Tonight is the fourth night of Hannuka, and since it’s the weekend I am just getting into my holiday-cooking mode over here. I happen to love Hannuka and would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit happy about this being the last time (for a long while) that we will have to celebrate this awesome little festival of lights in the shadow of the commercial HOLIDAY SEASON clusterf*&% that is December in the United States. (What a racket….)
I wish everyone wonderful holidays, whatever you celebrate, may they be mall-free (unless that’s your thing) and filled with people and foods you love.
Sufganiot- Hannuka Doughnuts adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2010
As far as I know, the reason we make sufganiot on Hannuka is because during this holiday we fry foods in oil to commemorate the oil that kept the menorah burning in the temple for all 8 days. For some reason, sufganiot are traditionally filled with jam, but I do not think there is any connection between the jam and the Jews, other than our love of sweets. These little treats have no jam, instead they have a lot of fresh grated nutmeg, which is a completely different experience than the pre-ground stuff. Do not skimp here, the fresh nutmeg is what this recipe is all about.
3 1/2 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
3 tbsp. freshly grated nutmeg, divided
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg white
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup soymilk, plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, and let it curdle for 10 minutes)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (I used Vegan Buttery Sticks – margarine)
Canola oil, for frying
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together egg and egg white until frothy. Whisk in buttermilk and butter. Stir buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients to form a dough. Transfer dough to a floured surface; gently roll to 1/2″ thickness. Using a floured 3 1/4″ round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Gather dough scraps, knead briefly to form a ball; flatten and cut out more rounds. Repeat until all dough is used. Using a 1 3/8″ round cookie cutter, cut out center of each round. Chill doughnuts and holes for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining sugar and nutmeg in a large paper bag; set aside.
2. Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2″; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°. Working in small batches, fry doughnuts and holes, turning, until golden brown, 2–3 minutes for doughnuts and 1–2 minutes for holes. Using tongs, transfer doughnuts to a wire rack to drain. Shake doughnuts and holes in the paper bag to coat in the nutmeg-sugar.
MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN