3 teaspoons dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
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1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or rum flavoring or 2 teaspoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 cups (about) all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 1/2 cups jam, preserves, cooked prunes or poppy seed filling
Makes 18 large doughnuts.
Sprinkle yeast over warm milk and let it proof for 5 minutes. Place milk mixture, butter, sugar, egg and yolks, salt, flavoring, nutmeg and flour in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat until dough begins to ball onto the hook. (Or stir ingredients to incorporate and knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes.) Allow to rise, covered with a clean towel or greased plastic wrap, until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and roll out on a floured surface to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch rounds. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of half the rounds. Brush edges with water and top each with a remaining round. Seal well. Cover loosely and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.
Pour 5 or 6 inches of vegetable oil into a deep, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees. Taking care not to crowd, fry a few doughnuts at a time until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
Cooking these is tricky. Make sure you keep the oil at a steady temperature. If you have a tool for filling doughnuts, it's simpler to fry the dough "sandwiches" unfilled, allow them to cool, then inject the filling.
Nutritional information per doughnut (excluding cooking oil): 221 calories (29 percent from fat), 7.2 g fat 4 g saturated, 1.9 g monounsaturated), 62.2 mg cholesterol, 5.4 g protein, 33.4 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 147.5 mg sodium.
Write to Linda Cicero at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla. 33132. Questions of general interest are answered in the column.