Liberian Yeast Doughnuts Recipe

I used to make and deliver yeast doughnuts to offices for early morning breakfast when I lived in Liberia. They are great tasting and will keep you full until lunch.

You Will Need

3/4 C warm water
2 C milk (scalded and then cooled)
2 packages active dry yeast
10 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs cooking oil
1 egg
1 Tbs salt
7 1/2 to 8 C all-purpose flour (not self-rising)

cooking oil for frying
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar

Make your Dough and Allow to Rise

Bring your milk just to a boil in a sauce pan. Remove from the stove and cool.

Stir the yeast in the warm water until dissolved.Your water temperature should be warm to your wrist.

Hand-stir in sugar until completely dissolved. Add the warm milk. Beat in salt, oil, egg, and 3 1/2 cups of the flour until smooth. Stir in additional flour slowly just until dough is easy to handle and not sticking to your hands.

Lightly flour a table or other surface. Empty the dough onto the floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This should take about five minutes.

Grease a bowl and place dough in it. Place the bowl in a warm spot and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until double. Punch dough down and you are ready to shape into doughnuts. Watch a video to see how to roll doughnuts:

Shape your Yeast Doughnuts into Twists

Transfer dough on to a greased surface like a counter top or table. Use a knife to cut dough into pieces about the size of 1/2 C. Roll the dough between your palms into a long cylinder shape about 1/3 inch in diameter.

Grab the piece of dough in the middle with the index finger and thumb of one hand. Use two fingers of other hand to grab one end of the dough. Spin it around into a braid.

Place the doughnut on a greased surface. I use a cookie sheet. Repeat with rest of dough, allowing about an inch of space between doughnuts to allow for rising.

Let rise in a warm place until double (30 to 40 minutes).

Fry your Yeast Doughnuts

Put some cooking oil in a frying pan up to 1 inch. Heat the oil on medium.

Test-fry one doughnut by placing in the hot oil. Reduce heat to medium low and alternate between medium and medium-low while cooking. See tips below.

Fry doughnuts until golden brown, flip, and then remove from oil as each side is ready. Be careful not to over fry. They should be light and golden brown.

Place doughnuts on paper towels to remove the excess oil.

Watch a short video here about frying doughnuts.

Sugar and Cinnamon

Place about 1 to 1 1/2 C of sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle in about 2 tsp ground cinnamon if desired and mix well. Put as much cinnamon as you like. I just use a little to give it some flavor.

Roll doughnuts in the sugar and your yeast doughnuts are ready to enjoy.

Try them with some fruit for breakfast.

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Do not add too much flour or your doughnuts will be tough.

Make sure your water temperature is not too hot. Too much heat will kill the yeast and if it’s too cold, the yeast will not rise.

If your house is cold, especially in the winter, you can create a warm space by heating your oven at 200 degrees for five minutes. Then turn the oven off and place the pan with dough in the warm oven.

Dough has risen enough and is ready if you poke it with your finger and the indentation remains.

If you want, you can make your dough ahead of time. Store it in the fridge, sealed in a greased bowl for up to three days.

Test-fry one doughnut first to figure out how high your stove needs. Your stove is too high if dark brown and too low if they takes so long to fry that it soaks up too much oil.

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