Simple Sugar Donut - this easy dough is made with flour, milk, yeast, and sugar, then the donuts are fried and dredged in sugar. Very simple, but creates an indulgent little treat!
Proof yeast: Stir 2 tbsp warm water, 1/2 tsp sugar & 2 1/2tsp active dry yeast in a tall glass. Leave to rise for 5-10 minutes or until doubled in volume and foamy. If it does not rise and foam up, discard the yeast and buy a fresh batch of yeast before you proceed with the recipe.
Make donut dough: Mix together 3 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup warm milk, 2 oz room temperature butter, 3 yolks, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the proofed yeast mixture in mixer on low speed, with the dough hook attachment until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Slightly increase the speed and knead for another 15-20 minutes or until the dough is tacky to touch. If you continue kneading past the point of smooth and stretchy dough, the dough will overknead and make doughy donuts, so keep a close eye on the dough.
Shape donut dough: Pick up the dough, form it into a ball. Butter a large bowl (for proofing), place the dough ball back in the greased bowl, then grease the dough ball itself to prevent it from forming a crust.
Proof: Cover with a clean kitchen towel, place in a warm draft-free place and allow to rise for 1-2 hours (depending on how warm it is) until at least doubled in volume.
Cut out 5"x5" squares of parchment or wax paper.
Punch down the dough, turn it out onto the greased surface (can use nonstick spray) and roll it to ½ inches thickness. Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 3 inch round cookie cutter and place 1 dough disk on 1 piece of prepared parchment paper. Keep re-rolling and cutting out as many donut disks as you can until all donut dough is used up.
Cover cut out doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 min to 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Heat 1½ inches oil in a heavy pot (cast iron) to 350F. To fry donuts, drop several of them at a time and allow to become golden before turning to the other side, about 1-2 minutes per side.
Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, roll them in granulated sugar or powdered sugar.
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