1/2 cup warm water
5 teaspoons yeast
pinch of sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup oil
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3−4 cups unbleached bread flour (or all−purpose)
oil for frying
granulated sugar for dusting
NOTE: This recipe can also be made in a bread machine on 'dough' cycle.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and a 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, all−purpose flour and most of bread flour (if using) to make a soft dough. Knead 5 to 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook, adding flour as needed to form a firmer smooth and 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 about one hour. Gently deflate dough. If dough is coming out of the refrigerator, allow to warm about 40 minutes before proceeding.
Cut off portions of dough (about the size of a mandarine orange).
Stretch or roll into large, thin oblong shapes and place on waxed paper−lined baking sheet. Prepare all dough this way, layering more paper between the stretched pieces of dough. Cover with a wet towel and let rest 15 minutes. When oil is hot (385 F) fry slabs, one or two at a time. Turn them over as soon as they puff up and fry on other side for a few seconds to complete.
Drain on paper towels. Prepare a bowl with a cup or two of white sugar.
Toss in one at a time and coat well, shaking off excess in the bowl.
You can also serve these with pie toppings or a dollop of strawberry or raspberry jam.