Saturday, February 12, 2011

Doughnuts (Donats)

Doughnuts are my all the time favorite naughty snack. There's nothing that beats home made doughnuts eaten warm with a glass of milk as a late night snack. This is a very simple recipe that makes the most amazing fluffy and light doughnuts.

Makes about 2 dozens

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (a little bit more to flour the surface)
1 pack of dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups warmed milk
zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
vegetable oil to fry

Place the yeast in a bowl with a tablespoon of the sugar and a tablespoon of the flour and add the warm milk and mix well. Let sit in a warm place for 15 minutes until it becomes frothy.

In a separate bowl put the rest of the sugar, flour, lemon zest and butter. Add the yeast mix and bring together with the help of a spoon. Work the dough with your hands until forming a ball. If it is to sticky add more flour. Knead  the dough on a clean and floured surface until smooth about 5-8 minutes. Place the ball in a bowl sprayed with oil and cover with a clean cloth or kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place (oven with the light on) for about one hour.

When the dough has doubled in size, place it on a floured surface and give it a bit of a punch to knock out some of the air. Roll the dough to a 1/2 inch thickness  and using a 2 inches diameter cookie cutter or small glass cut about 24 circles and place them in a greased baking sheet to rise again, make sure you leave enough room between each one to allow to rise. Cover with a cloth or towel and let rise for 45 minutes, this way your doughnuts will be fluffy and light.

After the 45 minutes they must have double the size again. Heat the oil in a large deep sauce pan or a fryer to 350 F. With the help of a chopstick make a little hole in the center of each circle and fry in batches placing them carefully in the hot oil for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Drain them in paper towel and while still hot coat them in sugar. Serve warm.

You can flavor the sugar to your taste. For example adding: ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, orange zest, etc.