Doris Spacer's Filos (Portuguese Doughnuts)

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes rising time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 16 to 20 doughnuts
Share This Recipe


1 package rapid rise yeast

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for tossing

1 teaspoon lemon extract 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

3/4 cup scalded milk 

1 stick butter

4 eggs 

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Canola oil, enough to fry 


  1. Place the yeast, 1/4 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into a small bowl and let sit until it grows a foamy head, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, yeast mixture, lemon extract and salt. Pour the scalded milk over the sugar until it melts. Melt the butter and set aside. Beat the eggs and add to the sugar and milk mixture and whisk constantly. Add the butter. Slowly add in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until a dough forms. Pour out the dough onto a floured board, cover it with flour and let it rest 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Put the dough into a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then a clean dishtowel on top and allow it to rise until it doubles in size.
  4. To fry, add 2 inches of canola oil to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees F.
  5. Take a small ball of dough into your hand and begin kneading and stretching it out flat. Carefully drop into the hot oil. Fry a few minutes on each side. Remove and drain onto a paper-toweled-lined plate.
  6. In a large paper bag, add the drained doughnuts and some sugar. Shake the bag lightly until the doughnuts are fully coated with sugar. Serve immediately.