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!
**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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve immediately!