In Jewish culture, sufganiyot are the coveted Hanukkah dessert. Traditionally made only during the eight-day holiday, these deep-fried, jelly-filled donuts are highly anticipated throughout the year. Here, Leah of Leah’s Catering and the popular blog, Leah Cooks Kosher, shares her personal twist on the classic treat, complete with step-by-step photos!
1/2 cup soy milk (or milk for dairy version)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine (or butter for dairy version)
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages active dry yeast (4 teaspoons)
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Oil for frying (canola or grapeseed)
Strawberry mango jam
In my recipe steps, I’ve inserted many pictures to demystify the process; don’t be frightened! Ultimately, these are easy to make. Have the kids help knead and roll the dough and cut them out. You do the frying. Offer an assortment of fillings; I’ve used a gourmet jam here. But a chocolate hazelnut spread or whipped marshmallow filling sound great to me! That is a perfect Chanukah party.
Heat milk in small saucepan until bubbles form around the edge of pan; remove from heat. Add sugar, salt, and butter; stir until butter is melted. Let cool to lukewarm or 130 ºF if using instant yeast.
Combine 2 cups flour, yeast and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the milk mixture, eggs and water. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add most of the remaining flour, mixing by hand to form a soft dough. Add flour as necessary so dough is not sticky.
Put dough on work surface and knead until smooth, just a couple of minutes.
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. When you press 2 fingers into the dough and it keeps the indentation, the dough is ready.
After dough has risen, punch down and knead for 2 minutes. Invert mixing bowl over the dough and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough into 1/2″ thickness. If the dough resists being rolled, cover and let rest for a minute or so. Continue to roll to an even thickness.
Cut out donuts using a 2 1/2″ round cutter. Reroll the trimmings, letting dough rest if necessary. Cut out additional donuts. Cover with towel and let rise for another hour until double in thickness.
Slowly heat 2″ to 3″ of frying oil in a heavy skillet to 375 ºF. I use a flat-bottomed wok on the gas range.
Drop 3 to 4 donuts into the heated oil. They will sink, bubbles will form and the donuts will rise to the top.
Let them cook for about 1 ½ minutes and then gently turn them over using a slotted spoon. Let cook about 1 ½ minutes longer. The correct oil temperature is important. Too hot and the donut browns too quickly and will be raw in the middle. Too low, the donut will absorb too much oil and be heavy.
Gently remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Fill pastry bag fitted with ¼” round tip with jam of preference. I’m using strawberry mango.
With a small paring knife, cut a slit about 1 1/4″ long into the center of the donut. Insert the tip of pastry bag and squirt in about 1 teaspoon jam.