clean work surface. Place the dough on the surface and roll it out. Roll until it is about 1/2 thick. Cut out doughnut shapes. Do not reroll to dough.  

     

  • Place them on a parchment or silipat lined cookie sheet; cover again with the tea towel and let them rise 15-30 minutes. They should look puffy but don't need to have doubled. 

     

  • Meanwhile, heat (to 350 degrees) about 3 inches of oil in a heavy pot. Fry the doughnuts (two or three at a time) flipping at least once to insure that they are golden brown on all sides, about two minutes. 

     

  • Drain on paper towel-lined plates or baking pans. Repeat for remaining doughnuts. Frost cooled doughnuts if desired. Eat the same day they are made. 

     

    (Source: coconutandlime.com/Rachel Rappaport) 

     

     

     

    DEVIL'S FOOD  

     

    DOUGHNUTS 

     

    Total time: About 1 hour 

     

    Makes abut 1 1/2 dozen doughnuts 

     

     

     

    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate 

     

    3 tablespoons butter 

     

    3 cups (12.75 ounces) flour 

     

    2 teaspoons baking powder 

     

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

     

    1/2 teaspoon salt 

     

    2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 

     

    2 eggs 

     

    2 egg yolks 

     

    1/2 cup sugar 

     

    1/2 cup sour cream 

     

    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 

     

    1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled 

     

    Canola oil for frying 

     

     

     

  • In a glass bowl or measuring cup, combine the bittersweet chocolate and butter. Microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until the chocolate and butter have melted and are combined. Set aside. 

     

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside. 

     

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until lightened in color, two to three minutes. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla and melted chocolate. 

     

  • Gently beat half of the flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, into the egg mixture, then beat in the coffee. Continue to beat in the rest of the flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, until all of the ingredients are combined and a sticky dough is formed. 

     

  • On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a round just over one-half inch in thickness. Using a doughnut cutter, or two biscuit cutters (a larger one measuring 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter, and a smaller one measuring about 1 inch in diameter), cut the dough into doughnuts, spacing the doughnuts as close as possible. Collect the scraps and roll out to form another batch of doughnuts (note that this batch may be a little tougher than the first as the dough has been worked). 

     

  • Fill a deep fryer with oil, or fill a large pot to a depth of at least 3 inches, and heat to a temperature of 350 degrees. 

     

  • Gently place the doughnuts in the fryer, being careful not to crowd. Fry the doughnuts on each side until puffed and golden, about four minutes, flipping every 30 seconds or so. 

     

  • Drain the doughnuts on a rack and cool slightly, then frost and decorate as desired. 

     

    Each doughnut: 300 calories; 4 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 21 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 55 mg. cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 168 mg. sodium. 

     

    (Source: LA Times) 

     

     

     

    LOW-FAT BAKED  

     

    DOUGHNUTS 

     

    Makes about 24 doughnuts 

     

     

     

    1 1/3 cups unsweetened evaporated milk 

     

    1 packet dry active yeast 

     

    2 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine 

     

    2/3 cup granulated sugar or Splenda 

     

    2 eggs 

     

    5 cups white flour 

     

    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

     

    1 teaspoon fine sea salt 

     

     

     

  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm milk to 95 degrees, stirring constantly to avoid scalding. Set aside 1 cup of milk, and pour the other 1/3 cup into a large bowl and add the yeast. Stir in briefly, then let sit for five minutes.  

     

  • Meanwhile, mix the sugar and butter into the other cup of milk. Add to yeast mixture, then use a fork to stir in eggs, nutmeg, salt, and flour, just until the flour is fully mixed into the batter. 

     

  • Using clean hands or an electric mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough in the bowl until it begins to pull away from the sides and becomes smooth and glossy. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour. If it seems too dry, you can add a bit more milk.  

     

  • Lightly flour a working surface or counter and knead briefly, then shape into a ball, transfer to a bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and put in a warm place to rise until doubled (about an hour). 

     

  • Punch down and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch thick sheet. You can either use a donut cutter to cut out donuts, or a cookie cutter or the top of a plastic bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cut out the centers with a smaller cutter or melon baller.  

     

  • Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise an additional 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake for eight to 10 minutes or until the bottoms begin to turn golden. 

     

    (Source: Maddie Ruud, maddieruud.hubpages.com)

    Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.