Hanukkah Treats: Strawberry Jam-Filled Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot)

Strawberry Jam-Filled Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot) (Wendy Goodfriend)

Crisp and golden brown on the outside, and stuffed with jam (or sometimes vanilla custard) on the inside, these little round jelly donuts (sufganiyot) are a beloved treat during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Foods fried in oil are eaten to symbolize the miracle of a one-day supply of oil actually lasting eight days to keep the Temple's menorah illuminated. Sufganiyot are a common sight in Israel at nearly every bakery and market this time of year, and are also celebrated and consumed throughout the world. Potato latkes are another classic dish served during Hanukkah, as well as other types of vegetables fritters, cheese-based recipes, and braised brisket.

You can make the yeasted dough the night before if you like, just be sure to let it come to room temperature for an hour before proceeding with the recipe.

*A note on the jam: Be sure to choose a thick jam for this. Strawberry is the traditional choice, but you can really use any flavor you like. If your jam isn’t thick, you can thicken it by boiling it with a teaspoon of cornstarch until it thickens slightly. Let it cool completely before proceeding.

Strawberry Jam-Filled Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot)
Strawberry Jam-Filled Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot) (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)

Makes about 2 dozen donuts

    Ingredients:
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, warm (105 to 115˚F)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups strawberry jam*
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
    Instructions:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes. Add the remaining flour, salt, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla and beat until the dough is well mixed, about 5 minutes; the dough will be slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to overnight (if refrigerated, let come to room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding).
  2. Beat until the dough is well mixed, about 5 minutes; the dough will be slightly sticky.
    Beat until the dough is well mixed, about 5 minutes; the dough will be slightly sticky. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    The raised dough is ready to roll out.
    The raised dough is ready to roll out. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  3. Dust 2 rimmed baking sheets with a decent amount of flour. Roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thick. With a 2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds of dough as you can. Press together the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more rounds.
  4. With a 2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds of dough as you can.
    With a 2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds of dough as you can. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  5. Place the dough rounds at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and cover the baking sheets loosely with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until they are puffy and nearly double in size, 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Place the dough rounds at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
    Place the dough rounds at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  7. Fill a heavy pot with at least 2 inches of oil (the oil should not go more than halfway up the pan). Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 360˚F. Using a spider or slotted spoon, carefully lower a few donuts in the oil; do not crowd the pot.
  8. https://youtu.be/8COyboMINU0

  9. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning a few times (metal tongs are good for this), until golden brown and cooked through. Remove with the spider or slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool. Repeat with the remaining donuts. Adjust the temperature while frying to keep the heat consistent.
  10. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning a few times (metal tongs are good for this), until golden brown and cooked through.
    Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning a few times (metal tongs are good for this), until golden brown and cooked through. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool.
    Drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  11. Transfer the jam to a piping bag fitted with a small, plain tip. Using a paring knife, cut a small hole into the side of each donut, pressing the knife into the donut to cut a little “pocket.” Be careful not to cut all the way through the sides of the donut. Pipe a few teaspoons of jam into each donut (don’t pipe so much in there that the donut bursts though!). Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
  12. Pipe a few teaspoons of jam into each donut.
    Pipe a few teaspoons of jam into each donut. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
    Dust with powdered sugar and serve. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Strawberry Jam-Filled Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot)
    Strawberry Jam-Filled Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot) (Wendy Goodfriend)

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