Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Idaho Breakfast: Potato Yeast Doughnuts




My husband, the great doughnut consumer, walked up to me in a bookstore with a huge cheshire grin on his face and the book “Doughnuts” by Dorian Leigh Parker. I took that as a hint and bought the book. Inside are some historic recipes, including one from our true First Lady, Martha Washington.

Since we live in Idaho I had to try the potato doughnuts first. Making the dough the night before and letting it slowly rise in the refrigerator made for a much quicker Saturday morning doughnut feast. I’ve also added some extra coating options to the recipe.

2 packages of dry yeast or two heaping teaspoons bulk dry yeast.
½ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
Pinch of Salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
3 ½ cups unbleached flour (or more if necessary)
Vegetable oil for frying

Coating options, mix into bowls:
1. 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2. Powdered sugar
3. 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
4. 1 cup sugar and a small dash of real vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve. Scald the milk in a heavy saucepan and remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, oil, and salt. Cool, and then add this to the yeast mixture.

In a medium bowl blend the eggs into the potatoes until smooth. Wisk this into the milk mixture, then slowly add the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating thoroughly by hand or by mixer. When it comes to a smooth dough, add additional flour slowly, mix in with a wooden spoon until the dough is thick enough to support the spoon upright, but not too stiff. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let double in size. Let double in a warm draft-free place for about an hour. Alternately, the dough can be refrigerated where it can rise overnight.

Punch the dough down and turn out into a well floured surface. Cover with towel and let rest until doubled again, about one hour. It will take about 1 ½ hours is it has been refrigerated.

Divide the dough in half, and to roll one half out to a ½ inch thickness. With a floured doughnut cutter, cut out rings. Repeat with the remaining dough, either incorporating the holes or keeping them to fry separately. Continue rerolling and cutting until all the dough is used up.

Fill a deep pan no more than half way with oil, at least 2 inches, and bring to 375 degrees over moderate heat. (I use a deep fryer for this). Slide each doughnut into the oil with a metal spatula, cooking two or three at a time. Turn with a slotted spoon after about 1 ½ minutes. (I found it takes much less time than this.) Cook doughnuts until light golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the excess oil to drain back into the pan, and then drain the doughnuts on paper towels.

Coat doughnuts thoroughly in the coating of your choice.


This recipe is my entry for the April Potato Ho Down. It's being hosted this month by Donalyn from Dlynz. http://potatohodown.blogspot.com/



8 comments:

Jamie said...

These look absolutely fantastic! Never made doughnuts, but these are definitely worth trying! Could make a doughnut lover out of anyone!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Thank-you Jamie. Doughnuts aren't too difficult to make, but many seem afraid of tackling them.

Mrs. L said...

Don't think I've ever had potato doughnuts before. I need to get over my fear of cooking with yeast and give these a try.

Elra said...

Absolutely irresistible! I'm bookmarking this. Delicious.
Cheers,
elra

The Cooking Photographer said...

I hope you do Mrs. L, the key to yeast is to make sure your water is cold warm and then to proof in a warm spot and let the dough rise. I turn on my oven to 175 degrees, then turn it off and let it cool down for about 15 minutes. Then I rub olive oil on my dough, cover it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the warm over with the door closed.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Thank-you Elra!

Kate Cohen said...

Do you think I could punch down the dough and cut out the doughnuts immediately, and then let them rise on cookie sheets until I'm ready to fry?

I'm making these tonight to fry in the morning; let me know if you have any more advice.

Thanks--the recipe looks great.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Kate I'm sorry I couldn't get back to you in time. I hope you found your answer, but I think that would probably work just fine.

I hope these worked for you.

Laura

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