Recipe courtesy of Barbara Bensoussan
2 packages dry yeast (about 4 ½ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
7 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Dissolve yeast and sugar in the water in a large bowl. When yeast begins to foam, add the salt and flour and knead gently to form a very light, soft dough. (If dough is too wet, add more flour; if too dry, add a little more water.) Cover and let rise for two hours.
Heat two inches of oil in a large frying pan (to about 375 degrees–you can use a candy thermometer to check). Without punching down the dough, pull off small balls of dough, make a generous hole in the center (the surrounding dough will rise and fill in fast during frying). Let rise another 15 minutes and fry in the hot oil (turn doughnuts over when bottom becomes golden). Drain on paper towels; dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with assorted jams and honey.