Friday, June 6, 2014

National Doughnut Day: Free Donuts, History, & Recipe

National Doughnut (Donut) Day falls on the first Friday in June. That's today! 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. Check out the list below--or check with your local donut shop!

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, go to Months of Edible Celebrations for a great discussion of the history and 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 drink and they'll throw in a complimentary doughnut (while supplies last)

Shipley Do-Nuts is giving each customer one free do-nut (that's how they spell it!) and a free small coffee.

Tim Horton's is celebrating National Donut Day by handing out one free donut with any purchase mad (one per customer).

Cumberland Farms is giving out one free donut per customer buying a coffee or a "Chill Zone" beverage, all day today!

Honey Dew Donuts will be giving away a free Oreo donut to any customer who buys a medium drink.

Doughnut Plant NYC is giving out a free mini cake donut (one per order while supplies last).

Winn Dixie locations in AL, FL, GA, LA & MS are giving away one free "jumbo" donut hole to customers--one free per guest, per store visit, while supplies last.

Entenmann's Bakery will have a truck and tent in Madison Square Park (NYC) where you can get a free doughnut and coffee, and enter to win free doughnuts for a year.

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.

1 comment:

Alyssa Maxwell said...

What a fun post! I didn't know that about the Salvation Army, and I'm actually researching WWI now. Good thing to know! And thanks for the heads up on the free doughnuts, lol!