Hanukkah - Festival of Lights


No wonder I had doughnuts on the brain in my last post - Hanukkah was around the corner beckoning withe smell of all good things fried... Growing up in Israel not only did we have latkes (which we called Levivot), but also Sufganiot. Soft pillows of fragrant doughy deliciousness, coated with snowy powdered sugar and filled with strawberry jelly, or if you were lucky - chocolate! Are you drooling yet?  

Today, Israeli bakeries boast a vast selection of toppings and flavors, keeping up with the times and the sophisticated Israeli palate. Me? I am kind of a traditionalist that way. Still love that simple but yummy sufgania (singular), though I do like the cinnamon sugar coating and the chocolate filling. So, sue me...


Gourmet Sufganiot in Israel

Carine Goren is a well known and much loved Israeli baking guru with her own TV show and multiple cookbooks. Here is an adaptation of her recipe that we all enjoyed on the first night of Hanukkah. A little elbow grease... BIG reward!!

Even adult children can resist sinking into one of these...

Bakery Style Sufganiot

Recipe adapted from Carine Goren

Yields 16 medium Sufganiot


18 ounces AP flour 0.05 ounce dry active yeast 150 milliliters Lukewarm whole milk 2 ounces granulated sugar 2 large eggs 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons brandy 1 teaspoon lemon zest For frying: canola oil Finishing: Powdered sugar jelly, for filling nutella, or other choices


1. Prepare the dough:

In a mixer bowl with dough hook attachment mix about half of the flour along with the yeast. Add milk, sugar, eggs, brandy and lemon zest and knead until a smooth liquid batter is formed. On low speed add the rest of the flour gradually, then increase the speed and knead for 5 more minutes until a smooth and shiny dough is formed.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, lightly coat top of dough with oil to prevent drying, cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let rise until doubled in size.

Note: I created a proofing box in my oven by placing on the bottom a pan with boiling water and placing the dough to rise in that moisture filled warm part of my oven.

2. Forming:

Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface (you do not want the dough to dry out). Divide the the dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each one into tight and smooth balls. Place the balls on parchment lined baking sheets, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size again.

Note: I returned the balls of dough to the oven and poured in freshly boiled water to recreate the heat and moisture.

3. Frying, filling and topping:

In a wide heavy pot, heat about 3” of the canola oil to 350F (using a candy thermometer). Fry the sufganiot 4-5 at a time, making sure not to over crowd them, about 2 minutes per side. Remove Sufganiot from oil and place on paper towel to absorb some of the oil away. Cool slightly until easy to handle, inject with jelly and top with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Little crowns of Jelly! Yum!

4. Options:

1. While Sfganiot are still warm roll them in cinnamon sugar. 2. Either of these fillings can work as well: Nutella, Dulce des Leches, ganache, buttercream, custard. 3. top with ganache, caramel, etc.

Hanukkiah - The Hanukkah Menorah

May this holiday season bring light into all of our lives and usher a year of peace.