Hawaiian Doughnuts (Malasadas)

Moderate
Makes 24
Vegetarian
Ingredients: 
  • 1 ⅔ cups flour, sifted, plus extra for kneading
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 7 g packet dry active yeast
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 7 tbsp. half-and-half, lukewarm (about 105°)
  • - cooking spray, plastic wrap and parchment paper
  • - vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • - paper bag and 1/2 cup sugar for coating the warm doughnuts
  • 4 tbsp. apricot jam, lemon curd or jam of choice (optional)
  • - zipper-closure food storage bag (optional)
Instructions: 

In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast and sugar. Make a well in the center of the bowl; quickly mix in butter, egg and warm milk to make a soft dough. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth (7-9 min.). Let rise in a warm place in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, covered with plastic, until doubled in size (1 hr.). Divide dough into 24 evenly sized pieces; shape into smooth balls. Let rise in a warm place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled (45 min.). Heat 1 ½" of oil in a deep pot to 350°. Carefully lower doughnuts into oil using a slotted spoon, 4-6 at a time; fry until golden and cooked throughout (about 30 sec. per side). Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. While warm, shake doughnuts in a bag of sugar. If desired, spoon jam into bottom corner of storage bag; snip corner. Using kitchen shears, cut a deep "X" slit in the top of each doughnut; squeeze a little jam inside. Best eaten immediately.