1/2 cup warm water (105- 115 F)
2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
canola oil, for frying the donuts
sugar, for rolling the fried donuts
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy.
Add the remaining sugar, milk, butter, egg and salt.
Start to add the flour gradually while stirring, adding only enough just until the dough gathers in the center of the bowl.
Turn the dough over onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. To knead, use your palms to push the dough down and away from you, then fold it inwards. Push out the dough again then fold. Repeat until the dough is adequately kneaded. New to kneading? Check out How to How to Knead bread Dough with Video.
Shape the kneaded dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it rise for 1 and 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
After rising, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. On a floured board, roll out one portion until it is 1/4 inch thick. Use a donut cutter that is 3 inches in diameter to cut out as many donuts ( and holes) as you can from the dough. Place cut-out donuts, together with the holes on individual pre-cut parchment papers, and set them on a large tray or plate. Fold the scrap and re-roll, then cut out more donuts as possible. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
On a medium, heavy-bottomed pan, heat about 2-3 inches of oil to 375 F. Carefully lower a few donuts at a time into the oil, peeling them off from the parchment paper before cooking. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Then cook on the other side for 1 minute or less, until golden. Drain fried donuts on a wire rack set over a large tray, or on paper towels.
If you are glazing or dipping the donuts, allow them to cool first. If you wish to roll them in sugar and/or cinnamon, roll them while they are still moderately hot.