Place the sultanas in a small bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Place the sugar, lukewarm water and yeast in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer to a jug. Combine the flour and cinnamon in the bowl. Slowly pour the yeast mixture into the bowl with flour, whisking continuously until smooth. Drain the sultanas. Add the salt and sultanas to the dough, then mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 5 hours to rise.
Note: 00 is a powder-fine Italian type of flour. It is made from soft wheat varieties, and is frequently used in Italian desserts and pastas. 00 flour is available in most supermarkets, Italian food stores and gourmet delicatessens.
Pour enough sunflower oil into a saucepan to reach a depth of 5cm. Heat the saucepan over medium heat to reach a temperature of 170°C (when the oil is ready, a pinch of breadcrumbs sizzle when dropped in the saucepan).
Drop tablespoonfuls of dough into the sunflower oil, using 2 tablespoons (one to collect a spoonful of dough and the other to drop it into the oil). Cook the Sfingi Siciliani (Sicilian style doughnuts), in batches, turning occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
Place sugar in a small bowl. Allow the Sfingi Siciliani to cool for 2 minutes then add the finishing touch by lightly coating in sugar. Serve immediately – buon appetito.
Note: If you have any Sfingi left over, try placing into a preheated oven of 180°C conventional oven/ 160°C fan-forced (350° Fahrenheit/Gas 4). Heat for 10 minutes then remove from the oven. Divide among serving plates, then dust with icing sugar and drizzle with honey – simply delicious.
this was so delicious!