National Donut Day: Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme and others are giving away free donuts today

Today is National Donut Day, and to celebrate a number of donut shops are offering up free donut deals.

The "holiday" is always celebrated on the first Friday in June.

All Krispy Kreme stores are offering customers one free donut of any variety.

Participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants are giving away one free donut with any beverage purchase.

National Donut Day was established by the Chicago Salvation Army in 1938 to raise money for the Great Depression and commemorate the work of Salvation Army volunteers who helped feed soldiers during the First World War.

To celebrate the day, Entenmann's Bakery will donate $1 to The Salvation Army, up to $25,000, for every person who "likes" the Entenmann's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Entenmanns .

Entenmann's will also give some lucky winners with free donuts for a year and additional prizes through their Facebook page.

During World War I, Salvation Army "lassies" traveled to the front lines in Europe making home cooked foods, including doughnuts for troops. They were the only women outside of military personnel allowed to visit the front lines.

The "lassies" often put cooked the doughnuts in oil using soldiers' metal helmets.

On the Salvation Army's website, the organization posted the following original doughnut recipe used by "lassies" during World War:

Salvation Army Lassies' Doughnut Recipe

Yield: 4 dozen doughnuts

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ‘saltspoon' of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon lard

Directions:

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.

To learn more about National Donut Day, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org/donut .

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