Heather Rode enjoys photography, baking, antiques, and hair care.
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What is Sufganiyah? What is Sufganiyot?
A sufganiyah is a traditional jelly donut eaten during the Chanukkah holiday. Click here to hear the proper pronunciation of "sufganiyah". "Sufganiyah" is the singular form of the word and "sufganiyot" is plural. Click here to hear the proper pronunciation of "sufganiyot". Sufganiyot are delicious and easy to make. I recently made this batch of sufganiyot along with other traditional foods for Hanukkah like potato latkes and fresh Challah bread. Chanukkah celebrates oil that miraculously burned for eight nights. Since Chanukkah is all about the oil, you will need plenty of it when preparing these Jewish doughnuts and other yummy treats for the holiday.
How Do I Make Donuts?
This recipe is easier than easy. You don't need a donut maker or doughnut machine. Traditionally these donuts are full-sized but to eliminate rolling and cutting out dough shapes, I just rolled these Sufganiyot into small bite-sized balls, similar to Munchkins from Dunkin' Donuts.
Ingredients for Doughnuts
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Packet Active Dry Yeast, (1/4 ounce sized packet)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 3/4 Cup Milk, Warm
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
- 6 Cups Vegetable Oil, For Frying
- Blueberry Filling, (See Below)
- Confectioner's Sugar, (For Dusting)
Homemade Donut Recipes
Instructions for Donuts
- Dissolve yeast in warm milk and set aside for a few minutes until bubbly and foamy.
- In large bowl, combine milk and yeast with sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Mix well.
- Gradually add flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
- Add softened butter and work dough with hands until it is smooth and shiny.
- Wash, dry, and generously oil the inside of the bowl. Place dough ball in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in warm place to rise for approximately 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
- While dough is rising, prepare blueberry filling. See directions for filling below.
- After 90 minutes, punch down dough. Using a tablespoon, measure out uniform sections of dough and roll into balls. Place balls on a parchment-papered baking sheet or back into oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.
- Pour oil into large pot and set heat to medium. Oil should be heated to 300° F.
- Line baking sheet with paper towels and set to side.
- When oil reaches 300° F carefully place 3 or 4 sufganiyot into pot. Turn when golden and cook other side. Remove from oil with skimmer or slotted spoon and rest on paper towels to drain.
- Allow sufganiyot to drain and cool. Transfer to clean dish. Using a pairing knife, make a slit in the top of each donut hole and gently push.
- Insert pastry tip into donut slit and gently squeeze, filling each donut with jelly.
- Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and serve.
Instructions for Making Jelly Filling
- Cook blueberries and sugar in saucepan on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Sugar should be dissolved, berries should be tender and a runny syrup should form.
- Place berries and syrup in blender and puree until smooth. Prepare pastry bag with tip for filling and stand bag up in large cup.
- Pour mixture into pastry bag and allow to cool. Place in refrigerator to chill. Go back to step 7 of donut instructions.
Tips for Making Sufganiyot
- Make sure your yeast is not expired. I like to use Fleischmann's yeast because it comes in individual packets, each containing 1/4 of an ounce of yeast.
- If your yeast doesn't bubble and foam in the warm milk, it may not have activated properly. You may need to start again.
- You can mix your dough using a stand-mixer, a hand mixer with dough hooks or just your hands.
- If your dough does not rise and double in size, the yeast may not have activated properly and you may need to start again.
- Six cups of oil is equal to 1.5 quarts and 48 FL OZ. Oil comes bottled in exactly that size and I like to use Wesson.
- If you don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature of your oil try cooking one donut first. This was medium heat, number 6/7 for me. It should puff up while cooking. Allow it to drain and cool and cut in half to make sure dough is fully cooked. If your donut holes are browning too quickly, not puffing up, and or still raw inside, your oil may be too hot and the temperature will need to be lowered.
- Cooking too many donuts at the same time can mess up the temperature of your oil. To keep the temperature consistent, only cook 3 or 4 balls at a time.
- My blueberries were purchased fresh at the market and frozen at home. You can cook fresh fruit, freeze your fruit until ready to use, or use frozen fruit from the store.
- Save time by prepping your blueberry filling the night before and refrigerate until ready to use.
- The donut holes can also be rolled in regular white granulated sugar before filling.
- Not a fan of fruit filling? Fill with Nutella or leave empty and coat donuts in a cinnamon sugar mix.
- If you don't have powdered sugar at home, you can make your own with regular white sugar and a blender.
- If your puncture holes look messy, don't worry. A little fruit filling and a dusting of sugar can help hide them.
- You can use a large Ziploc bag and a drinking straw in place of a pastry bag and tip.
- To save some steps and time, fill your sufganiyot with your favorite jarred jam, jelly, or fruit preserves from the grocery store.
These Chanukkah donuts are such a treat to make and eat during the holiday. Working with yeast and dough can sometimes feel like an all-day endeavor. In Hebrew, Chanukkah means "dedication." While I'm not Jewish, I am dedicated to my husband (who is Jewish) and very dedicated to his background and traditions. That same dedication got me working with yeast for the first time ever and I couldn't be more thankful. I had long been intimidated by yeast and I'm so happy that I branched out and tried some new things in the kitchen that I can in turn share with you.
