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The raised doughnuts we're familiar with today are an evolution from what you were apt to find a hundred years ago, much as Wonder Bread is the 20th-century version of white bread. The ingredients of these predecessors were much more like their cake doughnut siblings, so consequently these doughnuts have much more "body" than those you might find at a modern bakery. But, as Mary J. Lincoln (the first principle of the Boston Cooking School, and Fannie Farmer's predecessor) said in The Boston Cookbook, "These are more wholesome than those made with soda." We still like the baking soda version (whether they're good for us or not). And, whether they are actually any better for you, old-fashioned yeast-raised doughnuts do have their merits. They're best started about 24 hours before you want to cook them.
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1 teaspoon regular instant yeast
1/2 cup (2 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
5 cups (1 pound, 6 1/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon special instant yeast* (or 1 teaspoons regular instant yeast)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
3 tablespoons lard (or other shortening)**
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
*In theory, special instant yeast is better suited for sweet doughs than regular instant; still, this dough is so rich you really need to give it an all-night rise in a cool (but not refrigerated) place.
**You can substitute butter for the lard.
Stir together the water, 1 teaspoon regular instant yeast, white whole wheat flour, 2 cups unbleached flour and 1 teaspoon salt to make a slack dough. Let this work for at least 3 hours, or best, all day long. If you have a bread machine, take advantage of it for this part.
In the evening, stir in the eggs, beaten; the second teaspoon of salt, the teaspoon of special instant yeast (or regular instant yeast), the butter and lard (which should be softened), the brown sugar, nutmeg and the remaining flour. As with the cake doughnuts, this will create a soft dough. After you've kneaded it thoroughly (keep the kneading surface and your hands well floured or, again, use your bread machine), allow this to rise all night, in a cool place but not refrigerated. The next morning, knock it down, turn it out onto a floured surface, and roll it out as for cake doughnuts. Cover and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes (longer if you can wait). Fry as for cake doughnuts.
Mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together and dump the mixture into a medium-sized paper bag. After the doughnuts have cooled, shake them several at a time in the sugar. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen doughnuts.
Nutrition information per serving based on 2 1/2 dozen (1 doughnut, 50g): 167 cal, 6.2g fat, 3g protein, 15g complex carbohydrates, 10g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 26mg cholesterol, 162mg sodium, 69mg potassium, 17RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 42mg calcium, 37mg phosphorus.