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Little Doughnuts

Updated February 23, 2016
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You find recipes for fried dough in many cultures—in Germany, it's krapfen, in Spain, churros—and I know why: Fried dough is deliciously crispy, not too sweet, and best while still warm. The Italian version, bomboloncini, are especially popular at the Tuscan seaside, where you can buy them from stands along the road. I'm a purist and like them plain, but lots of my friends like slicing their bomboloncini open and spreading them with pastry cream and chocolate sauce or a smear of marmalade.

WINE SUGGESTION: The first time I made these doughnuts, I drank with them the sparkly Piedmont rosé Brachetto d'Aqui Braeda, made by my friend, Raffaella Bologna. I've yet to find a better combination, so look for something similar.

Cooking Methodfrying

CostInexpensive

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert, snack

Dietary Considerationdessert, snack

Equipmentdeep fryer, electric mixer

Mealdinner, kid snack, snack

Moodblue

Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, sweet

Type of Dishdessert

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar, plus more for dusting all the doughnuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2½ tablespoons warm milk
  • 2½ tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1½ quarts vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Instructions

In a large bowl combine ½ teaspoon of the dry yeast with ½ cup lukewarm water. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast foams, then stir in 2½ cups of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place for at least 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine the remaining 2½ cups flour, sugar, salt, and the remaining ½ teaspoon yeast. Stir to combine well.

Using the paddle attachment on slow speed, beat in the warm milk and melted butter. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until the dough is smooth and homogeneous. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Using the electric mixer, combine the two doughs into one. Break off a piece of dough about the size of a softball and roll it out ¼-inch thick on a clean, floured work surface. Cut out doughnut rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter. Place the rounds on a baking sheet with plenty of room in between, about 15 per sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been cut. Let the rounds rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes, or until they have tripled in size.

Pour enough vegetable oil into a deep fryer or stockpot to measure at least 3 inches. Heat to 325° F on a deep-fat thermometer. Fry the doughnuts in batches, about 5 to 10 minutes per batch, until they are golden brown and very puffy. Drain on paper towels and keep in a warm place until all doughnuts are cooked. Toss the doughnuts in sugar while still warm and serve.

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