Mama Living Abroad

Sufganiyot- Israeli Hanukkah Doughnuts

sufganiyot Israeli doughnuts with jelly
sufganiyot Israeli doughnuts with jelly

Sufganiyot, Israeli Hanukkah doughnuts (sometimes spelled donuts!), are one of the traditional fried foods of Hanukkah. Growing up in Israeli during the 80s, Sufganiyot were sold with either strawberry jelly or Dulce de leche, also known as caramelized milk.

Nowadays every bakery, coffee shop and grocery store sells artisan Sufganiyot with unique fillings and toppings like toffee pudding, marshmallow, hazelnut, pistachio cream, and more…so feel free to go wild with your favorites. Of course, the Sufganiyot are also delicious plain. 

Hanukkah is all about fried foods, so if you also want to try another Hanukkah classic, make latkes.

Ingredients Overview

*I recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients instead of measuring with cups and spoons. 

All-purpose flour: Regular all-purpose flour is perfect for making Sufganiyot. The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a digital scale. Weighing flour is better than measuring it by volume. To accurately measure flour without a scale, spoon the flour into your measuring cup until the flour reaches just over the top of the cup. With the back of a knife, scrape off the excess flour so that it is level.

Yeast (active dry yeast): Active dry yeast needs to be bloomed in liquid before being used to make dough. However, it is not necessary to bloom newly purchased yeast. Instead, it can be added directly to the dry ingredients.

Water: It’s best to use water between 100°F and 110°F (38°C- 43°C); it helps to activate the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t overthink the water temperature. You want the water warm. Not hot. Not cold. Not freezing. Just warm. The proportion of water in bread dough corresponds to how hydrated, or wet, it is.

Sugar: For the sweetness of course. But sugar also feeds the yeast, increases its activity and tenderizes the dough.

Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature.

Butter: Unsalted at room temperature and cut into small pieces.

Salt: To balance the flavors, don’t skip!

Liqueur: The trick to getting a crispy (not soggy or oily) exterior when deep-frying doughnuts is adding a touch of alcohol to the dough.

Oil: Any neutral-tasting oil such as canola, sunflower, or vegetable oil with a high smoke point. 

Jam/Jelly: Any jam or jelly without big fruit chunks. You can also fill your Sufganiyot with anything that has a thick yet pipe-able consistency.

How to Make Sufganiyot Step by Step

Step 1: Bloom the yeast

**It is not necessary to bloom newly purchased yeast. Instead, it can be added directly to the dry ingredients**

Subtract about ¼ cup of warm water called for in the recipe. Add one teaspoon of sugar and the yeast and gently stir with a spoon. Allow the yeast to feed off the sugar and begin to bubble (if it doesn’t bubble after 5 minutes, your yeast may be expired). Let it bloom for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Make the dough

Put flour, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until combined. Add the eggs, water, vanilla, brandy and lemon zest and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Occasionally scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If the dough hasn’t come together, add a few drops of water as needed. Next, add salt and continue mixing for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. While the mixer is working, add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until all of the butter is absorbed. The dough may look very soft and might be sticky – that’s ok. 

Step 3: The first rise

Lightly flour your hands and your working surface. Shape and knead the dough into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled. This will take 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on how warm your room is. If you want to prepare it ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it warm to room temperature.

Step 4: The second rise

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously oil it; set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to ½ inch thickness. 

Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many Sufganiyot as you can and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Step 5: Fry the Sufganiyot 

When ready to fry, heat a large deep pan or pot of oil until it reaches 350°F/180°C. The oil should be around 3 inches deep for best results when frying. Carefully drop the Sufganiyot into the oil.

Fry the doughnuts for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on the other side. The Sufganiyot should be golden but not dark brown. 

Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet or a plate using a slotted spoon. 

Step 6: Filling the Sufganiyot

Fill the Sufganiyot after they have cooled to room temperature. The fillings might melt if the doughnuts are too hot.

Once the Sufganiyot has been filled, you can dust it with powdered sugar for a pretty finish.

How Long Do Israeli Hanukkah Doughnuts Last?

