Chanukah Jelly Doughnuts (Soufganiot)
Easy to prepare, these jam or jelly-filled doughnuts are a favoured treat in Israel. Prepare the dough ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze it and fry up batches needed. (Refrigerated dough lasts about 2 days chilled) Doubling the yeast help preserve the puffy boost you need later on. Have kids fill the doughnuts – using spoons or a pastry bag. I use a bread machine to prepare this dough – even when I prepare it without yeast and use baking powder *. A wok is a perfect fryer for this recipe.
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil
7-8 cups bread flour
2 12 oz. jars of jelly or jam
oil for frying
granulated or icing sugar for dusting
Mix the yeast, water and sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt together. Blend well and stir in most of the flour to form a soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes, adding flour as needed to form a firmer dough, and dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and cover (if not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point). Let rise in fridge one hour. Punch down, then pinch off pieces of dough and form into small balls, about the size of golfballs. Cover and let sit 15 minutes while heating up oil. In a deep fryer, or heavy dutch oven, heat four inches of oil. Add the doughnuts to the hot oil (temperature should be about 375 F) and fry until the undersides are deep brown. Turn over once and finish frying the other side. Lift doughnuts out using a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. To fill, make a small opening and spoon in jam or jelly. Sprinkle lightly with sifted icing sugar or granulated sugar. Makes about 24-36 doughnuts.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, using this first doughnut as an indication of how long cooking time should be.
* TO MAKE FRIED DOUGH WITH BAKING POWDER
Traditional fried dough, i.e. without yeast, would also be appropriate at Chanukah.
Make this recipe as it appears but omit the yeast. Instead, use 5 teaspoons of baking powder. After kneading, let dough rest 30 minuets, then roll out rectangles of dough. Let rest 20 minutes then stretch thin and pop into hot oil to fry.
Drain and toss in sugar.