1/2 cup warm water
5 teaspoons dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup oil
4 1/4 - 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
oil for frying
granulated sugar for dusting
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and
of sugar. Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to
swell or dissolve.
Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most
of flour to make soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with
a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth,
elastic dough. Place in a greased bowl.
Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If not using right away,
refrigerate the dough at this point). Let rise in a covered,
lightly greased bowl, about 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate dough,
(if dough is coming out of the fridge, allow to warm up about 40
minutes before proceeding).
Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out into an
oval and let
rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the
Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer (a wok works best but you
can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying).
Temperature of the oil should be about 385 F. Test by tossing in
a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells
immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should
Stretch the ovals into a tail - thinning them out and enlarging
them as you do. Add the dough to the hot oil, about 1-2
at a time.
Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift
out with tongs and drain on paper towels.
Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar . Toss donuts in
sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess.
You can also top off donuts with whatever preserves, pie
fillings or even just powdered sugar.