Accompanied story, “The Hole Truth about Doughnuts,” published 10-27-2011
3 envelopes active dry yeast (1/4-ounce envelopes)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup boiling water
1 cup canned evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Set aside until bubbly, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, dissolve shortening in 1 cup of boiling water. Cool to lukewarm.
Mix the evaporated milk, eggs, nutmeg, sugar and salt into the shortening and water. Stir in the yeast mixture and one cup of the flour until well blended. Gradually mix in remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is firm enough to remove from the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface or until smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into strips 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Place onto waxed paper, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees. Carefully remove the dough strips from the waxed paper and place a few at a time in the hot oil. Fry for about 3 minutes per side, or until light brown. Set over wire racks to drain. Drizzle with desired glaze.