Are looking for the best Hanukkah doughnuts (sufganiyot) recipe? Then look no further! Suganiyot (singular: suganiyah) are round jelly doughnuts eaten around the world during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
How Will You Fill Your Hanukkah Doughnuts?
Don’t stop at jelly! Nowadays, you can find suganiyot filled with every type of flavor you can imagine. Some favorites are chocolate cream, vanilla custard, fruit jam and nutella. But, why stop there! I’ve made cappuccino cream and sweet tehini mousse. And, sufganiyot are delicious topped off with a dusting of powdered sugar.
These little pillows of goodness are the perfect treat. They are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Imagine seeing a beautiful platter of Hanukkah doughnuts adorning the table with other holiday delicacies or receiving them in a Hanukkah gift package!
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For more on the Mystical Insights of Hanukkah, catch my class on PulveREDU, this coming Sunday, December 13 at 1:00pm EST, 7:00pm CET, 8:00pm IST. You can register here.
Why Do We Eat Sufganiyot for Hanukkah?
We eat sufganiyot cooked in oil to recount the miracle of the oil of the menorah in the ancient temple in Jerusalem more than 2,200 years ago. The Syrian-Greek Army (the Seleucids) caused great havoc when they took over the Temple in Jerusalem. They erected statues for idol worship and destroyed the cruses of oil needed to light the menorah each day.
Firstly, the small band of Jews, led by the Maccabees, defeated the large and mighty Greek army. Then a great miracle occurred when one cruse of pure oil was found. But, it was just enough oil to last for one day. The greater miracle was that the oil lasted 8 days, which was the exact amount of time necessary to travel and acquire more pure oil. To read more about Hanukkah and celebrating it during this challenging year, click here.
And now, get ready for the best Hanukkah Doughnuts Sufganiyot Recipe! Pin It now, so you can make it later!
Sufganiyot for Hanukkah (Jelly Doughnuts)
- active dry yeast 2 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 ounce or 7 grams)
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk at room temperature (you can use soy milk)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- zest of one lemon
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups flour
Preparing the Dough
- This dough can be mixed by hand or by electric mixer.
- Put the yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl, with a sprinkling of the measured out sugar to activate the yeast. When it starts to bubble a bit, then you know the yeast is working.
- Add the rest of the sugar and the milk, and whisk.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, pinch of salt, lemon zest, teaspoon of vanilla and continue whisking.
- Change the whisk attachment to the dough hook.
- Add the butter or margarine in pieces.
- Add the flour in three parts to ensure everything gets mixed well.
- Mix for several minutes.
- If needed, add a 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time to gather up any dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.
- Cover the dough with a clean damp dish towel and let the dough rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place. (When I have the time, I let it rise an hour, until the dough has doubled in size).
Making the Doughnuts
- When the dough is ready, prepare your workspace with a dusting of flour. Add a dusting of flour to the top of the dough as well. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough about a 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut circles with a cookie cutter between 2 1/2 – 3 inches round. (My cutter is actually 2 3/4 inches).
- Press the cookie cutter straight down into the dough and twist right before you remove it from the dough.
- Place doughnut circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the doughnuts with plastic wrap and let them rise for at least 15 minutes in a warm place.
- Fill a large pot, like a pasta pot, with 2 inches (approximately 4 cups) of vegetable oil. (During Hanukkah, I actually use half vegetable oil and half extra virgin olive oil, but all vegetable oil is fine).
- Heat oil on medium high and then turn down to low.
- Place three sufganiyot at a time in the oil and cook the first side for 2 minutes. (Tip: They seem to expand better by putting the side that was face down while they were rising, face up in the pot of oil).
- Flip them over with a slotted spoon and cook for another minute.
- Cooking time will vary based on the size of your pot and your stove, so do a test run with the first batch. Sometimes, the doughnuts will cook as fast as one minute per side.
- Remove the sufganiyot with the slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
- When cooled, filled them to your heart's desire and sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar.