Monday, December 14, 2009
Once a year, I buy 2.5 liters of veggie oil and I make Sufganyot for all my friends. Sufganyot are Hannukah jelly doughnuts filled with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This recipe calls for lots of orange zest and fresh yeast (usually sold in the refrigerated section -near the butter -of most supermarkets in ~ 17g packs).
I tend to make mine very small so people can have a few and sample different jams, but the traditional ones are about ~ 3 inches in diameter.
Yes, that is 6.5 cups of flour! This recipe makes enough for about ~50 2 inch doughnuts (so probably about 2-3 douzen 3 inch ones). This year, we made 3 batches!! And yes, we had a lot of doughnuts (though we managed to get rid of all but three). A word of advice, you'll want to start making them about 3-4 hours before anticipated serving. You want to serve them as soon as possible because they cool/degrade quickly and are best served warm. If you're going to keep them beyond a day (not advised) heat them for a few minutes in a warm oven to re-crisp them.
60 grams fresh yeast (sound in little cubes)
6 tablespoons sugar
1-1.5 cups warm milk
6.5 cups (780 grams) of all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
150 grams margarine (or butter)
2 tablepoons brandy
1 tsp vanilla
about 1/4-1/2 cup orange zest (about the zest from 2 large navel oranges)
2+ liters of vegetable oil
1. In a medium size bowl, break up the yeast cake and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar + 1/2 cup of warm milk and set aside.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour and salt.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar, eggs, margarine, brandy, vanilla, and zest and combine well.
4. When the yeast is bubbly, add it to the sugar/egg mixture and combine well. Slowly begin to incorporate all the flour into the wet mixture. Once (more or less) combined, begin adding small amounts of milk until the dough becomes a soft ball. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place (near the stove is good) for at last an hour.
5. When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a very very well floured surface and sprinkle with more flour (I found you need to add lots of flour as you go). Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and use a 2-3 inch diameter biscuit cutter to cut out circles from the dough. Place onto a cookie sheet to rest until you're ready to fry.
6. In the meantime (and heating a lot of oil takes a long time) heat up the oil in a heavy pan (I use a dutch oven). You'll need a thermometer for this step since good temperature management is important to doughnuts. 365-375 F is optimal for frying.
7. When your dough is nicely puffed and rested and your oil is hot, put a few doughnuts into the oil and allow to cook until brown on one side, and then flip to the other side to cool the other side. Make sure not to crowd the pan (5 doughnuts should be plenty) as that causes the temperature to drop and your doughnuts to absorb oil. Also, it's important to make sure that your temperature isn't so high that your doughnuts brown before being fully cooked.
8. Using a (metal) slotted spoon or spider, remove the doughnuts and place on a plate line with paper towel or a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to get rid of the residual oil.
9. Fill or serve with your favorite jam (raspberry is traditional, but this year I served mine with some homemade canned jam from the summer/fall: apricot, blueberry cinnamon, peach serrano, an cranberry apple.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar for the full effect.