- Place water, milk, yeast and 1 tsp. of the sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let stand five minutes to dissolve the yeast. Now mix in 2 Tbsp. sugar, butter, egg and vanilla.
- Add 2 1/4 cups of flour and mix until smooth, somewhat sticky dough forms. Add a bit more flour if dough is overly wet. Mix and knead dough 5 minutes.
- Lightly oil a bowl large enough to hold the dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Set dough in the bowl, cover and set in a warmish room temperature until about double in size, about 75 minutes.
- Turn dough back onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into 8 even pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a thin beaver tail shape that’s about 8” long and 4” wide. If desired, you could now also use a paring knife to mark a shallow, crisscross pattern into the top of each piece of dough.
- Set rolled dough in a single layer on your work surface, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in a wide, shallow dish.
- Place 2” of oil in a wide pot and set over medium to medium-high heat. Warm oil to 350˚F, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain that temperature. Fry the pieces of dough, 2 at a time, for 30 to 60 seconds per side, until cooked through and rich golden brown. Drain them well and immediately coat in the cinnamon sugar. Repeat these steps with remaining pieces of dough.
Note: You can warm the milk in the microwave in a small pot on the stove.
Recipe Options: Instead of coating the pastry with cinnamon and sugar, try topping them in some in other sweet way. Some of the many possibilities include chocolate sauce and raspberries; maple syrup and toasted walnuts; pitted cherries, sweetened whipped cream and almonds; Nutella and banana; and strawberry jam.