Hey guess what!
Anddd it’s Hanukkah! And at Hanukkah, we fry things.
Happy Hanukkah to all my internet friends out there (probably not very many of you seeing as I can never manage to keep a constant rhythm with this little blog… apologies yet again for the scattered posts).
I am half Jewish on my dad’s side, so I grew up with some cultural influences and ties (mostly food related obvi). I celebrate Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays loosely. We’ve always had a Menorah and played dreidel as kids, I love baking challah, making latkes, eating matzos etc. But I also grew up with Christmas from my mom’s side of the family. I’m not religious at all, but I like to celebrate the other cultural aspects of my heritage. Since coming back from Israel last summer through Birthright, I’ve definitely felt more connected to my Jewish roots.
This year has been a big doughnut year. I always liked them. But something happened this year and now I LOVE them. They’ve become one of my favorite sweets. I made Berliners (German doughnuts filled with jam) in culinary school last year, but I had never made doughnuts at home before! So I thought, what a perfect chance to make ’em.
Nothing beats a fresh as can be doughnut. So fluffy. And you can fill them with anything you want! I chose raspberry jam and blueberry jam, but you could do pastry cream, lemon curd, or even something chocolatey. Anything would be delish! 😀
Sufganiyot: (Adapted from Simple. Pretty. Sweet)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 cup whole milk
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (plus up to 1/4 cup extra)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup butter, at room temp
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flavored brandy (optional…I used Eau de vie de Framboise)
1/2- 1 cup jam (I used raspberry and blueberry)
Powdered sugar for dusting
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Mixing: Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the eggs, butter, zest, vanilla, and brandy. Mix on low with the dough hook attachment until a ball of dough forms. If it feels tacky and is sticking to the bowl too much, add one tablespoon of flour (up to 1/4 cup more flour) at a time until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Mix for another 8 or so minutes until a soft, elastic dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for two hours (until doubled).
Shaping: When the dough has doubled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 portions (I used a scale to divide to be accurate!). Roll each piece into a ball, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another 20-30 minutes. While they’re rising, prep your oil!
Frying: In a large pot (I used a 5 quart cast iron dutch oven) pour enough oil to have it about 2 inches deep. Heat over medium heat to 350 degrees F, using a thermometer to regulate the temperature. Using a slotted spoon or a frying spider, gently slide 2-3 doughnuts in the oil, one a time.It should take about 1 minute each side. Flip the doughnuts when they’ve got a nice golden brown color. Carefully transfer to a paper towel to cool.
Filling: To fill them, use a piping tip to make small holes in the top or sides of your doughnuts. Then with a pastry bag fitted with the same tip, fill them with jam, custard, chocolate, cream! Whatevah ya want. 😀 Then lightly dust with powdered sugar to finish them.
Look at that fluffy ‘lil guy! And all that jam. Mmmm.
Now on to make latkes and challah to continue the Hanukkah celebrations. 🙂