unbleached all-purpose flour
( for frying)
( for dusting)
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar.
- Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.
- Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt, and most of flour to make soft dough.
- Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough.
- Place in a greased bowl. Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point).
- Let rise in a covered, lightly greased bowl; about 30-40 minutes.
- Gently deflate dough. (If dough is coming out of the fridge, allow to warm up for about 40 minutes before proceeding).
- Pinch off a golfball-sized piece of dough. Roll out into an oval and let rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining dough.
- Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer (a wok works best, but you can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying). Temperature of the oil should be about 385°F.
- Add the dough pieces to the hot oil, about 1-2 at a time.
- BUT -- before you do, stretch the ovals into a tail shape, like a beaver's tail - thinning them out and enlarging them as you do.
- Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown.
- Lift the tails out with tongs and drain on paper towels.
- Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar.
- Toss the tails in sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess.
- Divine with a bit of jam or apple pie filling!