- 3⁄4 cup warm water (110°F)
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Cinnamon toast sugar for dusting*
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the remaining 3 Tbs. granulated sugar, the salt, egg and milk and pulse a few times to combine. Add the yeast mixture and pulse a few times to combine. Add about one-third of the flour and pulse 5 to 10 times to combine. Add the remaining flour in two additions, pulsing after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the butter and pulse about 5 times to combine. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat an oven to 200°F. Lightly flour a baking sheet. Line another baking sheet with paper towels.
In a heavy saucepan or deep fryer over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches and heat to 360°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 15-by-18-inch rectangle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Using a knife or pastry scraper, cut the dough into 3-inch squares. Transfer to the floured baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Drop the dough squares, 3 or 4 at a time, into the oil (do not overcrowd the pan). Cook, turning once, until the pillows are golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pillows to the paper towellined baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining dough.
Put the cinnamon toast sugar in a small bowl and roll the pillows in the sugar to coat. Serve hot. Makes about 30 pillows.
* Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.