I found this incredible doughnut recipe in a wonderful cookbook my dad gave to me, called, “Tuscany The Beautiful CookBook” by Lorenza De’ Medici. The picture of these doughnuts were so mouthwatering I had to give them a try adding my own twist with a cinnamon sugar coating! You definitely need a little extra time to make these, but if you find yourself in a baking mood on a lazy Sunday these are the perfect treat to make your family and friends!
1 cup lukewarm water
2 packets active dry yeast
3 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
Zest of one lemon
¼ tsp. salt
5 cups extra virgin olive oil
Cinnamon sugar coating:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
Fill a small bowl with the lukewarm water, add the packets of yeast to the water and let the mixture stand about 10 minutes, yeast will dissolve and become foamy.
Heap the flour onto a clean dry work surface and create a well in the center of the flour. Pour the dissolved yeast mixture into the center of the well along with the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt.
With a fork, gradually work in the flour into the liquid until all of it has been absorbed. On a lightly floured work surface knead the dough until it becomes elastic and smooth to the touch, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl lightly coated in olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.
Once dough has risen, lightly flour a baking sheet and set aside. On a floured work surface, punch down the expanded dough ball and divide it into 18 ovals about the size of an egg. Flatten them until they are about ½ thick. Place the doughnuts on the floured baking sheet and let them rise until they double in size, about 30 minutes.
In a deep heavy skillet( I use my Dutch oven) heat olive oil to 350 degrees. I like to use a candy thermometer so that I know the temptaure of the oil at all times.
In a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
A few at a time, place the doughnuts into the hot oil ad fry until golden brown, about 1.5 minutes per side, 3 minutes total. With a slotted metal spoon, remove doughnuts and transfer them to a plate covered with paper towels to drain excess oil. Continue this until all doughnuts hair been fried.
Transfer doughnuts one at a time into the bowl of cinnamon sugar, toss until doughnuts are completely coated. Serve immediately!