Hanukkah traditional fried foods — latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly doughnuts — aren’t hard to find in Greenpoint, an area with Eastern European treats year round. but if you want to embark on a project, making your own sufganiyot is certainly a great way to spend a chilly day inside.

With Hanukkah kicking off the night of Sunday, November 28, we have a special local recipe for you, contributed by Niri, the Down To Earth Farmers Market market manager at McGolrick Park. 

Niri’s mom, who grew in Israel – fried doughnuts at home as part of her family’s Hanukkah traditions. “When my brother and I were younger, we asked for both the latkes and the doughnuts for all eight nights of Hanukkah,” she said.

These doughnuts start out as a rich, eggy dough that rises slowly.  After a few hours, it’s rolled out and cut into rounds, which are then fried, sprinkled with sugar, and filled with jelly. Grab your ingredients at the farmers market this Sunday!

Jelly Doughnuts
**Prepare dough about 2 – 3 hours before cooking time
1 cup lukewarm milk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1.5 ounces fresh yeast)
½ cup sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon brandy or sweet wine (such as port), optional
Oil for frying, canola is recommended
Confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 jar of jam or seedless jelly, grape, or any preferred flavor

  1.  In a large bowl, combine the milk (it should feel warm, but not hot when you insert your finger), yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of flour.  Cover and let site in a warm place for ½ hour.
  2. In a very large bowl, combine the remaining flour, butter, egg, yolks, lemon zest, and brandy/wine.  Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix well.  Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, soft, and flexible (adding more flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking).  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until at least doubled in bulk.
  3. Roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness and use a glass or cookie cutter to cut out rounds about 2 inches in diameter.  Place the doughnuts on a tray, cover with plastic wrap or dish towel, and let rise for another ½ hour.
  4. Fill a small saucepan with 1 to 2 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Line a platter with paper towels.  When the oil is hot, sop in a tiny piece of dough – as soon as it rises to the surface, the oil is ready.
  5. Fry a few doughnuts at a time until they are a nut-brown color, turning them once with a slotted spoon.  The dough will take about 1-2 minutes per side to cook.  Transfer the doughnuts to the paper towels after cookies and sift the confectioners’ sugar over them while warm.
  6. Fill a pastry bag (fitted with a small tip) with the jam/jelly.  Insert the pastry tip into one end of the doughnut and squeeze in about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the jam/jelly. 
  7. Serve immediately!

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