This recipe was inspired by instructions that Stella Young, the Salvation Army
pinup girl of World War I, dictated to Sally Levitt Steinberg when the author of
The Donut Book visited Young at her home in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. During
their interview, Young let slip that, owing to primitive battlefield conditions,
the donuts the Lassies fried during the war were not marvels of the pastry arts.
These, on the other hand, prove true Commander Evangeline Booth's billing of
the Salvation Army's way with the "winsome, attractive coquetries of the
round, brown doughnut."
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided use
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon lard or shortening
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 gallon vegetable oil for frying
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 2 cups of sugar, salt and baking powder.
Rub in lard or shortening with your fingertips until the mixture is pebbly. Set
In a medium bowl, beat eggs well, then beat in milk. Set aside.
Working either directly on your flour board, or in a shallow pan or bowl, create
a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour egg-milk mixture into the well and
start working the dry ingredients into the wet, using a pastry scraper on your hands
to gently fold the dry and wet ingredients together. Be careful not to knead the
dough like bread, work it gently to avoid creating a chewy texture. Turn the resulting
mound over a couple of times on a lightly floured surface and roll out with a rolling
pin to 1/4-inch thickness.
Pour the oil in a cast-iron Dutch oven or other deep, heavy-bottomed pot until
it reaches a depth of 3 or 4 inches.
Heat oil over medium-high heat to 325 degrees F.
Using a dough cutter, cut dough into rounds, then cut out a smaller round from
each for the center. Gather scraps and re-roll dough as necessary. Fry each loop
for two minutes per side or until puffed and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon
and drain on wire racks.
Toss cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar together in a large brown paper
bag. While the donuts are warm, add a few at a time, shaking to cover with cinnamon