I rather have some fritters or doughnuts instead of the usual birthday cake. I love this ones, typical from Sardinia island....this is my mum's recipe but I converted it to use my sourdough starter instead of the active yeast. I've never made them so tasty, puffy and soft....there are really no words to describe them....just amazing! In Sardinia they are called " Parafrittusu" or Fatti Fritti...you got to try them.
SARDINIAN FRIED DOUGHNUTS
200g stoneground flour
250g very strong flour
200g semi skimmed milk
100g liquid levain starter (100% hydration)
50g natural brown sugar
Seeds of a vanilla pod or vanilla essence
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 liquor glass of limoncello
Caster sugar to dust
In the mixer bowl, using the flat beater, dissolve the levain starter with the milk. Add some flour, just enough to form a soft dough until it comes off the sides of the bowl.
Mix on low speed, add 1 egg and and immediately after 1/3 of the sugar and flour. When all the ingredients are incorporated add 1/3 of sugar, more flour and knead . Finally add the orange juice, limoncello, the citrus zest, vanilla essence, salt and the remaining sugar and flour. Knead well all the ingredients until well combined on a medium-low speed until you have a smooth dough and it comes off the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the lard at room temperature in pieces, a bit at the time. Make sure the first dose is well combined before adding more lard. Knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic and you reach windowpane stage. Transfer dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rise until tripled in size.
Divide the dough into equal pieces (about 20), shape each piece into a doughnut, place them into a well floured surface, cover and allow to rise for 1h and 30 mins until doubled in size. Meanwhile heat te oil until it reaches the temperature of 170ºC and fry doughnuts in a large and tall saucepan 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to sit on kitchen paper to drain off the excess of oil.
Dust and cover the doughnuts with caster sugar and enjoy!