Remembering Spudnuts

by Michelle on March 31, 2009

When I was young we moved to Cuyahoga Falls, a small town outside Akron, Ohio. It was my first time living outside Michigan and a very difficult relocation for me. We moved in June as soon as the school year ended and our new home was in a brand spanking new development of 300 homes with only 50 homes occupied and no one was my age. So basically I went all summer with few friends but kept busy with reading, exploring our new town, planting a vegetable garden and regretfully playing with my little brother who was addicted to matchbook cars!

That summer Cuyahoga Falls was celebrating it’s Sesqui-Centennial and there were many activities and everyone dressed in pioneer garb of long skirts, straw hats and aprons. Also every boy in my neighborhood was building a soap box car for the upcoming Soap Box Derby, a yearly event in Akron. In Michigan we built cars with engines that ran on gas and most boys built a go-carts again with a motor that ran on gas. Making a cart with no motor made no sense to me and I did not understand why they just did not race with bikes?

Cuyahoga Falls’ business district was center for many Centennial activities that summer. And since downtown was just a short walk from our home I never missed a parade or street fair and I spent hours wandering through all the small shops. There were two stores I particularly remember. A Planter’s Peanut Shoppe with a huge Mr. Peanut sign out front. They sold every thing peanut you could think of and even roasted nuts several times a day. The smell of the roasted peanuts was over powering and it never tempted me to venture inside more then once.

A few doors down was a Spudnut Shop which fascinated me. Spudnut, what the heck was a spudnut? Looking through the window I could see a huge vat with spudnuts frying and the vat tender would just touch the spudnut and it would magically flip over to fry the other side. In Michigan we called these doughnuts. The spudnits sure looked like a doughnut and I was dying to taste one.

The Spudnut Shop was always packed with men all sitting at a long counter and being alone and young I never dared enter. Once I was with my older sister and she took me inside and I finally got to taste a Spudnut. The Spudnut was good and I was not disappointed that it tasted just like a Michigan doughnut to me!

Well my tastes have changed and I’m not sure I could eat a Michigan doughnut again. But OMG…the Spudnuts are fabulous!

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Spudnuts
Recipe developed by Big-Black-Dog

1 1/3 cups warm milk, not hot just barely warm
1 packet active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, melted but room temp.
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp and lightly whipped
4 c. flour (plus more if dough is too sticky)
1 c. potato flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Topping:
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 dozen medium

1. Place 1 c. warm milk in the bowl and stir in the yeast with a fork.
2. Add sugar into the remaining warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture.
3. Stir in the eggs, cinnamon, and salt
4. Add the flours gradually, mixing throughly with each addition. If the dough is too sticky to handle add 1/2-1 c. more flour. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
5. Butter a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining butter, cover, put in a warm place. I let it rise over night.
6. Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop.
7. Cut out the doughnuts but not the center hole. Transfer cut outs to parchment lined cookie sheet. When the sheet is full of cutouts then cut out the doughnut hole. If you don’t wait to cut out the middle your doughnut it is more difficult to transfer and will be deformed. You can use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut out the doughnut shape.
8. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
9. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the just golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
10. When the doughnuts are golden brown, remove to a wire rack and cool.
11. Brush with melted butter and dip tops in cinnamon/sugar mix. Return to wire rack for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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All Rights Reserved 2008-9 © Big Black Dog

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Comments

  • Teanna March 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I just printed this recipe out! I have to try it! Amazing!

  • katrina March 31, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Oh, the day I pass up a doughnut like this! ( which would be never….) Looks great!

  • Kathleen March 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Michelle, they look wonderful! I wish I could taste one! Oh ok, I wish I could eat the whole thing..2 even!

  • Carol Peterman April 1, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Uh-oh, the last time I came across a doughnut recipe I was making them the next day. These look great and I bet the potato flour makes them really tender. I have too many indulgent foods happening this week, so I will save the recipe and get to it one day when nothing will quite do but a Spudnut.

  • Elyse April 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    What a great story! You totally have me wanting to try these spudnuts now. I’m saving this recipe so I can make them as soon as I get a free moment!

  • Kayte April 5, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I love reading little historical bits in food posts…how things originate, how someone comes upon an ingredient or recipe, etc. and this was really interesting to read your memories of these things! Sputnut…who knew? Thanks for the info…and next time I am around that area, I will need to go searching for one of these…just for the research aspect and all, you understand….LOL.

  • Nadine April 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Wow! Thank your for writing this post and sharing the recipe. I, too, have fond memories of Spudnuts. I’ve never had a better donut. Will definitely be trying your recipe.

  • Ben July 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Oh those look so good. Until today I had never heard of potato doughnuts before even though I’ve lived in Ohio for many years. I really need to try them now 😀

  • Jenny April 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Oh baby, I want to try these!!

  • Tracy April 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    These look amazing; I wish I had one right now!

  • Cookin' Canuck April 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Great story! I’ve never heard of spudnuts, but these look well worth a try.

  • Maggy April 16, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I want a spudnut! These look delicious!

  • How To: Simplify April 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Yum…these look so tasty!

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  • Norma September 5, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Spudnuts were the best doughnut ever–there was a shop in Urbana, IL near the campus of the University of Illinois. Delicious.

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