Hanukah Sufganiyot – Oily Doughnuts for the Festival of Lights

Tomorrow night starts the Jewish Holiday of Hanukah, aka the Festival of Lights. Hanukah celebrates the Miracle of Oil, which is referred to as the story of a small Jewish community from the second century BC called the Maccabees who liberated the Land of Israel from its Syrian-Greek occupants. The overall damages at that time were massive, and in the end the Jewish people only found one jar of oil left to light up the main candleholder in their Temple. The jar was supposed to only last one single day, but the Miracle occured and made the oil last 8 days till someone got back from far away with oil refill. So every year we celebrate during a full week in a very joyful manner Hanukah, and bring happiness to the world through its lights. It is a tradition to light a candleholder and expose it to the outside by positioning it in our home in front of a window, for the rest of the world to see. It also is a tradition to cook and eat all kinds of oily foods, among which the two best known dishes are Latkes (grated potato fried patties) and Sufganiyot (jam stuffed doughnuts), which I’ve eaten only some years of my life when my family and I celebrated Hanukah. But mostly they are dishes I’ve eaten in China while gathering with the Jewish expat community during the Holiday season, and that is a period of my life (the expat life time) I am very nostalgic about.

 

our-growing-edge-badgeI’m going wild today, as I’m choosing to make Sufganiyot for the first time ever, whereas everybody knows I’m not that good at baking sweet foods. But hey, I’ll have to learn the how-to-s at some point! By the way, this post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Jazzmine at Dash of Jazz, under the theme “Nostalgia”. I originally wrote this post on my own initiative, but was later invited by Genie from Bunny Eats Design to join up the Our Growing Edge project when she found out my cooking technique was fun and innovative.

Hanukah Sufganiyot - with the Hanoukiah

This picture above shows my doughnuts in front of the candleholder that we’ll start using tomorrow night. It’s been in my husband’s family for several generations. I do have one of my own that belonged to my great-grand-mother and that we also use every other year.

For this recipe, it’s important to follow all instructions carefully. Do not try to cut down on ingredient quantities, and do not attempt to cut short on dough rising time or to invent what you think is the best dough rising environment. No, no, no, no, no, just follow the directions and it will all go smoothly.

To fill in my Sufganiyot with jam (I’ve chosen pear jam), I’ve first tried to use a pastry bag but my use of it has been a disaster. My husband being a pharmacist, he first laughed at me, then provided me with syringes that I’ve finally used to pump up the jam from the mason jar and inject it directly into my doughnuts. Success!!! Now is time to offer you my recipe. Whether you will light candles for Hanukah or simply eat your first homemade Sufganiyot, think about next week as a joyful time to share anything happiness related with family and friends!

Hanukah Sufganiyot

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1/4 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl + about 8g of dry yeast + 1 tsp of caster sugar
  • 600g of all purpose flour (2 1/2 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 2 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • vegetal oil
  • jam of your choice
  • icing sugar for the final topping

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, combine the tsp of sugar with lukewarm water and the yeast. Cover with a kitchen towel, and wait about 10 minutes for the yeast to foam.
  2. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven on 80 degrees Celsius (about 170 degrees Farenheit) during 5 minutes only. This is where your dough will rise. After 5 minutes, stop the oven but do not open the door.
  3. In a large bowl, pour the flour and make a well in the center.
  4. In that order, put in the well the salt, nutmeg, eggs, white sugar, butter and foamy yeast with its water.
  5. Combine thoroughly and knead during 8 minutes. The dough must be stretchy and not too sticky. Add more flour if necessary.
  6. Grease a larger bowl from bottom to the top, put your dough in it and cover with a plastic wrap.
  7. Let the dough rise in the lukewarm oven during an hour (or just a bit longer): the dough must about double its size.
  8. Cut a piece of baking sheet to put on your counter-top and prepare pieces of dough about 1/2cm (1/4 inch) thick.
  9. Heat frying oil in a saucepan.
  10. Fry your doughnuts on both sides. It goes really fast, be aware!
  11. Roll the doughnuts in icing sugar while they’re still warm. Act fast, as you’re frying some more doughnuts at the same time.
  12. When all the doughnuts are fried and rolled in sugar, use a chopstick or wooden skewer to make a hole in each doughnut.
  13. Use a syringe or pastry bag to fill them in with jam.
  14. Your sufganiyot are ready! If you eat them later, just warm them up shortly beforehand (around 20 seconds in the microwave oven). And forget about your healthy diet for this week!!

 

Before you go, check out the page of my COOKBOOK, I’m sure you’ll like it and it’s a nice gift to make to a loved one for the holidays!

Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.

 

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14 comments

  1. Wish you lived in Canberra (next door to me Sophie), I would eat these delicious donuts (probably most of them), congratulations on making the dessert as you mentioned you say you are not good at making sweet goods. They look amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yum! In Spain we make something similar which the Sephardim took with them when they were unfortunately expelled from the Kingdom of Spain. We (modern Spanish and the Sephardim) call them buñuelos/bimuelos but tend to flavour them with aniseed. Chag sameach! ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

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