Sufganiyot - Jelly Donuts - Beignets Confiture

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ah...Christmas...!! If I close my eyes real well and stand in front of the open freezer I can even almost pretend it is cold enough for Christmas. I don't think I'll ever get used to spending Christmas in a tee-shirt. Sorry if you are drowning under many inches of snow right now, but I envy you...Really, I do. It's not cold enough for soup, eggnog and stuffing and the small tree we put on the porch looks slightly out of place.

Proof to this madness: I had to stay home and have a mini baking marathon on saturday and around 5pm, I could not take it anymore and had to crank the AC on again...with the oven and the stove on!! Oh yes, the electricity company loves me!! Last night we decided to pretend it was December and used the fireplace...for a total of an hour because it got so hot. Crazy...

Even crazier, when I decided to help some friends celebrate their tradition and stood in front of burning oil and fried sufganiyot for an hour. When I dropped by C' house with a plate full of them and a bottle of eggnog, it was finally starting to feel like the holiday season. I am not Jewish, but C. is and so are other friends around us and since they make sure to wish us a Merry Christmas, I wanted to make something in their honor during this year's celebration of Hanukkah. She often mentioned the jelly donuts her mother used to make during this holiday and since a sufganiyah is a donut is a beignet, well there was no way I was going to say no, eheheh!!! Hanukkah,the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the re dedication of the Jerusalem Temple. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days. Serving jelly doughnuts at Hanukkah, which are fried in oil symbolizes the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days instead of one.

There are numerous recipes for them online but I wanted to give dear Ole' Martha one last shot. It's no secret among the blogging community that we have issues with her recipes as written and we end up tweaking them to make them work. I settled on one of hers for the donuts and from a first glance at it, it seemed that the proportions of liquids to solids might work, so I played along. However, I had serious doubt things would work after mixing the dough as it seemed really really soft. But I trusted Martha and after the first rise, the dough was very supple and yet very easy to roll out and proceed with cutting out the sufganiyot.

I know you can't tell from the pictures, and that is because I did not have time to take proper shots while the gluttons were devouring these, but they are filled with raspberry jelly. I used a homemade one but feel free to use the one you like. Don't be afraid of frying either. I do not have a deep fryer so I use a cast iron pan with about 2-3 inches of oil in it. The only thing I have added was a tablespoon of orange flower water to the dough. It makes fried doughs that much better...

It was a pleasure to see C's and the kids' face when I dropped these off. I shared some eggnog and coffee with them while listening to family stories and traditions. I also enjoyed reading more about this holiday that although not completely foreign to me, had not been explained in details and researching recipes as well as history was a fantastic part of blogging. This is my entry to Meryl's Joyous Jumble, an event meant to discover other cultures' holidays during the month of December.


Sufganiyot, adapted from Martha Stewart:

Makes 20.

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water, (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for rolling
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 large eggs
1 Tb. orange flower water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups vegetable oil, plus more for bowl
1 cup seedless raspberry jam


In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center; add eggs, yeast mixture, orange flower water, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, nutmeg, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a sticky dough forms. On a well-floured work surface, knead until dough is smooth, soft, and bounces back when poked with a finger, about 8 minutes (add more flour if necessary). Place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch-round cutter or drinking glass, cut 20 rounds. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise 15 minutes.
In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until a deep-frying thermometer registers 370 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, carefully slip 4 rounds into oil. Fry until golden, about 40 seconds. Turn doughnuts over; fry until golden on other side, another 40 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Roll in sugar while warm. Fry all dough, and roll in sugar.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip with jam. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, make a hole in the side of each doughnut. Fit the pastry tip into a hole, pipe about 2 teaspoons jam into doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

49 comments:

Anita said...

I had never heard of sufganiyot but if it's anything like a beignet, and if it's made by you I'm sure it's delicious!

Hilary said...

Those are awesome! Since I'm the lone Jew in my department at work, I considered making latkes or sufganiyot to bring in, but instead ended up at a Jewish bakery and chose various filled sufganiyot from the case. I think you've inspired me to give these a shot!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This is just too much. How I wish we could all live in a real neighborhood! I know I'm going to dream about sufganiyot, jelly donuts and beignets. Too much on my schedule this but I know I would totally pig out on these.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmmhhh, how wonderful! Your Sufganiyot make me salivate... Very kind of you!

Cheers,

Rosa

Pille said...

Jam donuts?? Wonderful (even if I haven't heard of sufganiyot before - cannot even pronounce the name:)

Graeme said...

At least you have nice weather still. We have to bare dullness and rain for a few months now, lol.

Great looking Donuts; The Nutmeg is a great addition.

Lydia said...

Ah, sufganiyot -- I cannot have them in the house, because they are just too good. And clearly I can never live within a mile of your house, or I would be over there all the time, waiting for good things to come out of the oven!

April said...

They look delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

João is gonna love these, Helen!

Deb said...

How absolutely wonderful! I have never made them (terrified of deep-frying) but am now gunning to find a way to have you as my neighbor, warm weather and all!

Re: Martha recipes--yes! However, her chocolate babka was the best I've ever had. I wonder if she excels in Eastern European ethnic food, and the rest falls by the wayside. ;)

Dana said...

I've always wanted to add sufganiyot to our Chanukah celebration! They are so delicious. My family usually makes latkes (potato pancakes -- savory, obviously, not sweet), which are also fried in oil (oil being the "symbolic" part of the holiday...). But given my sweet tooth, I'd MUCH rather have these!!

Hillary said...

I have never made my own sufganiyot...I have only made latkes! But I love both very very much :) Thanks for this post!

Bev and Ollie "O" said...

