Enjoy Grandma's favorite fried donut recipes. Make a variety of delicious donuts including old fashioned buttermilk, potato, and whole wheat flavors. Also make homemade funnel cakes, crullers, and chocolate eclairs.
On a cold winter's evening, Mom would sometimes select one of the old fashioned donut recipes from her recipe box, heat some lard on the kitchen stove, and deep fry a big batch of donuts.
She used a ring-shaped cookie cutter to cut them, but sometimes she cut the dough into other cookie shapes for me as well.
Almost any simple shape can be used for donuts as long as it's small enough to enable proper frying overall. If the shape is too large, the centers will end up being doughy. That's why donuts have holes!
It was so much fun watching the rings of dough bobbing around in the boiling lard while they were frying, and the warm, crispy donuts tasted so good when done. Now, you can enjoy making them for your family.
Everyone wants to help when you make them, but watch out for the little ones when they are around the deep fryer. The lard or oil gets very hot, and you don't want them to get splashed and burned.
You can always substitute your favorite cooking oil for the lard if you prefer. However, the lard (fat) does lend its distinctive old time flavor and crispness to the donuts.
Homemade donuts are delicious to eat on any occasion. They always go good with a morning coffee! And while they do take some time to prepare and deep fry, all that's forgotten once you experience the amazing homemade taste.
Did you ever wonder where the first donuts originated? Well, believe it or not, the Bible's Old Testament records in Leviticus 7:12 that the priest offered with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, "cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried" — donuts?
Seriously folks, there are numerous theories and legends, but it is believed by many food historians that donuts first appeared in Germany and Holland as cooks dropped leftover bits of dough into boiling oil or fat, which they called olie koeken (oily cakes) or oliebollen (fat balls).
Some Dutch bakers shaped their oily cakes into fancy knots (dough-knots) and rolled them in sugar after frying.
Also, European bakers made small cakes called jumbles that often had a hole in the middle, and it is only natural that some would make their dough-knots with a hole in the middle too.
The hole is practical in that it permits the jumbles and donuts to cook uniformly in the hot oil without having a semi-cooked, doughy center.
Soon, fried donut recipes became sought after as people sought to duplicate the tasty treat in their own kitchens.