A fresh, hot doughnut is truly an amazing treat. Sufganiyot, like most doughnuts, are best eaten the same day as they are made. If you need to store them, the best way is to place them in an airtight container, seal the container and keep the doughnuts at room temperature for up to two days.

You can freeze the doughnuts and keep them fresh for up to two months. Thaw doughnuts on the kitchen counter at room temperature for an hour or slightly more if needed. doughnuts can be warmed in the microwave; however, limit the microwaving time to 15-second intervals and check continuously to prevent overheating.

Pro- Tip

Frying

  • Avoid overcrowding the pan and fry only 3 to 4 Sufganiyot at the same time.
  • The oil should be at 350°F/180°C degrees. If the oil is too hot, the doughnuts will burn before they’re cooked through. If the oil is too cold, the doughnuts will be very oily. Use a candy thermometer and adjust the heat as needed, and always allow the oil to come back to the temperature in between batches.

What If I Don’t Have a Candy Thermometer?

The easiest and safest method to check the oil temperature is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles forming around the wood, your oil is ready to fry. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again.

Piping Filling

  • Fill a piping bag with the jelly or desired filling and pipe it into the doughnuts. Insert the tip of the piping bag into the doughnut, gently squeezing the filling inside. Squeeze slowly so that the filling reaches all the air pockets in the doughnut.

What If I Don’t Have a Piping Bag?

Instead of piping, slice the doughnut open part of the way using a knife and gently spoon some jam into the doughnut.

More Jewish Recipes You’ll Love 

Hanukkah Chocolate Bark

Crispy Potato Latkes (Not Just for Hanukkah)

Baked Hanukkah Donuts

Hanukkah Gelt Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

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sufganiyot Israeli doughnuts with jelly

Sufganiyot- Israeli Hanukkah Doughnuts

Sufganiyot, Israeli Hanukkah doughnuts (sometimes spelled donuts!), are one of the traditional fried foods of Hanukkah.
Kosher, Dairy
Tried my recipe?Mention @mamalivingabroad or tag #mamalivingabroad!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Israeli, Jewish
Keyword: Hanukkah recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours
Servings: 30 units

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (500 grams) sifted all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) dry active yeast
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup (120 ml) lukewarm (105°F to 110°F/40°C to 43°C) water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Brandy, Cointreau, or Vodka
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 5 tablespoons (65 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature cut into small pieces 
  • Oil for deep frying
  • About 1 cup of your favorite jelly
  • About ½ cup (60 grams) powdered sugar for garnish 

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • Put flour, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on low speed until combined.
  • Add the eggs, water, vanilla, brandy, and lemon zest, and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Occasionally scrap the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If the dough hasn't come together, add a few drops of water as needed.
  • Add salt and continue mixing for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • While the mixer is working, add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until all of the butter is absorbed. The dough may look very soft and might be sticky – that's ok. 

The first rise:

  • Lightly flour your hands and your working surface. Shape and knead the dough into a smooth ball.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled. This will take 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on how warm your room is. If you want to prepare it ahead, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let it warm to room temperature.

The second rise:

  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously oil it; set aside. 
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to ½ inch thickness. 
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many Sufganiyot as you can and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Fry the Sufganiyot:

  • When ready to fry, heat a large deep pan or pot of oil until it reaches 350°F/180°C. The oil should be around 3 inches deep for best results when frying.
  • Carefully drop the Sufganiyot into the oil. Avoid overcrowding the pan and fry only 3 to 4 doughnuts at the same time.
  • Fry the doughnuts for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on the other side. The Sufganiyot should be golden but not dark brown. 
  • Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet or a plate using a slotted spoon. 

Filling the Sufganiyot

  • Fill the Sufganiyot after they have cooled to room temperature. The fillings might melt if the doughnuts are too hot.
  • Once Sufganiyot has been filled, you can dust it with powdered sugar for a pretty finish.

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Hi, I’m Rachel.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’m happy you’re here. I am the food blogger behind “Mama Living Abroad.” In this space, I am sharing flavorful recipes that I love to make and have my family and friends approve.

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