Sufganiyot: Israeli Doughnuts with Jam or Miso Caramel
The long blogging hiatus wasn’t intentional. The reason mostly being life. Summer turned into Fall and now into (almost) Winter faster than I imagined it could. But I’m happy to be back with a doughnut recipe because it means Chanukah is here. It’s a magical holiday and not in the glittery, romantic sense. Watching the humble flames dancing on top of the menorah is the reminder of the miracles big and small we experience day after day, generation after generation. I believe the magic is seeing that small blessings are big and feeling gratitude for the good and, well, not so good.
There’s also the family time that’s more relaxed and the fun the kids inevitably have with gold coins, dreidels, crafts and sometimes a present or two. Of course all those fried foods need a notable mention. There’s just so much to love about these 8 days.
I’ve been a lot more active on my Instagram Stories and as I promised there, here’s the recipe for the sufganiyot (i.e. doughnuts) I made today. I have a few doughnuts here already, like this Vanilla Bean Sufganiyot that’s similar to a brioche dough. There are also these Eshel Yogurt Doughnuts that have a hint of tangy. And of course Sfinj, my most favorite Moroccan doughnuts. And now you have these Israeli Sufganiyot, that are similar to the ones sold in bakeries that abound decorated in colorful and eclectic toppings. I like to keep my toppings simple but flavorful. If you click around the other doughnuts you’ll see I’ve done halva, chocolate, cookie butter, etc. Today I took one of my favorite flavors (caramel!) and gave it a deep, umami twist by adding miso paste to the sauce. It cuts the sweetness and gives it just the perfect unexpected flavor. And some of them stayed classic, with jam. Those never go unloved.
I wish you a magical, happy Chanukah!
Sufganiyot: Israeli Doughnuts with Jam or Miso Caramel
1 kg white flour
2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
1 ¼ cups lukewarm milk
½ cup sugar
2 packs (20g) vanilla sugar
100g butter, softened
2 tablespoons brandy, vodka or rum
Zest from half a lemon
Oil, for frying
In a large bowl, combine half the flour with the yeast. Add the milk, sugar, eggs, butter, brandy, and lemon zest. Mix to form a loose batter. Add the rest of the flour while kneading until you get a smooth dough. Knead a few more minutes to activate the gluten in the dough. Cover well with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. With oiled hands, pinch sections off the dough to form little balls and place them over a parchment lined baking sheet. Alternately for more uniform pieces, divide the dough into three large sections. Roll each section into a log and divide into two. Then cut each log into 5 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place over a parchment lined baking sheet or onto parchment squares. This yields 30 doughnuts. For a smaller pastry, weigh each ball at 38g to get 50 uniform doughnuts. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Heat a small pot with 1 liter of oil until it reaches 350-360F (176-182C). You can check if the oil is ready to fry by inserting a wooden spoon. If the oil bubbles around it, then your oil is ready.
Place 3-4 doughnuts into the pot and fry for 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Remove and place onto a paper towel lined baking sheet to absorb excess oil. Allow to cool before decorating and filling. I would suggest checking the inside of the first and second to make sure they’re perfectly cooked.
note: for non-dairy sufganiyot, use water instead of milk and ½ cup oil instead of butter
Freezing instructions: You can freeze the balls before the second rise. Remove them 3-4 hours before you’re ready to fry so they have time to defrost and rise again.
Fillings and Toppings
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup miso paste
200ml heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. Cook the mixture, stirring often, until it bubbles and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. The caramel should coat the back of a spoon. Carefully mix in the heavy cream while stirring vigorously. Add the butter and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. it thickens as it cools. If you need to loosen it, bring to a boil with 1-2 tablespoons milk or water. Store excess in the fridge.
Dip each doughnut into the caramel and top with sesame seeds.
If your jam is stiff, loosen by mixing 1 teaspoon boiling water until it reaches the right consistency. If it’s lumpy, give it 2-3 pulses in a small food processor. Fill a syringe and stuff each doughnut. Top with powdered sugar.
White Chocolate Ganache: Heat 200ml heavy cream until hot but not boiling over medium low heat. Add 200g chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Mix well with a spoon until you a rich, creamy ganache. Dip each doughnut and top with sprinkles, Maldon salt, or candy.
Halva and Pistachio: Heat halva spread in a double boiler until smooth and creamy. Dip each doughnut and top with chopped roasted pistachios and halva crumble.
Glaze: mix powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon water (milk or juice) until you get a thick glaze. You can also add citrus zest and juice for more flavor.
Chocolate or cookie butter: Heat chocolate spread in a double boiler until smooth and creamy. Dip each doughnut and top with chopped nuts or candies.
Candy Melts: melt those to add a fun, colorful twist to your doughnuts.