It’s our first Christmukkah here at NiceJewishGadgetHouse and we have embraced it wholeheartedly. The Menorah stands between the Nutcrackers and the Dreidl hangs on the Christmas tree. Tonight we will be enjoying eggnog (from my Dad’s recipe), latkes and jelly-filled doughnuts.
The story of Hanukkah, briefly, is about the miracle of an oil lamp that burned in The Temple in Jerusalem for eight nights when there was only enough for one. Oil being the basis of the miracle, oil appears to be the basis of the food to celebrate.
Sufganiyot are Israli jam-filled fried doughnuts and, when planning our holidays, The Beau offered to order some from Rideau Bakery. You can imagine my horror. Buy our doughnuts? Buy our doughnuts?
Buy. Our. Doughnuts?
I looked at a number of recipes and determined that Sufganiyot are essentially simple fried yeast doughnuts, filled either before or after the cooking with some sort of jam. They are then rolled in sugar and enjoyed in massive quantities during the eight nights of Hanukkah. Saturday is the last night of Hanukkah but I intend to keep making these throughout the holiday season and possibly longer!
The following is a modified recipe from Martha Stewart that I used to make mini ones. I found them to be light and fluffy and amazingly delicious.
- 20 g active dry yeast
- 50 mL orange flower water
- 75 mL warm water
- 55 g raw granulated sugar
- 350 g all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 10 g salt
- Safflower oil or light olive oil (by light, I mean light in taste), enough to fill a large pan to 5-6 cms deep.
- Fruit compote for filling (I like one with less sugar. Make sure that it has no seeds and it might be a good idea to sieve it or puree it if it has pieces of fruit that might block the piping tip)
Combine yeast, warm water and 5g sugar. Sit in a warm place for 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved. Mix in orange flower water.
Mix flour, eggs, yeast, remaining sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Smear with oil and leave, covered, in a warm place (I turn oven on low and place on stove-top) and let rise for 2 hours.
Punch dough, pull off a piece the size of a fist and roll out to 6-8 inch circle. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out small circles. Let rise for a few minutes while you heat the oil to 350 degrees.
(You can refrigerate and/or freeze this dough after punching down. Just let it come to room temperature before rolling out and cutting.)
Fry donuts, turning once, until golden and puffy (about 30 seconds a side). Toss immediately in raw granulated cane sugar (doing it while hot ensures the sugar sticks).
Using a sharp-tip and pastry bag, fill the doughnut with jam by inserting into the side.
Use larger cookie cutters if you want larger doughnuts. Cook about 10 seconds longer per added 2 inches.
Instead of filling doughnuts with a pastry bag, place teaspoon of jam on one circle, make a sandwich with another circle and pinch together to seal prior to frying. (I found this fiddly and the jam leaked but you might be better at it than I was.)
Although jam is the traditional filling, you could make a chocolate, vanilla or custard filling instead.
You can omit the orange flower water and use rose water or plain water instead.
To make eggnog Hanukkah doughnuts, add a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves (total 1/4 tsp) to make an “eggnog” doughnut. Fill with custard and roll in sugar and nutmeg (don’t overdo the nutmeg, just a touch will do).