Not much is sweeter than fresh, warm doughnuts on a cold winter day. If you're entertaining this holiday season, these make a beautiful breakfast—and they use locally grown organic potatoes.
3 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup milk, warmed to 70°-80°
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4½ cups bread flour, plus additional flour if sticky
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain potatoes, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid. Mash the potatoes and set aside 1 cup and let cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the milk, eggs, shortening, sugar, salt, bread flour, yeast, reserved cooking liquid, and potatoes. With the mixer on low, combine all ingredients for 1-2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing for another 3-4 minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons milk. If it is too wet, add 1-2 tablespoons flour.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in additional flour if the mixture is still too sticky, a couple tablespoons at a time. Roll out to ½-inch thickness. Cut with a 2½-inch circle cutter. Cut middle of doughnuts out with a 1-inch cutter.
Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush warm doughnuts with butter and dip in sugar.