My grandmother makes doughnuts every year on Fat Tuesday. I routinely eat a dozen. Luckily, Fat Tuesday is only once a year, and they’re too much trouble for me to make very often. They’re really not that much trouble – it just takes some time to fry them. I made the dough last night and let it rise in the refrigerator. I made some with cinnamon sugar this time, but nothing beats plain powdered sugar as far as I’m concerned.
They’re only good the day you make them, and this recipe makes a lot, so invite your friends. I don’t know many people that won’t make a special trip for fresh homemade doughnuts.
Grandma’s Yeast Doughnuts
Mix together 2 c lukewarm milk, 1/2 c sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Stir in yeast mixture.
Add 2 eggs, slightly beaten, 1/2 c vegetable oil, and 7-8 c flour. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. If using an electric mixer, divide the dough in half and knead half at a time. Put dough in a large, oiled bowl, and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until double, 1-2 hours. Or, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll out one piece at a time to about 1/4″ thick. Cut out doughnuts using a sharp cookie cutter. Lay on a sheet pan, cover with a towel, and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
Heat 3-4″ of vegetable oil in a large dutch oven to about 350°. You may need to adjust the temperature as you’re frying. Test the oil with a scrap of dough. The oil should sizzle gently when you add the dough, and the dough should float quickly to the surface. Add 3-4 doughnuts at a time – don’t crowd the pan. Cook 30 seconds-1 minutes until lightly browned. Flip, cook other side, and drain on paper towels.
*The doughnuts go from golden to nearly burnt very quickly. Turn down the temperature if they brown too quickly, and don’t add more than you can quickly remove. I use a 2 pronged meat serving fork to flip and remove.
Add 1 c powdered sugar, or 1 c superfine sugar and 2 T cinnamon to a large paper bag. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, add several at a time to the bag and shake to coat. Remove and lay on clean paper towels. Lay another paper towel over the doughnuts – don’t cover them tightly or with plastic.