Bomboloni. Little Italian doughnuts. Don't you love the name? It's fun to say. And they are fun to make. The dough is not hard and they take about 30 seconds to cook. It's fun to watch them turn from flat discs into little puffs as they fry. And they are so delicious made fresh (they're great the next day, too). Sometimes these are made with a stuffing of jam. Del Posto, Mario Batali's New York restaurant, has served these stuffed with an orange vanilla custard. These, however, are just plain and really good with some coffee.
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3 packages rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar for coating combined with
1 tsp. cinnamon
canola oil (4-5 cups) for frying
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the yeast, water, sugar, egg, butter, milk and salt. Slowly add in the flour. You may use as little as 3 cups or as much as four. Just add in enough flour until the dough is no longer super sticky.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many rounds as possible (don't use leftover scraps). Place on floured baking sheets and let rise again until doubled, about 10 minutes.
Put the 1 cup of sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside.
In a large, heavy pot over high heat, pour in oil. Heat to about 350 degrees on a thermometer. Add a few of the bomboloni and fry, turning once, until golden. (This only takes about 30-40 seconds). Transfer to paper towels to drain. While still warm, toss in the sugar to coat thoroughly. Repeat with remaining dough.
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