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Homemade jelly doughnuts in minutes are the other Hanukkah miracle

Sufganyot via pizza dough

Sufganyot via pizza dough By Carly Pildis

If you’re anything like me, you spent yesterday frantically throwing away pumpkins and hanging up menorah and dreidel banners. With Hanukkah beginning on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year, there was scarcely time to breathe between holidays, let alone wait for dough to rise.

Jewish cooks who have just finished the labor intensive work of hosting Thanksgiving are now staring down the barrel of eight long nights of standing over hot oil, frying up another holiday without a moment’s respite. Even those of us who didn’t host had scarcely had a chance to unpack or grab a sack of potatoes. What’s a Jewish cook to do? I want to light up the night, but I have work in the morning and I am still in a turkey coma.

Enter my quick and easy sufganiyot, the traditional Hanukkah jelly doughnuts. They are my Hanukkah secret weapon, with a surprising time saver: pizza dough. This yeasted dough fries up beautifully, pillowy inside and crunchy golden brown outside. Toss them in plenty of powdered sugar and fill with your favorite filling—I’ve used raspberry jam, lemon curd, and Nutella with great results. They are a family favorite that actually allow you to have time to spend with your family.

Gathered around the table, watching the candlelights with my little girl on my lap, time finally began to slow down. My husband, who has always loved jelly donuts, took a big bite and let out an enormous “Mmmmmmmmm,” while nodding his head up and down in approval.

“When on earth did you get this done?” he asked.

I shrug: Just another Hanukkah miracle.

Pizza Dough Sufganiyot

1 container grocery store pizza dough (Skip the artisanal pizza place with the extra thin crust)
2 cups powdered sugar
8 cups vegetable oil
2 cups filling ( jams, Nutella and fruit curds work well!)

1 piping bag and tip (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off to form a hole)
Parchment paper (optional, but it sure does help avoid a mess)

Let the pizza dough come to room temperature. Honestly, this is the longest part of this recipe. Took half an hour.

Roll out the dough about an inch thick. Cut it out with cup or biscuit cutters into circles. Give your kid the scraps to play with. Wait 30 minutes. Start heating up oil. If you are a more organized person than me, use a candy thermometer to test the oil and begin frying at 350 degrees.

If you lost your candy thermometer somewhere in your kitchen, heat it till bubbles form and test with the dough scraps to make sure it’s hot enough for frying. The dough should start puffing up within seconds.

Carefully, preferably with a slotted spoon, lower in your donuts. Cook for about 2 minutes, flipping halfway through. Donuts should be light brown and puff up. Remove and cool on paper towels or a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Make a little cut on the top and use your piping bag to fill. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Blast some Hanukkah music and do a dance while your family oohs and ahhs over your donut making prowess. Happy Hanukkah!


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