Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Photo by Rachel Dedrickson
Sufgan-what? Similar to how this post title might leave you wondering what its about, I was asking myself the same question this past weekend while sipping my hot cup of Saturday morning coffee and reading a recipe for sufganiyot out the December 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

A little bit of background for you:

I’m trying to discover the traditional Jewish foods that are not apart of my Jewish family’s traditions. I don’t know why some recipes made it in to our holiday dinners and gatherings and other well-known Jewish foods are a nonexistent part of my memories around the table. My gut tells me that the reason I don’t know about many traditional Jewish foods is because no one ever wrote or passed down their foodie wisdom with each generation. The knowledge is lost. So here I am today, picking my Mom and Aunt’s brains, trying to decode my Grandma’s tattered composition notebook of Passover recipe scribbles, and sitting in the cookbook section of local bookstores for hours at a time learning about mandel bread and tsimmes. Learning about food is a project that never gets boring for me. Jewish food, though, is especially near and dear to my heart. I feel like I’m learning about my history and family the more I investigate. My hope is that along the way I can establish new food traditions…and record them in a family recipe book this time (amen).

So back to the sufgan-what? conversation…

After the beautiful presentation of sufganiyot caught my eye in Martha Stewart Living, I immediately went to Google to find out what they were. As it turns, sufganiyot (Hebrew: סופגניות)  are doughnuts! The deep-fried and jelly filled variety. Excuse me, but, why haven’t I heard about this Jewish food before? In other words: nom, nom, nom! This treat is typically made in celebration of Hanukkah, but I think they are suitable for any time of the year. They’d be delicious for Saturday breakfast or a fun nosh to the goof who scheduled a 9 a.m. conference call.

I will warn you that the recipe is a bit labor intensive. Let’s just say I went through four or five packets of yeast, and I made a mess of the jelly fill.  Be patient with yourself and make sure you allow yourself plenty of time for this undertaking. It’s totally worth all the effort and these sugar bombs are sure fun to fry! The dough becomes pastry heaven in a matter of thirty seconds.  If you’re looking for something delicious and you’re up for a project, give these a go!

Recipe care of Martha Stewart Living

Makes 2 dozen.
  • 1 envelope (1 scant tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm whole milk or soy milk (110 degrees)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • About 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups raspberry jam
  • Blue sanding sugar, for decorating


  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and 1 cup milk. Let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes.
  2. Whisk flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add yeast mixture, eggs, and butter, and beat on medium-low speed until dough is soft but not sticky, about 3 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer dough to a medium bowl coated with cooking spray, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough a few times, and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds, and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Reroll scraps, and cut out. Cover rounds with kitchen towel, and let rise slightly in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pot until it reaches 375. Line a wire rack with paper towels. Working in batches of 4 or 5, add doughnuts to oil, and fry, turning once, until golden and puffed, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, place doughnuts on rack to cool.
  6. Place a wire rack on parchment or a baking sheet. Whisk together confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons milk in a shallow bowl. Spoon jam into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 3/8-inch tip (such as Ateco #804). Pierce a hole in the side of a doughnut with the tip, and squeeze in jam to fill (filled doughnuts will feel heavy). Place on rack. Repeat.
  7. Holding filled doughnuts by their sides, gently dip tops into icing and return to rack. Immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Doughnuts are best when served immediately, but they can be stored in airtight containers overnight.
Enjoy with a friend, a cup of good coffee, and some good old gab!

Photo by Rachel Dedrickson

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...