3 (1/4 ounce / 7g) packages yeast (3/4 oz / 21g total) - I used "Rapid Rise" but traditional is fine too - it just affects the rising times
1/2 cup (120ml) water (105-115F / 40-46 C)
2 1/4 cups (530ml) milk, scalded, then cooled
3/4 cup (169g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (113g) shortening
7 1/2 cups (940g) all-purpose flour
canola oil for frying
1/2 cup (113g) butter
3 cups (375g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 -9 tablespoons (90-135ml) milk
1 Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2-quart bowl.
2 Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour.
3 Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4 Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
5 Stir in remaining flour until smooth.
6 Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes.
7 (Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched.) Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.
8 Gently roll dough 1/2-inch thick with floured rolling pin.
9 Cut with floured doughnut cutter.
10 Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes.
11 Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350°.
12 Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula.
13 Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface.
14 Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.
15 Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain.
16 Dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack then when slightly cooled spread chocolate frosting on top.
17 Dip in sprinkles or other toppings after chocolate if desired.
18 Creamy Glaze: Heat butter until melted.
19 Remove from heat.
20 Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
21 Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.
22 Chocolate Frosting: Heat butter and chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
23 Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
24 Stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.