I LOVE jam doughnuts!
These look just like the ones you can buy in England, and I can never find them here in Belgium! :o(

YUMMY! x

Aimée said...

I'll never complain about the snow. We will actually have a white Christmas here and I am so happy! wish I could send some your way, Helen.
Your beignets look delightful, I am all about deep frying!

Maryann said...

They look lovely! I love using orange water in my Italian desserts. A very Happy holiday season to you and yours :)

Ben said...

We are buried in 6 inches of snow here in Ohio and I am loving it! All day I've been singing "it's beginning to look like Xmas" I don't want to spend another Christmas in a warm weather place, that's just not right :-p

Quellia said...

I'll take a dozen please! Actually, make that 2 dozen. I'm sure they will go fast.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

These look so good and you're just so cool! Please come and live in our village.

Lydia Hamre said...

These look oh so good! I love bite size things, for some reason it makes me feel so good!

JEP said...

Delightful post & awesome photos!

Ellie the Kitchen Wench said...

Oh my god! Me and the girls are having our pre-christmas party next weekend, guess what I'm making!!

THESE! *drool*

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Peabody said...

Send them my way! Those should have been my breakfast today instead of Captian Crunch!

pinkconfettti1@yahoo.com said...

gosh your little square cup is adorable! esp with the spoon on it.

would u still remember where u bought it and the size? also love your latern cups!

^_^

Tarah said...

I've never heard of these, but they look wonderful!!

Veron said...

I'm with Anita if this taste anything like a beignet ...you have me sufganiyot!

Zarah Maria said...

*sticks her hand into photo and grabs one* - they look so good!:)

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, sufganiyot! A traditional Jewish holiday pastry! Looks fabulous, Helen!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Sigh - raspberry jelly donuts are my favorite! You are such a sweet and thoughtful friend to make them for C for Hannukah.

Cakespy said...

No need to sufganiyot in silence! Uh, sorry. Trying to think of something clever!

These look so great!

Gloria said...

This looks wonderful!!! Gloria

almost a librarian said...

I just LOVE how the sufganiyah isartistically balanced on the spoon over the eggnog! (one sufganiyah, two sufganiyot if anyone is interested). Never noticed the comparison with a beignet. Live & learn!

Chris said...

These look tasty, Helen! How long in advance can you make them? Do they keep well?

glamah16 said...

yuuuuummmmmmm!

Kristen said...

Oh I am so jealous of your Christmas in a tee shirt :)

I love that first photo. Very, very creative.
Kristen at Dine and Dish

. . . said...

yum. they look great, and i'm happy that martha's recipe turned out well for you!

Manggy said...

ARGH!! I've only recently learned what these are and now I really really want to make them!! Lemon curd also would sound like a great filling.

holybasil said...

it's like you read my mind...beignets are what I've been thinking about this whole week. Will have to remedy this...

passionatenonchalance.com said...

oh tartlette, you've gone and done it again! homemade jelly donuts and milk, shame on you!!! YUMMMM

rachel said...

You are my hero! I'm the pastry chef at a very small and VERY new restaurant in Montreal. By boss LOVES anything deep fried, so I wanted to make beignets for him. I used to work at one of the best and busiest restos in montreal, and we made beingets every saturday and sunday for brunch, but when I left I forgot to copy down the delicious recipe. Since then I've been on a hunt for something equally delicious, but I've had many problems finding one. I was going to send you a note asking for a recipe, but when I arrived at your site you already had one posted!
My 2nd problem is that the kitchen is FREEZING (I wear long underwear and long sleeved shirts underneath my chef-ware) So yeast based doughs take FOREVER to rise (it's unbelievably frustrating) Also, is there something I can use instead of orange flower water? I have to beg for things that I desperately need in the kitchen, and since I don't already have orange flower water, there is NO way i'm going to get any unless I bring it in myself (I've been begging for everything from pastry bags and tips, to portion scoops, to a variety of spices and dried fruit since we've opened to no avail!)
Anyway, I'm going to try this recipe on Sunday (we have too many christmas parties before that to be playing around) I hope it works in my very cold place of work. I should probably add some more yeast to make up for the dry dry cold of the city in which I live. Also, although I understand your jealousy of the cold and snow...I'm equally jealous of your heat and sun. It's only going to get MUCH MUCH MUCH colder here...like -40. I'm not looking forward to those months in that kitchen.
Thanks, Tartelette!! Your blog is my favourite for new and interesting pastry recipes!

Tartelette said...

Rachel: you need to put your foot down with your Exec. Chef and the owner or manager. Pastry chefs are the last one on the list when it comes to gear, equipment and resources. I should know, I was constantly fighting with the owner to get top quality food items...
Re-rising doughs: in your oven, no heat,just with the pilot light on. or in an empty microwave or large box with a bowl of hot water.
Thanks for the compliments and good luck on the new gig.

Deborah said...

Well, I'm tired of the cold already!! It has been in the 20s(F) here all week, and I don't even want to go outside!!

My husband has been begging me to make donuts. I'm sure he would love these!!

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

Helen, I tried making these for a potluck this weekend but the b*st*rds didn't rise at all once they hit the oil - they rose beautifully before that during both rests :( Any idea what could've gone wrong?

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Meryl said...

Thanks so much for sending these in for Joyous Jumble--can't wait to try them some chilly winter morning!

Here's the round-up: http://www.mybitofearth.net/2007/12/the-round-up-of.html

Happy Holidays!

Claudia said...

hi helen! do you think it would be possibile to add a grated apple to the dough? i had this great idea for the filling and it would be soooooooooo good if it were possibile to add it!

Tartelette said...

Claudia: I am sure a grated apple would work perfectly. I would just squeeze out some of the extra moisture in between paper towels and check the moisture while making the dough. Great idea!

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