What else can wake up kids--even the kid inside you--like fresh doughnuts in the morning? Very little. These small, round doughnuts are covered in cinnamon sugar and have that wonderful taste that was only available in a doughnut shop!
First, combine one envelope (or one scant tablespoon) active dry yeast with 1/2 cup sugar, and one cup warm milk. Be sure the milk is just warm to the touch. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Let sit until foamy.
Meanwhile, mix together 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour with 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Set aside.
Crack and lightly beat 2 large eggs. Set aside.
Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter and then cool.
Add the milk mixture, eggs, and butter into the flour mixture. Fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment.
Beat on medium-low speed for about 3 minutes, until the dough is soft, but not sticky.
Take the dough out of the bowl and knead until smooth and elastic, 3-4 minutes.
This is the dough mixing away:
And here's the dough when it's finished. Remember: soft, but not sticky!
Spray a bowl with pan spray and place the dough in it.
Spray the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap. (If you don't spray the top, the dough will most likely stick to the plastic wrap.) Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free area for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough. Turn out the dough and knead a few times, then roll out to 1/4" thick. Make sure they are thin because they puff quite a bit when you fry them. Cover with a towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Then using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles from the dough. (You can use a smaller cutter, your doughnuts will just be smaller.) Transfer the rounds to a lightly floured surface. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20 minutes. Be sure they are in a warm, draft-free place.
Heat 3- 4 inches of oil in a skillet until it registers 375 degrees on a deep fry thermometer. (I used an electric skillet and filled it about 2/3 of the way full.) Line a tray with paper towels.
While the oil is heating, prepare a bowl of cinnamon sugar. Depending on your taste you will need 3-5 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon. And you probably won't need more than 1- 1 1/2 cups of cinnamon-sugar.
Working in small batches, fry the doughnuts until golden brown. Flip once during frying. Once golden brown on both sides, remove from oil using a slotted spoon. Remove any excess oil by placing on a paper towel, then carefully roll in the cinnamon sugar.
Viola! Doughnuts! Enjoy!
Instead of rolling in cinnamon sugar, try rolling in plain granulated sugar, cool completely. Fill a ziploc bag partway with raspberry or strawberry jam; squeeze the air out and zip shut. Snip a corner of the bag with scissors. Poke a hole to the middle of each doughnut with a knife. Squeeze a small amount of jam into the center of each doughnut. Mmmm...