Butter, milk, and half & half give these Portuguese-style donuts their distinctive richness and luscious texture.
- 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1⁄2 cup half & half
- 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 cups bread flour (1 lb. 2 oz.), sifted
- Canola oil, for frying
Combine yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, and 2 tbsp. water heated to 115° in a bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes; set aside. Beat eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Add yeast mixture, 1⁄2 cup sugar, butter, milk, half & half, and salt; mix until combined. With the motor running, slowly add flour; beat until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12″ square about 1⁄2″ thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 3″ squares; gather and reuse scraps. Place on greased parchment paper-lined baking sheets, at least 3″ apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Place remaining sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Heat 2″ oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Using scissors, cut the donuts out of the parchment paper, leaving about 1″ of paper around the sides of each donut (the paper makes it easier to transfer them to frying oil). Working in batches, place donuts in oil, paper side up, using tongs to peel off and discard paper. Cook, flipping once until puffed and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet with a wire rack; let cool completely, then toss with sugar.