- Peel, cut and boil 1 large or 2 medium sized potatoes in water, until the potatoes are very soft.
- Remove from heat.
- Drain, reserving the water.
- Smash the potatoes with a fork.
- Measure out one cup of mashed potatoes for the recipe.
- Measure out 1¾ cups of potato water (adding more water if necessary to make 1¾ cups).
- While the potatoes and the water are still warm, beat together all of the ingredients, except for the flour.
- Then, gradually stir in the flour.
- Stir in only as much flour as needed to make a workable dough.
- The dough should be very soft and a little sticky to the touch.
- Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the dough is nearly double in size.
- Punch down the dough.
- On a floured cookie sheet or large tray, roll out the dough ½ inch thick and cut into donut shapes.
- Remove the dough around the doughnut shapes.
- Roll out the remaining dough on another cookie sheet, in the same way.
- Cover the cookie sheets and allow the doughnuts to rise for 20 minutes (skip this rising if you are using "instant" yeast).
- Fry in deep oil for 3–4 minutes, turning soon after dropping in the oil and then again after a minute or two.
- Glaze the doughnuts as soon as they are cooked, if you like, with this glaze:.
- Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar with ½ cup of boiling water.
- Dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze.
- Place, glazed side up, on a plate and sprinkle with coconut, if desired.