Sufganiot aka Israeli Jelly Doughnuts (Parve)

Sufganiot, Israeli Jelly Doughnuts for Hanukkah
Vlad Fishman/Getty Images
  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 12-14 doughnuts (serves 12-14)
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Sufganiot are deep-fried jelly doughnuts that are traditionally eaten during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. Sufganiot are especially popular in Israel. The oil used to fry the doughnuts are reminiscent of the oil that miraculously burned, according to the Hanukkah story, in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

What You'll Need

  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups water (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup margarine (preferably non-hydrogenated, melted)
  • Dash of fine kosher (or sea salt)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Jelly or jam (strawberry is recommended)
  • Neutral-flavored oil for frying (canola is recommended)
  • powdered sugar to garnish

How to Make It

  1. To make the dough: In a small bowl, combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well, cover, and allow to rest until the mixture becomes foamy.
  2. In another large bowl mix the 3 cups of flour with the melted margarine, salt, remaining sugar, and the egg yolks. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Slowly add water while stirring. When the batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, and set aside in a warm spot to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  1. To make the doughnuts: After the batter has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or a glass with a 2-1/2 to 3-inch opening to cut circles out of the dough. Place a drop of jelly in the middle of each circle, and then cover with another circle of dough. Make sure that 2 circles attach well to form a closed ball with jelly in the middle. Cover the doughnuts with a clean, slightly damp tea towel and allow to rise until puffed up, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. To fry the doughnuts: Line a large plate or platter with several layers of paper towels and set aside. Pour 2 inches of oil into a deep, heavy bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350° F (180° C). Working in batches, carefully slip the doughnuts into the oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. Fry the doughnuts on both sides until puffed and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Carefully remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and transfer to the towel-lined plates to drain. Cool slightly, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve immediately.