Hanukkah

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Doughnuts)

November  8, 2013
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

These jelly doughnuts are traditionally eaten for Hanukkah. —Joan Nathan

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Joan Nathan is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and expert on Jewish cuisine.
WHAT: A dessert to eat while you keep your eye on the dreidel.
HOW: Cut a lemon-scented yeast dough into cute rounds, fry them in hot oil until puffy and golden, then fill with apricot jam.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If celebrating the miracle of a day's worth of oil lasting eight nights means eating these perfectly fluffy and just-sweet-enough donuts, then I guess we'll eat one (or ten)—if we have to. —The Editors

  • Makes 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 additional egg yolk
  • pinch salt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Confectioners or granulated sugar for rolling
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in water and allow yeast to bloom, then add the milk and pour into a large bowl.
  2. Add the egg and the yolk, salt, lemon zest, flour, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and the butter. Mix together with your hands, then knead dough on a pastry board until it becomes sticky yet elastic.
  3. Cover the dough in a greased bowl, and let rise in a warm place for at least an hour. If you want to prepare it ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it warm to room temperature before rolling and cutting.
  4. Dust a pastry board with flour. Roll the dough out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using the top of a glass, cut into rounds about 2 inches in diameter, and let rise 30 minutes more.
  5. Pour at least 2 inches of oil into a heavy pot and heat until it is about to bubble (or do as I often do in an electric wok at 375° F).
  6. Drop the doughnuts into the oil, 4 or 5 at a time. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, turning when brown. Drain on paper towels. Using a pastry or cupcake injector (available at cooking stores and online), insert a teaspoon of jam into each doughnut. Roll the sufganiyot in confectioners or granulated sugar and serve immediately.

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