Jelly doughnuts are traditionally served for Hanukkah celebrations. The tender, fluffy doughnuts are usually filled with fruit jelly, but at Breads Bakery we also fill them with dulce de leche, coffee custard and chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Technique tips: Want to fry your doughnuts another day? Instead of leaving them to rise a second time, place the tray(s) directly into the freezer. Once solid, wrap well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to one week. When you're ready to bake, remove the aluminum foil but keep the plastic wrap on loosely. Let them defrost in a warm area for about 1-2 hours (alternatively, defrost in the fridge overnight to fry in the morning). Once the dough has defrosted, continue with step 8 below.
Sufganiyot will always be best the same day they are fried. If you're frying them to be eaten later in the day, leave them on the cooling rack and fill and garnish just before serving. If holding filled sufganiyot for more than 4 hours, you'll want to store them in the fridge in a covered container.
- 1/2 cup plus 2½ tablespoons water, room temperature
- 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) dry active yeast
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup strawberry jam or jelly
- powdered sugar (optional)
For the dough:
1. Measure out all ingredients and set aside.
2. Warm the water until it is 110 F (it should feel very warm but not too hot to hold your hand in for 5 seconds). Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the dry active yeast into the water. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
3. Add the flour followed by the sugar, salt, egg and vanilla (hold off on the butter for now).
4. Knead the dough by hand or in a mixer.
If kneading the dough by hand: Using your hands and/or a flexible bowl scraper, combine the ingredients in a bowl until the flour is incorporated (it will be a fairly stiff dough). Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for approximately 5 minutes or until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Temper the reserved butter with your hands until it becomes pliable with no hard parts, then add it to the dough in pieces. Continue kneading until all of the butter is absorbed (the dough will still be rather stiff). Form the dough into a tight, even ball.
If using a mixer: Using a dough hook, mix on low speed for 3 minutes to combine ingredients; increase to medium speed and knead for another 5 minutes until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Temper the reserved butter with your hands until it becomes pliable with no hard parts, then add it to the dough in pieces. Continue mixing on medium speed until all of the butter is absorbed (the dough will still be rather stiff). Form the dough into a tight, even ball.
5. Scrape your mixing bowl clean, lightly oil the inside and place the dough seam-down into the bowl. Cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for about 30 minutes, or until roughly 1½ times larger in volume.
6. Remove the proofed dough from the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press it into a rectangle, de-gassing slightly to remove excess air. With the long edge facing you, use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough horizontally into three rows, then divide each row into four, creating 12 equal pieces (55 to 60 grams each).
7. Shape the doughnuts: Generously oil a clean sheet pan (or two if they're small) and set aside. Keeping the other pieces covered with plastic so they don't dry out, roll one piece at a time into a very tight ball, making sure the seam at the bottom is completely sealed. Repeat for the other pieces, then set them on the oiled sheet pan(s) at least 2 inches apart from each other.
8. Cover the sheet pan(s) loosely with a plastic bag and let rise for about 1½-2 hours in a warm, draft-free spot until each is about 2½ to 3 inches in diameter.
9. The doughnuts are ready when they are 2½ to 3 inches diameter and bounce back just slightly when touched. Remove the plastic bag and allow the dough to sit out uncovered for 15 minutes to form a skin.
10. While the doughnuts are sitting, heat the oil in a large, shallow pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 340 F.
11. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pot, gently lift a doughnut using an oiled scraper or metal spatula and place it carefully into the hot oil. Fry for 2-2½ minutes, then flip by pressing down on one side with a wooden spoon or spatula. Fry the other side for an additional 2-2½ minutes. The doughnuts should be golden but not dark brown. (You'll know if the doughnuts were proofed correctly by the tell-tale band of lighter dough around the sides.)
12. The key to success here is keeping the oil at the right temperature: too hot and the doughnuts will burn before they're cooked through; too cold and they'll be oily. Use a candy thermometer fitted to the side of your pot to track the temperature and adjust the heat as needed, and always allow the oil to come back to temperature in between batches.
13. Remove the doughnuts one at a time with a slotted spoon and place onto a cooling rack. While they're still warm, poke a hole in the side of the cooled doughnuts using the piping tip, a skewer or the pointy end of a thermometer.
14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 with the remaining doughnuts.
To fill and garnish:
Fit a piping bag with a medium-sized round piping tip (about 1/4-inch opening), then fill the bag with the jam. Pipe approximately 1 tablespoon of jam into the center of each doughnut through the hole on the side. If your jam is on the thicker side or has chunks of fruit in it, it's probably extra delicious but it may be difficult to pipe. Remedy this by adding cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring or immersion-blending until you achieve a smooth consistency.
Garnish by piping a small amount of jam on top, then cover generously with powdered sugar.