By Maria Pereira and Jodi Lewchuk
Makes about 48 doughnuts
In a small bowl, mix together the ¼-cup of sugar and the cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add the water, butter, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, remove the pan from the burner, and mix in the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is well incorporated. The dough should be smooth, thick and stiff. Set aside to cool.
Place the dough into a large mixing bowl. Add the milk. Using one hand, begin mixing and kneading the liquid into the dough. As the dough becomes more pliable, add the eggs, one at a time, again using one hand to thoroughly incorporate each addition. The dough is ready when it is about the consistency of pancake batter, with a few lumps left in. (Depending on humidity levels, you may not require all the eggs called for in the ingredients list.)
In a wok or other large, deep pan, heat the oil to 350º F. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, drop dough 1 tablespoon at a time into the hot oil. Turn doughnuts frequently as they fry to brown them evenly on all sides. Doughnuts are done when they are puffed and uniformly golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked doughnuts to a plate lined with paper towels.
When doughnuts have cooled slightly, roll each in the reserved sugar and cinnamon mixture. Eat them while they are still warm.