Friday, June 1, 2012
National Doughnut Day
The first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day celebrating the doughnut, an edible, ring shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened. This holiday event began in 1938 as a Chicago Salvation Army fundraiser for much needed funds during the depression. The day also recognized special women known as "Doughnut Lassies" who made and served doughnuts to homesick WWI soldiers in France, since doughnuts were thought to be the quintessential American food. Here's a song from a 1918 songbook celebrating doughnuts in WWI.
A doughnut’s just a doughnut, boys, ’til you are “over there,”
And day and night you’re in a trench away in France somewhere;
You get a fresh-made doughnut, seems it comes from heaven above,
That doughnut, boys, reminds you of a slice of mother’s love.”
The history of donuts, like so many foods, is debatable. Some believe that Dutch settlers brought doughnut making techniques from Holland. Hostess Donuts were first launched in the 1930's at a time in our history were looking for inexpensive ways to treat themselves. America's favorite doughnut is glazed, followed by chocolate, powdered sugar and plain.
There are 10 billion donuts made every year.
For a wonderful entry on Doughnut Day, you'll want to go to: Months of Edible Celebrations website. Not only is there a great discussion of the history, but Months of Edible Celebrations includes a recipe from Entenmann's Big Book of Baking for Chocolate Cake Donuts, as well as information about The Donut Book by Sally Levitt Steinberg, granddaughter of Adolph Levitt, the inventor of the first doughnut machine (1920). As Louise says in her entry, "Sally brings the doughnut to life." You've got to read this.
And, there are a lot of free doughnuts today!
Krispie Kreme's Facebook page says that anyone can stop into a store for one free doughnut of any kind, no purchase necessary. (at participating stores)
LaMar's Donuts in Colorado and the Midwest is offering one free doughnut per customer. (at participating stores)
Dunkin' Donuts: Buy any beverage and they'll throw in a complimentary doughnut (while supplies last)
Tim Horton's has a coupon on their Facebook page for a free doughnut with any purchase in U.S. lcoations. Like Tim Horton's and print coupon.
Look for other free donuts and celebrations in your town!
Here's the original SALVATION ARMY LASSIES’ DOUGHNUT RECIPE . Not sure about the lard, but it's the original recipe, after all, so historical.
SALVATION ARMY LASSIES' DOUGHNUT RECIPE
Yield: 4 doz. doughnuts
5 C flour
2 C sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt
2 eggs 1 3/4 C milk
1 Tub lard
Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative! Salvation Army doughnut girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts gradually.
Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.