Yield: Makes about 16 doughnuts
Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 3 hrs
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
About 10 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Confectioners sugar for dusting
*Eat these the same day you fry them, or they'll just taste like sugared bread and not crispy donuts*
Bring milk to a simmer in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in granulated sugar and salt. Cool milk to lukewarm (about 90 degrees F). Once milk is cool, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl, stirring until creamy, then let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn't foam, discard and start over with fresh yeast.) Pour milk mixture into a large bowl (I used my stand mixer) and add 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons oil, eggs, and yeast mixture. It will make a very soft dough. If necessary add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer dough to another large bowl and sprinkle lightly with additional flour, then cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and roll out with a floured rolling pin until 1/2 inch thick. Cut our donuts using whatever shape you're looking for. I used a shotglass to make donut-holes. Cover doughnuts with another kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. While doughnuts rise, heat 3 inches oil (about 10 cups) in a deep 4-quart pot until it registers 375 degrees F on thermometer. Fry four at a time, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer as cooked to paper towels to drain. Serve warm, dusted with confectioners sugar. You could also use an icing bag to fill them with jam of your choice.