Hanukkah Sufganiyot (jam filled doughnuts)
I believe today is the first night of Hanukkah where tradition dictates that you serve foods fried in oil. We are away at our first winter destination and I am not frying anything here, but before we left I had craving for jam filled sufganiyot that are traditional for Hanukkah celebration so I made a batch and shared with family before we left.
Hannukah is a festival of lights taking place around Christmas based on the Jewish Calendar, so it seems to be on a different date each year (Jewish new year is in early fall). The celebration commemorate an event in the second century BCE when a single lamp of oil with enough oil to last only one day, continued to burn eight days lighting the Jewish Temple for the small gathering of worshipers led by Yehuda Hamacabee (aka Judah Maccabbee) that were able to withstand the armies of the Greeks and protect their temple.
In celebration of that miracle Jewish people around the world celebrate Hanukkah by cooking foods in oil: potato latkes, honey fritters and sufganiyot are some of the traditional foods. Now I am in the mood for those honey fritters. Oye vey.
This is an easy recipe that does not call for milk in the batter but it’s not vegan, it still requires butter, eggs and lots of sugar to roll the hot sufganiyot in. These essentially are jam filled doughnuts. I like them filled with strawberry or raspberry jam but only had apricot jam when I made them. Still, delish.
Enjoy, don’t feel guilty and Happy Hanukkah.
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 cups flour, more as needed (depends on the size of eggs etc.)
1/4 cup sugar, more for rolling doughnuts in later
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3 tablespoons butter, soft
Zest of 1 small lemon
3 cups canola oil for frying
1 cup jam (plum, raspberries, apricots etc.)
Place yeast, water and sugar in a small bowl and let activate and become foamy.
Place flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Add yeast, eggs, butter and lemon zest and mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients combine.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft. Add a little more flour as needed but not too much.
Butter a clean bowl, place the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat with the butter. Cover with plastic and let rest until double in size, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough onto a lightly flour work surface and roll into a square or a round about 1/4- 1/3 inch thick.
Cut into rounds using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, you’ll get about 20 sufganiot. Re-roll scraps until you use the entire dough. Small leftover pieces can be fried as they are and enjoyed – chef’s privilege.
Heat the oil to 370F in a pot or a deep skillet and cook the sufganiot, about 4-5 at a timer until golden on one side. flip over once to finish cooking the other side.
Drain on paper towels and then roll in the sugar.
Fill with a piping tip from the bottom or side of the doughnut.
Enjoy while still warm.