Homemade Jelly Donuts or Sufganiyot

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Anyone who knows me is understanding of the fact that I don’t bake, mostly because I don’t like dessert, but also because I hate following precise instructions. Donuts are an exception to that rule. I love donuts. Especially warm ones that are right out of the fryer. This year our family decided we would make some from scratch, in honor of Hanukkah of course. I did the research to make them relatively easy and they were good. The tricky part is you have to serve them immediately to really appreciate their warm and perfectly sweet qualities.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk (not hot)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of softened butter’2 1/3 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Jam or preserves of your choice
  • Powdered s ugar

The Dough:

In a large mixing bowl combine yeast, sugar and milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes. They say it is supposed to become foamy. Mine really didn’t until I whisked in the yolks. Then add the butter.

We made the dough by hand because I didn’t have the proper mixer at my Mom’s house. Add half of the flour and stir with a spoon until it’s all combined. Then add the second half and the salt. Stir what you can with the spoon and then get your hands in there. Knead it for about 5 minutes. You should resist the urge to add more flour. The stickier the dough, the better it will be. When you add extra flour it makes tough and dry donuts. Wash the counter later…

Add a tiny bit of oil to the bottom of the bowl and put your dough back in so it can rest. Cover with plastic wrap. I let it go for about an hour while I did other things. I’ve read 20 minutes is fine.

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When you are ready, lightly flour your counter and roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. I used a 2 inch round cutter and I think we got about 17 donuts. The scraps around the edges are great for testing your oil.

Set the rounds out to rise with a towel over them–about 30 minutes at room temperature.

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My sister and I wisely used this time to create a make-shift jelly bag to squirt the jelly into the finished donuts. Using the end of a straw, scissors, a plastic bag and tape… woila!

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We chose two kinds of jelly. In the end I preferred the raspberry, but next time I would like to try grape.

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Heat your 2 inches or so of oil in a cast iron pan. Check the temperature by placing one of your scraps in. You don’t want the oil so hot that it sizzles the way it does when you fry a latke or chicken cutlet. We found it ends up burning the donut and not cooking it all the way through. You want it just to bubble enough that it slowly browns the donut on each side – maybe a minute each?

2014-12-27 19.47.31 There was definitely some trial and error with our first few donuts. Don’t be ashamed. It takes some practice.

When the donuts came out I first placed them on a cooling rack and then transferred them to a paper bag lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

2014-12-27 19.51.09Then when they are cool enough to handle use the piping bag made with the straw to insert jelly into the middle of the donut. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and you got yourself a heavenly bite.

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I highly recommend making these. They are messy and they probably wouldn’t travel well, but if you are having company over it can be a fun after dinner activity! My Mom and sister helped the process go a lot smoother so if you have someone who can stuff the donuts while you do the frying, it would be a big help!

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