Yes, I am aware Chanukka is over, but you know what? I decided to turn over a new leaf, and get started on next year. You know me, my motto is you can never be too prepared.
Anyway, back to real life; Sufganiyot, for the un-initiated, are jelly doughnuts, but they really apply to any sort of stuffed doughnuts, like caramel, chocolate, or whatever.
To make the dough, I saw an interesting recipe in the “The Joy of Cooking,” which essentially utilizes the creaming method for this yeasted dough. The reason why I find it interesting is when making any yeasted dough, we take advantage of gas by-products from the yeast to get trapped in a gluten network, which then when baked will expand. When making cookies however, you want some lift, but not too much, and that’s where the creaming method comes in. When you take soft butter and cream it together with sugar, what you’re doing is punching thousands of tiny little holes into the dough, which then expands also, and makes the cookie fluffy. The recipe I used for the sufganiyot, starts by creaming butter and sugar, and then adding some yeast, and some more flour, and allowing it to rise. So by doing the whole creaming thing first, it incorporates all of those air bubbles, which then can add to an even fluffier end result…Well I thought it was cool.
I allowed them to rise overnight in the fridge, which helps develop flavor, without causing them to rise too much (which is a thing), and then the next day, I punched the dough down, and allowed it to rise again.
When ready to roll, I decided to follow the instructions in the book, and rolled it thinner than normal (1/4 of an inch, as opposed to 1/2”), cut out rounds, placed the jelly filling inside, brushed egg white around, and topped each round with another round. I made some with jelly, some with homemade caramel sauce, and some with chocolate.
To fry, I brought the oil up to 350 degrees, which if you don’t have a thermometer, or if your thermometer sucks like mine, you can test it with a kernel of popcorn, and when it pops, you’re good to go.
Let them rest on a cooling rack, and when ready dust the hell out of them with confectionary sugar.
I did the same thing for the caramel, I placed a dollop of the caramel on one of the rounds, and topped with another
Now for the chocolate, I tried making a ganache, and doing the same thing, but it didn’t work out as I expected, so I tried stuffing them the classical approach, by injecting the chocolate inside. Well that was quite the disaster. I mean it somewhat worked out, but it made a mess, and then the chocolate pretty much oozed out, as you can see.
All in all, the dough came out really good. But I didn’t like the laying the two pieces on top of each other. A bunch of them opened up when frying. I would rather stuff them afterwards, the only problem is getting something to make that task easier. (I’ve used a piping bag with metal tip, and a plastic syringe, both didn’t do such a good job).
Well I hope you had a good Chanukka, and that you gained at least 5 pounds strictly from oil, however if you didn’t you can always make a batch of these.
adapted from Joy of Cooking (pg – 810)
- 1 cup water, warm
- 4.5 teaspoons yeast (2 envelopes)
- 4.5 cups flour, divided
- 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Oil for frying
- powdered sugar
- Jelly, Caramel, Chocolate, or whatever you’re planning on stuffing the doughnuts with
- Combine warm water, and yeast, mix, and allow to sit until frothy. Add 1 cup of the flour, mix until combined, and allow to sit, covered for at least 30 minutes (It will start to bubble vigorously)
- With a paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, waiting until the egg is incorporated before adding the next egg.
- Add vanilla, salt, yeast mixture, and remaining flour, and mix until combined. Switch to a dough hook, and knead until the dough pulls away from the bowl, about 10minutes on medium speed
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, tightly cover, and allow to rise for 4 hours, or overnight in the fridge
- Punch down dough, and (if risen in the fridge, bring to room temperature, and) allow to rise a second time, around 60-90 minutes.
- If you’re planning on placing the filling before frying (like I did), roll out the dough to 1/4”. If you’re planning on stuffing the dough after fried, roll it out to 1/2”
- Bring oil to 350 degrees (which is about the temperature a popcorn kernel would pop), and fry, without crowding the pan too much.
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack (allowing it to cool on paper towels can lead to soggy-ness), and when ready, dust with powdered sugar.