© 2013 Heather
Chantelle Porter from Ann Arbor on October 08, 2015:
These look delicious. I will have to give them a try at Hanukkah.
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 21, 2015:
What a delicious recipe to devour and try. Thanks for sharing.
Virginia Kearney from United States on December 16, 2014:
I haven't made donuts in a while and you are making me want to try that again. I wonder if you can bake these too? Maybe then brush with a little butter and sugar? That would cut down on the fat.
Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on December 16, 2014:
Miss Heather, I like your article. Congratulations. You are great. I like how you fill in the small balls of bread with the delicious fruit. I used to bake for business many years ago when I was a teenager. I remember those days. I had a lot of fun. These days, I only bake for special occasions. I am going to bake your famous balls. Thank you for sharing your hub.
frank nyikos from 8374 E State Rd 45 Unionville IN 47468 on December 16, 2014:
Congratulations on HOTD! Love the recipe. Can't wait to try. I'm glad they're low sugar too
Hannah Writes on December 16, 2014:
Mazel tov on being Hub of the Day! My kids and I are going to have to try this recipe. They love jelly donuts but we have yet to find a recipe that we wanted to try a second time. Chag sameach!
RTalloni on December 16, 2014:
Congratulations on your Hub of the Day award for this recipe hub that is special on every level! Enjoyed reading your personal comments along with this clearly detailed recipe.
Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on December 16, 2014:
Congratulations, Heather Says, on another great HOTD. Don't know how I missed this one. These look beyond awesome and yummy x 10. I love your detailed explanation of the history of Jewish traditions and telling us up front that the recipe is "easier than easy." I also love your dedication to your husband and his religious and cultural heritage as expressed in this wonderful hub. Love your work, Heather, you're the best. Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.
poetryman6969 on December 16, 2014:
Too sweet for me but I love that photo. If you are the one that took the photo then my compliments. Looks professional.
Kappygirl on December 16, 2014:
Congratulations on HOTD! This hub is gorgeous! I too am intimidated by yeast, but you have given me courage to try. I love how you add the text to your pictures--I've got to learn how to do that. A friend of mine is in Israel right now so seeing these donuts made me happy. I'll have to ask her if she is going to have any while there!
christinemariezzz on December 16, 2014:
Clearly, your passion for mixing a bowlful of specialty dough is praiseworthy! Nuggets of this standard should be eaten and read daily.
(formerly a baker in a small village-like setting in Northern MI of natural leaven specialty doughs)
Mary Craig from New York on December 16, 2014:
I can't believe it took 12 months to make HOTD! Congratulations on a HOTD well deserved.
Who doesn't love a jelly donut? You've made it so simple and your pictures are terrific. This is a treat many people have shied away from but I'm sure you've changed all that. Thank you for sharing.
Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and pinned.
Elisabeth Ellis from Nashville, TN. on December 16, 2014:
You are unbelievably talented. I wish every HOTD was yours. lol
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on December 16, 2014:
Congratulations on your well deserved HOTD - the sufganiyot look absolutely amazing and easy to make too. I would love to try this sometime, thanks for the share. Bookmarked for my next baking day.
mySuccess8 on December 16, 2014:
The doughnut is a popular fried dough food prepared in various different shapes and forms in different countries all over the world. Today we are introduced to making a traditional donut eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The recipe, photos and instructions are clear, and they look delicious. Congrats on Hub of the Day!
peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 16, 2014:
i would love to try this donuts, maybe for this Christmastimes, thanks
Heather (author) from Arizona on January 24, 2014:
@randomcreative-- Thanks so much for stopping by. I've only become familiar with sufganiyot during the last couple years, but the concept of jelly donuts is deliciously familiar. Making and filling these was a million times easier than I could have ever imagined when I tried for the first time. I hope you can give it a try some day. Thanks again :)
@torrilynn-- Thanks for stopping by and voting up this recipe. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
@sallybea-- Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I definitely have fun when I'm making these little goodies. Thanks again :)
@purl3agony-- Thanks so much for your visit and comment. I would have been making homemade donuts for years if I knew it wasn't so scary. I hope you can give it a try someday. Thanks again :)
@DzyMsLizzy-- Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Who doesn't love sweets?! Food may very well be my religion in my next life ;) Thanks again :)
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 10, 2013:
I had never heard of Sufganiyah and had to click over to learn about it. Very cool! Your donuts look delicious. I've never attempted filled donuts at home and would love to give it a try sometime.
torrilynn on December 07, 2013:
Home made donuts is such a great idea that I would have never thought of! Thanks for the recipe, will be trying this sooner rather than later. Voted up; useful.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on December 06, 2013:
These look amazing, would love to have a go at these.
Thanks for sharing.
Donna Herron from USA on December 06, 2013:
Wow, your sufganiyot look and sound amazing. I've never thought of making donuts at home, but this seems almost do-able :) Thanks for sharing your recipe and skills!!
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 06, 2013:
These sound delicious! I'm not Jewish, nor any religion, but I am a big fan of sweets!
Voted up! Definitely bookmarking this, sharing and pinning.