For 'National Doughnut Day,' The Salvation Army's Original Recipe : The Two-Way After you pick up a free doughnut (and maybe donate a little change to the Salvation Army), try out the World War I-era recipe.
NPR logo For 'National Doughnut Day,' The Salvation Army's Original Recipe

For 'National Doughnut Day,' The Salvation Army's Original Recipe

Mmmm. Robert Sullivan. /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Sullivan. /AFP/Getty Images


Robert Sullivan. /AFP/Getty Images

We must note that today is the 73rd National Doughnut Day — a celebration of tasty goodness that honors the work done by the Salvation Army and the "lassies" who made doughnuts for soldiers in World War I and World War II.

If you hit a Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and some local stores, there could be a free doughnut for you (Dunkin Donuts requires a beverage purchase; Krispy Kreme does not). And Salvation Army workers may be on hand to take donations.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army also offers this little bit of doughnut history — the "Salvation Army Lassies' Doughnut Recipe":

Yield: 4 doz. doughnuts

5 C flour
2 C sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 'saltspoon' salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 C milk
1 T lard


— Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
— Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative! Salvation Army doughnut girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.)
— Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts gradually. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
— When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
— Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

[Note: The Salvation Army says a "saltspoon" is 1/4 tsp of salt.]

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET. Women Have A Sweet Tooth, It Seems:

According to Yahoo!, there are quite a few folks searching the phrase "free donut" today, and it estimates that 69 percent of them are women.