Not too sweet, not too rich, stretched and briefly fried, all you need is to dust them with a bit of sugar and a touch of cinnamon. These are even easier than jelly doughnuts and just as welcome.
- ½ cup warm water -
- 5 tsp instant yeast -
- 1 cup warm water or milk -
- 1/3 cup sugar -
- 1½ teaspoons salt -
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract -
- 2 eggs -
- 1/3 cup oil -
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour -
- Oil for frying -
- Sugar for dusting, cinnamon -
1. In a large mixer bowl, stir together the yeast and the 1/2 cup of warm water or milk and allow the mixture to stand a few minutes, allowing the yeast to swell or dissolve.
2. Stir in the 1 cup of water or milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, oil and most of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough.
3. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Place the bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If you are not using it right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point.) Let the dough rise for about 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate the dough. (If it is coming out of the fridge, allow it to warm up for about 40 minutes before proceeding).
4. Pinch off a golf ball-sized piece of dough. Roll it out into an oval and let it rest, covered with a tea towel. Repeat with the remainder of the dough.
5. Heat about four inches of oil in a fryer (a wok works best but you can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying) to about 375F. (I toss in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be.)
6. Stretch the ovals into a rope, thinning them out and enlarging them. Then add them to the hot oil, one to two at a time. Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift the ropes out with tongs and drain them on paper towels.
7. Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar. Toss in the sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off the excess.