One of my favorite memories of growing up was Saturday Doughnuts. My dad (who is a doctor, ironically) always treated us to doughnuts on Saturdays. He would run and get them from the local bakery on Saturday morning, and by the time my sisters and I made our way upstairs for breakfast (around noon or so), our doughnuts would be waiting for us on the counter.
Not just any doughnuts, mind you. This tradition was so systematized that my dad would come to our rooms on Friday nights and take our “doughnut orders” for the following morning. We could choose between glazed, chocolate raised, cake, bismarck (blueberry or raspberry), apple fritter, and just about anything else that we might want from the bakery. I think I even ordered a bagel once. Emphasis on the once.
I have distinct memories of learning how to perfectly warm a chocolate raised donut in the microwave, so that the chocolate was just starting to run down the sides a little, and the dough was fluffy and soft and wonderful.
I also have memories of tears shed over stolen donuts. I still hold the belief that the early bird should get the worm, even if it was your sister’s bismarck.
Making doughnuts seems a bit intimidating, although I have made my own mini donuts before using this cute little Mini Donut Pan.
But I was bound and determined on this day to make my own real donuts. And when I saw this recipe for sweet potato doughnuts… well, let’s just say I’ve had it bookmarked for several months.
Making my own doughnuts (the real fried kind) was a bit more work than I was anticipating. There are essentially three phases to the process, and I am more of a one-phase kind of a girl. But I stuck with it and we ended up with a big mess in the kitchen and these beautiful, delicious doughnuts.
Nevermind that they weren’t done in time for breakfast, or lunch. A freshly fried, warm glazed doughtnut makes a perfect late-afternoon snack.
Or go for two and call it dinner. Not that we did that…
- 1 Tbsp instant yeast
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup milk, lukewarm
- sweet potato puree (from about one medium sweet potato)
- 6 tbs. butter, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 5½ cups flour
- Combine all ingredients except flour. Whisk until smooth.
- Add flour and knead for 10 minutes.
- Place in a greased, covered bowl and allow to rise for about an hour.
- Roll out dough to ½ inch thick and cut out doughnuts.
- Place cut doughnuts and doughnut holes on a greased plate. Cover and allow to rise in a semi-warm place until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
- Heat oil to medium heat (about 350 degrees). Fry each doughnut a minute or two on each side until cooked. Place on a plate with paper towels to drain.
- Dip in glaze and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Dad, thanks for all the Saturday Doughnuts growing up! I plan on keeping that delicious tradition alive… forever.