"That night was Saturday night. All day long Mother had been baking, and when Almanzo went into the kitchen for the milkpails, she was still frying doughnuts. The place was full of their hot, brown smell...."
2 lb. lard
1t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
2 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
a shaker full of powdered sugar
Melt lard in kettle over low heat. Beat egg, baking soda, and salt into the sour cream in the bowl. Beat in 1 cup of the flour until well mixed. Continue to work in flour, 1/4 c. at a time, until you have a dough that can be rolled. Roll the dough in a strip about 4 x 16 x 1/4". With a floured knife cut into 4" strips about 5/8" wide.
Heat lard to 375 degrees. Twist a strip like a corkscrew (it will stretch as you d0); bring ends together and pinch them. Drop twisted dough in hot fat. In two minutes the dough should be brown on both sides, crisp and cooked through. If browning takes less time, the fat is too hot; if it takes more than three minutes, the fat is not hot enough.
Remove cooked doughnut to brown paper to drain and coat it with powdered sugar. Continue twisting and cooking the remaining dough strips. Serve the doughnuts immediately.