Making the dough is very easy - this recipe uses baking powder to leaven, and I suspect that yeast would get a better result but due to our localised powercut I didn't have time to let it rise.
One of the surprises for me about how donuts are made (though I did learn this a couple of years ago) was that they are rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. I always figured they were shaped like buns, since they seem so bun-like.
It's amazing how they puff up when they cook...
The biggest challenge here was definitely keeping the oil up to temperature - I made sure it was good and hot before I started, using my candy thermometer, but the temperature drops quickly, especially when you're churning the donuts through.
I love cinnamon sugar! I split the donuts 50/50 - half in cinnamon sugar and half in icing sugar (though somehow I missed taking photos of the icing sugar ones). Did I mention I love cinnamon sugar?
Easy Donuts (makes about 16 small or 8 regular donuts)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter, cooled
2 tsp vanilla essence
1.5 L oil, for frying
cinnamon sugar/icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oil to 190 C. Lay our paper towels for draining/blotting.
Mix dry ingredients together. Mix in butter. Lightly beat egg in milk then add wet ingredients, including vanilla. Mix until combined, then turn out onto a well floured surface and roll out. Cut as desired - I used a 7.5cm ring cutter and a 2cm lid to cut the donuts and holes - but improvise; cups can work well for larger donuts. They don't have to be rings, either - we were just being conventional. ;-)
Fry the donuts until golden brown, turning them over midway to cook evenly. Have a test run or two with small bits of dough before progressing to full-size donuts if you're unsure. I overcooked my first few and they were fine hot but got a bit dry when cool.
Toss in cinnamon sugar immediately or wait until cool and toss in powdered sugar. Enjoy!