Sufganiyot, Israeli Jelly Donuts, are a delectable treat enjoyed during the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah. These delightful pastries, filled with sweet jelly and dusted with powdered sugar, are a symbol of the joyous celebrations that take place during this special time of the year.
What are Sufganiyot
Sufganiyot are traditional Israeli jelly-filled donuts, typically consumed during the Hanukkah season (along with these Sfenj, Moroccan donuts). These round, deep-fried pastries are filled with various sweet fillings, with jelly being the most popular choice. The name “sufganiyah” is derived from the Greek word “sufan,” meaning “to puff up,” which perfectly describes the fluffy texture of these delightful treats.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Creating the perfect sufganiyot can get tricky, especially if this is your first time. Here are some common issues you might encounter and how to troubleshoot them:
- Flat Sufganiyot: If your sufganiyot turn out flat, make sure your oil is hot enough. Adjust the temperature to ensure a quick and thorough puffing during frying.
- Overly Browned Exterior, and raw center: Lower the oil temperature if your sufganiyot is browning too quickly. This will allow the inside to cook without burning the outside.
- Uneven Filling Distribution: Use a piping bag with a long, narrow tip to inject the jelly into the sufganiyot. This ensures an even distribution of the delicious filling.
- My doughnuts don’t have the line at the center. While the line is iconic for Israeli jelly-filled doughnuts, it is not an indication of the quality of the donuts. Avoid turning the donuts too many times during baking, and allow for a long second dough rise (about 90-120 minutes).
The complete sufganiyot recipe can be found below in the recipe card.
- Instant yeast. To use active dry yeast, increase the amount by 50%.
- Lukewarm milk. For a dairy-free option, use warm water.
- All-purpose flour
- Large egg, at room temperature
- Melted unsalted butter. For a dairy-free option, use canola oil, or vegan butter.
- Vegetable oil (or any other unflavored oil), for frying. The amount of oil depends on the size of the pan you are using to fry the donuts. Make sure you have about 4-5 inches of oil.
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Strawberry or raspberry jelly. Or your choice of filling like Nutella, chocolate, peanut butter, biscoff butter. You can also use chocolate ganache, creme legere, or chocolate whipped cream.
How to Make Sufganiyot
Follow these step-by-step instructions to create the perfect batch of sufganiyot:
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast and one tablespoon of sugar in warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, or a bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture then the softened butter, and eggs. Use the dough hook to mix for about 3 minutes.
- Place it in a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough to release the air, divide it into 10 equal pieces, roll each piece into a ball, and place it over a 4×4-inch of parchment paper. Place the dough balls over a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 90-120 minutes in a warm place.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 320F (160C). Place 3-4 donuts in the hot oil at a time, and fry for 3 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to place the fried donuts over a plate lined with paper towels, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Dust with powdered sugar, fill a pastry bag with jelly, and inject each sufganiyah.
Master the art of sufganiyot with these helpful tips:
- For best results. use a candy thermometer to maintain the temperature of the oil to around 320F (160C) for perfect frying.
- Allow the dough to rise sufficiently for fluffy sufganiyot.
- Experiment with different flavored jellies for a unique twist.
- For a bit of flavor, add some orange zest to the dough.
To keep your sufganiyot fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, freeze and reheat when ready to enjoy.
Fried foods are traditionally eaten during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of the oil that occurred in the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The Hanukkah story goes that during the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century BCE, the Jewish people reclaimed the Second Temple from the Greeks. When they sought to rededicate the Temple and light the menorah, they found only a small amount of pure olive oil, enough to last for just one day.
Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, allowing them enough time to obtain more oil. This event is celebrated during Hanukkah, and the lighting of the menorah for eight nights represents the miracle of the oil. To symbolize this miracle, many traditional Hanukkah foods are cooked in oil, such as potato latkes, and golden brown sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts), making fried foods a significant part of the culinary traditions during this festival.
Absolutely! Get creative with fillings like chocolate, custard, or even savory options.
Yes, you can prepare the dough the night before, refrigerate it, and proceed with the rest of the steps the next day. Make sure it reaches room temperature.
Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram whenever you bake this recipe. Would love to see your creations!
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Light and fluffy donuts filled with strawberry jelly
- 1 Cup Lukewarm milk (240g)
- 2 1/4 teaspoon Instant yeast (9g)
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar (40g)
- 4 Cups All-purpose flour (500g)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Cup Unsalted butter, melted and cooled (55g)
- 1 Large Egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 Cup Powdered sugar (60g)
- 1 Cup Strawberry preserve (or your choice of filling)
- 4-5 Cups Vegetable oil, for frying
In a large bowl or a bowl of a standing mixer, pour the milk then sprinkle the yeast and one tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until frothy.
To the yeast mixture, add the flour, salt, rest of the sugar mix on slow, then add the melted butter and egg.
Mix on medium for about 3 minutes, until you have a smooth dough that stretches when you stretch it slowly.
Place the dough in a greased large bowl, grease the top then cover with plastic wrap for about 90 minutes, until doubles in size.
Punch the dough to release the air, divide the dough into ten pieces, roll each piece into a ball, and place it over a 4×4-inch parchment paper.
Place at a warm place for about two hours, until double in size.
In a large and wide pan, pour the oil and heat it to 320F (160C).
Carefully add 3-4 donuts (do not overcrowd) and fry for three minutes on each side.
Use a slotted spoon to invert the donuts into a plate lined with paper towels. Let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
Generously dust the donuts with the powdered sugar, and use a piping bag to fill the donuts from the top with the preserve, or your choice of filling. Serve immediately.