Years ago a lady in my neighborhood named Neola was the most incredible down home cook in five counties. She grew up in southern Idaho and had the best old fashioned recipes you ever tasted. While I was teenager, Neola brought my friends and me into her kitchen and shared how to make her food and made copies of her recipes for each of us. I got my amazing sugar cookie recipe from her--and you will pry it from my cold, dead hands. Neola and her husband, Jay, had a profound impact on the youth in our neighborhood, spending their time with us and showing us they cared. There's a whole generation of kids that grew up better because of them. Thanks for everything.
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl sugar
1/2 cup shortening, melted
1 tbl salt
4 eggs beaten
2 cups mashed potatoes
7 pkgs yeast (5 tbl plus 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon
1 quart milk
3/4 cup lukewarm water
Scald milk and add remaining ingredients except yeast and cool until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in water, add to milk. Add enough flour to make a heavy dough. Let rise until doubled. Roll out on floured surface and cut into shapes, allow to rise again. It's best to raise cut spudnuts on greased wax paper so that you can slid a thin spatula under and slip into fat. Fry in hot fat until done. Glaze or frost as desired.
*I add in the shortening after scalding the milk which melts it.
*Scalding means to bring the milk up until almost boiling, watch for tiny bubbles around the edge of the saucepan.
*Add the eggs, shortening, sugar, salt, and milk, mix together. THEN add the yeast, and then the flour.
*"Enough flour" usually means between 10-15 cups, depending on the flour.
*"Heavy dough" means a little lighter than sweet roll dough. You don't want to put in so much flour that you have bread dough on your hands. I generally put in enough to make it not quite sticky.
*I have a 6 quart Kitchenaid Pro. That is the only possible way you're going to be able to use a stand mixer, and even then it's taxing on the machine.
*Traditionally, these are cut into bar shapes, but you can use donut shapes or whatever.
*When she says greased, she means to smear the wax paper with either shortening or butter. Cooking spray does not cut it, I've tried. Cut out the shapes and put on wax paper lined trays if you don't have a long counter top on which to lay out the spudnuts.
*Don't use Canola oil to fry, use shortening, peanut or other high smoke point oil.
*Fry at about 350 degrees.
*Plain mashed russet potatoes, no milk/butter, etc. Cook them well and mash/whip till smooth or your spudnuts will have potato lumps.
*I have to halve the dough to raise in two different containers.
*The large amount of yeast means that the dough rises very quickly, probably about 30 minutes, keep an eye on it.
*To slow down the rise of the cut shapes while you fry, refrigerate the trays. this also makes it easier to remove the spudnuts from the wax paper (try turning it upside down and peeling off the paper if they're sticking too much.)
*This makes a LUDICROUS amount of spudnuts--around SIX DOZEN. I always mean to halve the recipe and always forget. Someone should try to halve it. Maybe you?