These fluffy fried doughnuts are lightly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside with a little punch of jam in the middle. They’re a celebration of the oil and all things deliciously deep-fried.
1 package (1 tablespoon) instant dry yeast
4 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm milk or warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, room temperature, separated
2 tablespoons softened preserves, your choice
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, two tablespoons of sugar, and the lukewarm milk and stir to combine. Allow sitting for 10 minutes, keeping your eye on it to make sure it froths and bubbles.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, and salt, then add the lemon zest. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add egg yolks and flour mixture. Attach the dough hook to the machine and mix the dough until it forms a ball. Add the softened butter and continue to mix until the butter is well absorbed.
Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about one to one and a half hours. Or cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of one inch (if you refrigerated your dough, let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before rolling to reactivate the yeast). Using a two-inch cutter, or any other cup or glass of the same size cut out the dough into 24 rounds. Place each round about half an inch apart on a tray and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes until they’ve puffed up.
Heat two inches of vegetable oil in a medium pot on medium-medium-high heat. You don’t want this too hot, about 350-375° F. Fry until lightly golden brown on one side, then flip to do the same on the other side. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Fill a piping bag or gun with half a cup of preserves. Using a knife, pierce the side of each doughnut. Fill with about one teaspoon of preserves, then roll doughnuts in sugar. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. Serve and enjoy!