"Doughnuts. Is there anything they can't do?"
These take a few hours, and require your attention, but if you are ready to take on the challenge, frying and all, then this are a great doughnut recipe. My suggestion is to make the full recipe if you are having a bunch of friends over - as this yields a large amount. If you happen to be doing this for just a few (two) people, cut this in half. (I did). They won't keep for long, so it's best to fry 'em up and eat 'em warm.
From Cook With Jamie
1 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast
1/3 cup super fine sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups plus 2 TBLS whole milk (warmed until tepid)
zest of 2 lemons
zest of 1 orange
5 1/2 TBLS butter, softened and cubed
1 3/4 pints vegetable oil
For flavored sugar:
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp all-spice
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean, scored lengthwise, seeds removed
Put the yeast in a bowl with a TBLS of sugar and a TBLS of flour and mix in the warm milk. Put in a warm spot until mixture is frothy.
Put the rest of the sugar, flour, butter and zest into a bowl and add add yeast mixture. Bring together with a spoon and form a ball. Use your clean hands to form a nice ball and knead dough for about 5 minutes, or until soft and silky.
Place ball into a bowl, and place a damp towel over it and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the flavored sugar by mixing all ingredients in a bowl and set it aside.
When the dough had doubled in size, knock it back by pushing or punching the air out of the dough. This will allow the dough to rise again and the doughnuts will be light and fluffy.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
Cutout about 25 little holes with a glass rim or cookie cutter- about 2" in diameter. Place on greased cookie sheet and place damp cloth on top and allow to double in size, about 45 minutes.
Once they have doubled in size, use a chop stick to pop into the middle of each blob to form a hole.
Time to fry - BE CAREFUL!!! Heat oil in a deep, heavy sauce pan. Check oil temp by dropping a small piece of left over dough into the oil. If it drops and pops back up right away and turns golden after about 1 minute, the oil is hot enough.
Fry doughnuts in batches, about 2 minutes, removing them with a slotted spoon, and setting on paper napkins to drain.
While still hot, dust with flavored sugar and eat warm.