Scuppels are a regional Philadelphia donut with origins in Italy that no one outside of my family eats. They are the dense appetizer to a long evening of drinking and dining, and they are perfect.
2 packets of yeast
6 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of salt
2 cups of raisins
2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil
additional canola or vegetable oil for frying
2 to 3 cups of white sugar
Making the Dough
- Fill a medium sized bowl with roughly one cup of water that's hot but not scalding to the touch.
- Add a tablespoon of sugar and stir. Sprinkle two packets of yeast on top, stir again.
- Let stand for ten minutes until layer of froth begins to bubble on top.
- In separate large steel bowl, mix flour, salt, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Pour water-and-yeast mixture into flour mixture and stir together until dough starts to come together. Add more water until dough is moist and somewhat sticky.
- Add two cups of raisins and mix. If the dough feels dry or crumbly, add more hand-hot water. (It should be soft and easy to knead.)
- Knead dough for 8 to 10 minutes. Clean out bowl thoroughly and coat with olive oil. Place dough ball back in slick bowl, coating dough with oil as well, and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until it meets the top of the plastic, or until it doubles in size.
Frying the Donuts
- Pull a meatball-size lump of dough from the mix and roll it out with your hands, pressing the line into a ribbon shape. Try to keep raisins tucked into the dough so they do not burn. Do this for the entire batch of dough.
- Fill a medium size bowl with granulated sugar for dipping.
- Fill a large skillet with about two inches of vegetable or canola oil. Turn heat on medium-high and let oil heat up. (You can test how hot your oil is by tossing a piece of dough in—if it sinks at first and then rises in about 2 to 3 seconds, you should be ready.)
- Drop a few donuts in the pan together and watch them closely. With a slotted spoon, tip each donut slightly to see if the bottom is golden-brown. When the donuts reach a honey-gold-to-brown color, flip over.
- When the second side is browned, remove donuts from pan and put in bowl of sugar, covering every inch of the donut.
- Store in a container lined with parchment paper.
- Eat by the dozens with no shame.