I'm not a big fan of fried food and try to avoid it as much as possible. I have very few recipes that require frying. However, this Cherry Filled Donut Holes (Ponchiki) recipe is absolutely worth it. They are very similar to the age-old, traditional Belyashi (or Pirozhki) recipe which is absolutely irresistible.
Bring it to a boil stirring constantly. Set aside to cool. The water-oil-sugar mixture must be at room temperature before you add yeast.
Sprinkle yeast and stir until completely dissolves (the water will be tannish/grayish in color).
Pour the liquid into a bowl of an electric mixer. Sift half of the flour and stir the flour in with a dough attachment (you can stir it with a wooden spoon if you don’t have this type of mixer).
Add the rest of the flour and let the mixer do its job. It takes about 5 minutes to mix in the rest of the flour.
Place the dough into a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until the dough triple in size.
While the dough is rising remove the stems and rinse well cherries.
If you're using frozen cherries I do recommend rinsing them as well since they weren't rinsed before freezing.
How to Shape Ponchiki (Cherry Filled Donut Holes)
Grease your hands with a tiny bit of oil and shape each dough filled with cherry into a ball about 1.5” in size. Place the ball onto the cutting board or working surface.
Make the ball flat about half-inch think, place the cherry in the middle, fold the dough, pinch the ends, and then roll it into a ball again. Place them on the plate (make about 15 ponchiki, then fry them, while they are frying you have time to make another batch to fry).
How to Fry Cherry Filled Donut Holes
Heat oil temperature for deep frying should be around 350 F. Add about 15 donut holes to the oil in one batch, and fry for about 2 minutes per side. Remove fried ponchiki onto prepared cooling rack or strainer.