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 Jelly Doughnuts ("Sufganiyot")


-from Sarah Rabinowitz

Classic jelly doughnuts -sufganiyot 
Don't they look delicious? A sufganiyot (pronounced sufganiah) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel and around the world during Hanukkah. It's deep-fried, filled with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar. During Hanukkah we observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil. Since I love fried foods, this tradition is A-OK by me!

The cognac, by the way, is not for flavor; it helps to keep the doughnuts from soaking up too much oil. Also note that you should serve these right away, while they're still warm, because they'll be stale by the next day.

Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart.

Image courtesy Noah Furer, Wikimedia Commons


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp brandy or cognac
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (100°-115°F)
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sweet butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Your favorite jam or custard

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, whisk together yeast, water and 1 teaspoon sugar until yeast is dissolved. Cover with a clean towel and let stand 10 minutes until foamy.

In a large bowl, add flour and make a well in the center. Add eggs, yeast mixture, liquor, butter and salt. Stir until well combined.

Knead dough on lightly floured surface, adding more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until dough is smooth and elastic and only slightly sticky (about 10 minutes by hand and 5-6 minutes in a stand mixer). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

On a lightly floured surface punch the dough down and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a biscuit or cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut dough into circles (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter). Gather leftover dough and re-roll it as necessary. Cover circles with a clean hand towel and let rest 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat to 370°F. Add doughnuts to oil 3-4 at a time, flipping over with a slotted spoon until both sides are deep golden brown. They will fry quickly; it only takes about 30 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

Make a hole in the side of each doughnut, using a skewer or small knife. Then, using a pastry bag with a narrow tip attached, fill each hole with about 1/2 tsp of jam or custard and sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar.

Makes about 20.

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