Grammy Peg made these delicious fried treats at the start of Lent. Seeing my Aunt Pat and Uncle Jim pull in the driveway with a brown, oil stained paper bag was almost more than we could stand. We knew inside that bag was a treat we waited for all year. Sweet, with thin, crispy bubbles, wrapped in a donut -like pastry, oh we so enjoyed them. Wonderful memories of a wonderful woman...
It takes all day to make these, but worth it. So invite a friend or two over to help and keep the coffee pot going.
Add yeast to warm potato water--when yeast is dissolved, add sugar and four cups of flour. Let rise until double in bulk.
Add rest of ingredients and then the remaining flour, gradually working it all into batter until thick but not sticky. Let rise until double, knead, rise a second time, knead.
Using melted lard, grease hands and pinch off rounds of dough about 2 inches in diameter and shape like round buns. Place on a lint-free cloth, cover and let them rise again.
Shape by pulling the dough from the center outward until about 4 inches in diameter. The keuchel should be flat in the center and round around the sides, something like a donut except these have a thin membrane of dough in the center.
Place in hot lard until lightly browned. Flip over to brown other side. Important to turn only ONCE.
Drain on absorbent paper ( Gramma always used brown paper bags)