Tuesday, June 4, 2013

National Doughnut Day: History & Recipe

National Doughnut (Donut) Day is the first Friday in June. This year it falls on Friday, June 7. That's an extra wait for many who like to kick off the month with free donuts. Doughnut Day was created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

Many American doughnut shops offer free doughnuts on National Doughnut Day. In 2009, both independent doughnut shops and large national franchises offered free doughnuts in the United States. National Doughnut Day started as a fund raiser for Chicago's The Salvation Army. Their goal was to help the needy during the Great Depression, and to honor The Salvation Army "Lassies" of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.

National Doughnut Day celebrates 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.”

Doughnuts are popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised specialty outlets. They are usually deep-fried from flour dough, and shaped in rings or flattened spheres that sometimes contain fillings. Other types of batters can also be used, and various toppings and flavorings are used for different types.

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 is giving out 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)  Dunkin' is also introducing a new sandwich on June 7: the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich.. Bacon & Fried eggs between a split glazed doughnut that they say is 360 calories. Really??!!

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.

Entenmann's Bakery is donating $1 to the Salvation Army for each person who "likes" the Entemann's Facebook page (up to $30,000). And right now, in celebration of the day, Entenmann's is rewarding lucky winners with 'Free Donuts for a Year' in a sweepstakes on their Facebook Page.

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.

Yield: 4 doz. doughnuts

5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup 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.