a large bowl whisk together 2 1/4 cups
(295 grams) flour and the yeast. Add the butter and, with a pastry blender or
your fingertips, cut or rub the butter into the flour mixture until you have
coarse crumbs. Stir in the sugar and salt.
Make a well in the
center of the flour mixture and add the lukewarm milk and lightly beaten egg and
stir until you have a ball of dough. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if
necessary. Then transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until
the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic (about five minutes). Shape the dough into a
ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl, turning once. Cover the
bowl with plastic wrap and let
rise in a warm place until doubled (approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours).
Then place the dough on a lightly floured
surface, and gently punch the dough to release the
air. With a lightly floured rolling pin,
the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch (1 cm). Cut the dough into about 2
1/2 - 3
inch (6-7 cm) circles, using a lightly floured doughnut cutter or cookie cutter
(will need a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the center "hole"). Place the doughnuts
on a lightly floured baking sheet, lined with parchment or wax paper.
Gather up the scraps, roll, and cut out remaining doughnuts. You can keep the
donut holes to fry separately, if you like. Loosely cover the doughnuts with
plastic wrap (lightly butter or spray the plastic wrap with a non stick
vegetable spray so the doughnuts won't stick) and let rise in a warm place until
almost doubled (about 30-60 minutes).
Clip a candy thermometer to the
inside of a large, deep, heavy bottomed saucepan (Dutch oven), and at
medium-high heat, bring about 2 inches (5 cm) of oil (canola, vegetable, peanut, or
corn) to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Carefully place the doughnuts into the
hot oil, about 2 to 3 at a time (do not over crowd). Fry each side until golden
brown, about 45-60 seconds per side. The doughnut holes will only take about 30
seconds per side. Carefully remove the doughnuts from the hot fat with the end
of a wooden spoon, tongs, slotted spoon, bamboo chopstick, or Chinese skimmer.
Place on a baking sheet lined with clean paper towels. After a minute, roll the doughnuts in
the sugar. Let the oil return to 375
degrees F (190 degrees C) before adding more doughnuts. These doughnuts are best freshly made.
Makes about 8 - 3 inch
doughnuts and 8 doughnut holes.(The recipe can be doubled.)