(Israeli Jewish filled donuts)
Sufganiyot (singular: sufganiyah) are jelly or cream-filled donuts that are a traditional favorite for Hanukkah, when foods fried in oil are customary. Originally enjoyed by East European Jews, these sweet treats are now wildly popular in Israel for during the 8-day festival. Many gourmet versions are available.
Makes about 12 donuts
- Active dry yeast -- 1 (1/4-ounce) package
- Lukewarm (110°F) water -- 1/4 cup
- Flour -- 2 1/2 cups
- Sugar -- 1/3 cup
- Milk or water -- 1/2 cup
- Eggs, lightly beaten -- 2
- Butter or margarine, room temperature -- 2 tablespoons
- Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Red fruit jelly -- 1 1/2 cups
- Oil for deep frying
- Powdered sugar -- 1 cup
- Mix the yeast and warm water together in a small bowl and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and sugar. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture, milk or water, beaten egg, butter and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients and bring the dough together. Add a little more flour if the dough is too wet or a little more milk if it is too dry.
- Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth but still a little sticky. Lightly butter or oil a large bowl. Add the dough to the bowl and cover it with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm corner until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Return the dough to a lightly floured surface and punch it down to deflate. Knead lightly for another 2 or 3 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a biscuit cutter or large glass to cut out 24 rounds with a diameter of 3 to 4 inches.
- Place 12 of the rounds onto a baking sheet. Put 2 tablespoons of jelly or jam in the middle of each round, taking care to keep a border of about 1/2 inch clean. Place the remaining rounds on top of each jellied round and press the edges lightly together to seal. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and set aside again until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Add at least 3 inches of oil to a large, deep pot or deep fryer. Add the sugar to a large bowl. Set the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 375°F. Reduce heat to maintain temperature. Working in batches, add a few of the stuffed dough balls to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on one side. Flip over with a spatula or fork and brown on the second side.
- Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly, then toss in the sugar to coat. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough. Serve warm.
- Other Fillings: Any type of fruit jelly or jam, vanilla custard, chocolate custard.
- Other Toppings: Powdered sugar, any flavor of pastry icing, chocolate fondant, sprinkles or nonpareils.
- Cinnamon Sufganiyot: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the flour and sugar mixture. Or mix it into the sugar for coating.
- If you have a pastry injector, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness, and cut into 12 rounds. After the second rise, deep fry the unfilled rounds. Use the injector to fill the fried dough and then toss in the sugar.
- To keep kosher, use water and margarine to match meals with meat. Use milk and butter when served with dairy meals.