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Makes 12 to 16.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

Doughboys are fried bread dough, usually dusted with granulated sugar or powdered (confectioners’) sugar before serving. The name Doughboys is typically found only in Rhode Island, but they are known throughout the world by different names. Some people call them fry bread. They are like doughnuts—simple, sweet, delicious, and not the healthiest food you might eat.


1 cup (240ml) warm water (about 110°F / 43°C)
1 package yeast (or 1 scant tablespoon), instant or active dry
1 teaspoon sugar
Optional: 1 to 5 additional tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter, canola oil, or similar fat
2 cups (10 ounces / 280g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for frying — about 1 cup (240ml)
Confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar for dusting
Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon


In a large bowl, mix the warm water and yeast. Add the sugar (or the optional 1 to 5 tablespoons sugar for sweet doughboys), about half the flour, and melted butter. (The butter shouldn’t be hot, which would kill the yeast; just melted and warm.) Mix well. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast.

Add the remaining flour with the salt. Stir to make a dough. Add more flour, a little at a time, if necessary to make a soft dough that is slightly sticky. You might need more than 2 cups total.

Transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft, moist, and slightly sticky.

Use immediately, or place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flat round, lightly dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Cut each round into six or eight pieces.

Heat the oil to about 375°F (190°C) in a large, heavy skillet. Fry dough boys quickly until lightly browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Adjust the flame to maintain the oil temperature at 375°.

Transfer the cooked doughboys to a plate lined with paper towels. When drained, sprinkle with sugar for serving. Optional: You can combine the sugar with a little cinnamon before dusting the doughboys.

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