In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, combine the yeast, pinch of sugar and warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the milk, 3 Tbsp white sugar, salt, vanilla egg, 3 Tbsp vegetable oil and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until well combined. Add a second cup of flour and mix to combine. Continue adding flour in small increments until you have a smooth, moist dough. Remove to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot (or a deep fryer) heat about 4 inches of oil (or as much as required for your deep fryer) to 385F.
*Deep Frying Safety! Be sure to never leave hot oil unattended. Always have a lid for the pot at hand, in the unlikely even the oil ignites, place the lid on the pot to extinguish. Keep children well away from the deep frying process!
In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup white sugar with 2 Tbsp cinnamon. Set aside.
Remove risen dough to a floured work surface and gently deflate. Tear off a piece of dough and form into a golf-ball sized ball. Repeat until you have formed all the dough into small balls (you should have 10-12). Take one of the balls and with a rolling pin, roll into a thin oval, about 4 inches wide and 8 inches long.
Add to hot oil and cook until underside is deep golden, then flip and cook the other side. Remove from oil and immediately sprinkle both sides with cinnamon sugar, then set on a cooling rack to cool. Repeat with each dough ball until all are cooked and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Serve slightly warm or shortly after cooking with a slice of lemon for drizzling.
These are best enjoyed as soon after cooking as possible. These also freeze well, if you have left-overs.