Olive Kitteridge’s Grandmother’s Doughnuts
See Elizabeth Strout’s recipe introduction in The Book Club Cookbook
Note: To make sour milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk, and allow to stand for ten minutes. Or, you may substitute buttermilk for sour milk.
To shape the doughnuts, use a doughnut cutter, which can be purchased for a few dollars at a kitchen store. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a 2 to 3-inch round cookie cutter. Cut out the smaller inner circle using a smaller cutter.
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sour milk (see note)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Cinnamon and sugar (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together 3-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a large bowl of a mixer, mix sour milk, eggs, and 1 tablespoon oil on medium speed. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Add additional flour as needed to form dough that can be easily handled. Cover mixing bowl and chill for up to two hours, if necessary. If the dough can be managed, chilling won’t be needed.
- While dough is chilling, prepare to deep fry: Pour about 4 inches of oil into a heavy, deep saucepan with straight sides. (Leave two or three inches between the oil and top of pan, so oil does not bubble over.) Heat oil to 355° – 365° F.
- Remove dough from refrigerator. On lightly floured surface, roll dough in small batches to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut shapes with doughnut cutter (see note).
- Place several dough shapes in hot oil. Brown on one side, then flip over and brown on the other (about 3 minutes total). Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags. Repeat with remaining dough.
Optional: For sugar and/or cinnamon doughnuts, place dry doughnuts in a paper bag, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and/or ¼ cup sugar and shake well.
Yield: About 2 dozen 3-1/2 inch doughnuts