In large mixing bowl, combine water and sugar.
Mix to dissolve sugar
Mix in 2 C flour
In separate bowl, mix eggs and milk together and pour into flour mixture
Add 2 C flour and the yeast together at once, continue mixing on low until very smooth
If mixing by hand, exchange the whisk for a sturdy spoon
Add shortening with additional 2 C flour until incorporated.
Add enough flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Approximately 1 more cup.
Turn out dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth. Add flour if necessary throughout kneading process.
Dough should not be heavy or stiff.
Form kneaded dough into a ball and place in large, oiled bowl.
Cover and raise for 1-2 hours until double.
Heat oil heavy Dutch oven with 1" oil to just simmering
Pinch an apple-sized piece of dough from the bowl.
Place onto floured surface and roll with rolling pin to 1/4"
Cut into approx. 2" X 3" squares.
Test temperature of oil with one piece and adjust temp as needed.
Fry in oil a few at a time, turning as they brown.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Remove and drain on paper towels for a few minutes, then dust with powdered sugar through a wire shaker.
Add cinnamon to sugar if desired.