Brown bobbies bring joy for generations

Brown bobbies still warm from the oven. It’s the perfect treat for a cold, fall day. (photo by Brooke Petersen)

Made popular in the 1920s, brown bobbies were revolutionary donuts because they are greaseless. Traditionally, brown bobbies were baked in a specific machine that made donuts in a triangular shape. It is not required to bake them with the triangular donut maker machine unless you want them to be baked how it was originally.

My great-great-grandmother, Gladys Backland, had created her own recipe and made it many times throughout her life. While I did not know my great-great-grandmother, my great-grandma Lois Heintz recorded the recipe in her recipe box so the family can bake brown bobbies. Heintz just recently turned 100 years old, so she is not able to bake the donuts herself any longer. However, her mother’s recipe is still baked every fall because of her.

2 cups of sugar
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (Or use milk and 1 tbsp. vinegar as a substitute)
1 cup shortening

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together (sugar, flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt).

In a medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients together (eggs, buttermilk, shortening).

Slowly fold the medium bowl into the large bowl. It should look like a paste when mixed correctly.

In either a donut maker machine or a donut baking pan, spray some cooking spray and scoop the batter onto the donut-shaped outlines.

If you are using an oven, preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until you can put a toothpick into the donut without the batter sticking to it.

If you use a donut maker machine, just bake until brown.

If you want to add icing, even though it isn’t normally with it, all you need is:

Icing Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

Just mix them together and drizzle the icing on top of the donuts with a spoon and enjoy.

Edited by LeSha’ Davis, Alijah McCracken