These should make a nice addition to your holiday tables, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah.
3 packages dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees) plus scant 1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
4 large eggs, beaten
about 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
canola or corn oil for frying
jam (any flavour)
Stir yeast into 1/2 cup warm water in a very large (at least 6-quart) bowl. Stir in 1 tsp. of the sugar and set aside until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir
in scant 1 cup warm water, salt, oil, remaining sugar and eggs. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix. Gradually knead in remaining flour in the bowl until dough
is spongy and elastic, but still feels slightly tacky. Remove dough and oil the sides of the bowl – no need to wash it. Turn dough to coat it all over
with oil and return it to the bowl. Loosely cover dough with plastic wrap.
Preheat oven to the lowest setting and turn it off. Let the dough rise in the oven until it nearly reaches the top of bowl, about 2 hours.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured board 1/4-in. thick. Cut with a 3-in. biscuit cutter or glass into rounds. Place the rounds, uncovered, on a baking
sheet and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in an electric frying pan, deep fryer, or large, heavy skillet to 365. Dip your fingers in flour and lift a round of dough. Holding the round with
both thumbs and forefingers, poke your two middle fingers back and forth in the middle underside of the dough to stretch it quite thin without tearing
it. This will be the depression for the jam.
Quickly drop each round into the hot oil, depression side down, a few at a time, without crowding, and cover the pot for about 30 seconds or until golden
brown but not dark. Quickly turn them, cover the pot, and fry until the other side is golden brown. Drain the doughnuts on both sides on paper towels.
Repeat with the remaining rounds of dough. Fill the depressions with jam and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Best when eaten warm. They don’t keep well,
but no matter. You won’t have leftovers. Makes about 31/2 dozen.