One of our family rituals is “Church Breakfast,” which means brunch on Sunday. It takes its name from when Kiddo#1 was three, and I was pregnant with Emily. After dealing with morning sickness for ten weeks, I noticed during Mass that I could smell sausages. And that they were appealing. Afterward, Kiddo#1 asked if we could have “a Church breakfast,” and we’ve had one on Sundays ever since.
After “Church Breakfast” comes “Church Dessert,” which would be a donut except that the Angelborough House Of Donuts To Dunk is…well…they aren’t the most competent purveyors of donuts in the world. This happened in Angeltown too, but there we’d gone to one a couple of miles away. Here we have no such option.
On Saturday, Kiddo#1 suggested we use the deep-fryer to make our own donuts, so my Patient Husband made the dough ahead of time. It came out like batter.
He went over the whole recipe again, expecting he’d doubled something instead of halving it, but we found nothing amiss. I suggested adding more flour, which helped a bit, but not nearly enough. We refrigerated it overnight, but on Sunday it was still gooey. We decided to try anyway.
I added the oil to the fryer, a cast iron pot with a basket and an oil thermometer. As an aside, the deep fryer arrived in our lives last Thanksgiving after I said to my mother, “You know what I’d like to get someday? A deep fryer.” My mother said, “You don’t have one?” and I replied that the electric fryers got okay reviews, but people commonly said they didn’t get hot enough. She said, “Hold on,” and went to the basement where she found this deep fryer, still in the box. Given to her by her FIL, who had kept it in the box since he got it as a gift in 1978. So now we can make donuts.
The dough/batter was the first disaster. The second happened after I finally got the oil temperature to 350 according to our oil thermometer. I lowered the basket into the pot, and the thermometer shot up over 450 degrees.
I had no idea what to do. I thought the flashpoint of canola oil was much lower than 450, and this oil wasn’t even smoking. But the thermometer had suddenly decided it was too hot to register, and it wasn’t coming down, not even when I pulled out the fry basket.
I opted for the better part of valor and removed it from the heat. And because oil stays hot for a thousand years, I fried the donuts that way. But then the temperature dropped to about 325 and stayed there, meaning the lower temperature probably was right all along.
Eventually we got the donuts cooked, despite it all. But I’m wondering at what things we did wrong, and how to fix them for next time.