Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 11, 2017

© Ryan Szulc

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Chanukah Jelly Doughnuts (Soufganiot)

These are a favorite treat in Israel and a sweet alternative to the traditional Chanukah latkes

½ c. (125 ml) warm water
5 tsp. (25 ml) dry yeast
1/3 c. (90 ml) plus a pinch of granulated sugar
1 c. (250 m) warm milk or water
1 tsp. (5ml) vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 c. (90 ml) vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening
1 ½ tsp. (7.5 ml) salt
4 ¼ - 5 c. (1060 ml – 1125 ml) all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 c. (500 ml) jam or jelly, at room temperature (optional)
Granulated or confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast and pinch of sugar. Allow the mixture to stand for a couple of minutes to allow the yeast to swell or dissolve. Stir in the remaining sugar, the milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes, by hand or in a bread machine with a dough hook, adding more flour as needed to form a firmer dough that is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, place the bowl in a plastic bag, and seal. (If not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point.) Let the dough rise for about 1 hour. Gently deflate it. (If the dough is coming out of the fridge, allow it to warm up for about 40 minutes before proceeding.)

Pinch off pieces of dough and form them into small balls, a little larger than a golf ball. Alternatively, roll the dough out to about ¾ inch thick. Using a 2 ½- or 3-inch (6.25 cm or 7.5 cm) biscuit cutter, cut out rounds.

Cover the doughnuts with a clean tea towel and let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Heat about 4 inches (10 cm) of oil in a deep fryer or a heavy Dutch oven to about 385°F (195°C). To test oil temperature, it is a good idea to try frying one doughnut to start with. Once the doughnut seems done, take it out and cut it open to see if the inside is cooked. Then proceed with the rest. Try to fry at a temperature at which the oil bubbles but is not so hot that you brown the doughnut before the center is cooked

Add the doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, to the hot oil and fry until the undersides are deep brown. Turn over once and finish frying the other side. The total frying time will be no more than 1 ½ to 3 minutes. Lift the doughnuts out with a slotted spoon and drain them well on paper towels.

To fill, make a small opening and spoon in jam or jelly or shake the doughnuts lightly in a paper bag with regular or confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 2 to 2 ½ dozen, depending on size.

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