I find myself in the home stretch, nearing the end of this year’s 52 project. I almost made it to the finish line without making donuts. I couldn’t let that happen and the timing was perfect–Hanukkah gave me the opportunity to make traditional jelly-filled donuts, sufganiyot, to share with a friend!
Soon after I eliminated gluten from my diet, I tried to make donuts with a savory filling. I filled them with roasted pears, brie and walnuts. They were pretty tasty and I knew this recipe from Gluten-Free Bay would be the one to turn to when it came time to make a more traditional donut. I have modified the Gluten-Free Bay recipe, which was originally inspired by this recipe from Gluten-Free Utah. Big thanks to them for the inspiration!
Sufganiyot (makes approximately 18)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 T. butter, melted
1 1/2 t. vanilla bean paste
2 1/2 cups of my favorite flour blend
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda 1 t. salt
1 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon
1 egg, set aside for egg wash
1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, set aside for dredging after frying
Raspberry fruit spread (I use Trader Joe’s, but any variety and flavor of jam, jelly or fruit spread would work)
Whisk eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla bean paste in a large bowl.
Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Fold slowly into the wet ingredients, either using your hands or a large mixing spoon. When the ingredients are mostly combined, you may want to use your hands to knead the dough a few times.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Prepare countertop or rolling mat for dough by sprinkling with extra flour blend. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. If the dough is very sticky, add a bit more flour. It’s essential to roll the dough only 1/4 inch thick, any thicker and the dough will not be cooked all the way through.
Heat canola oil to 375 degrees in pan for frying.
Using a 2 3/4″ or 3″ donut cutter with the hole cutter removed, cut disks out of the dough. Place 1/2 t. fruit spread in the center of a disk, brush with egg wash and top with a second disk of dough. Crimp with edges with your fingers until it is sealed.
Place in hot oil with slotted spatula/frying spoon. Cook until very brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side. Remove from oil and place on baking sheet lines with 2 or 3 layers of paper towels While donuts are still warm, dredge in the bowl of sugar to coat.
These donuts are best served warm. If you must make them in advance, they can be re-heated in the microwave but become pretty heavy and chewy. Warm, fresh from the fryer, these are really yummy!
This week’s Sweet Friend is Dawn. I met Dawn via her adorable children who would come see me creating balloon sculptures most Mondays for a long time. She is also the sister of Celeste, who was the recepient of my first attempt at Jewish Sweets. I adore this entire family!
Dawn is one of the most enthusiastic people I know–and I love me some enthusiasm! She pursues life with gusto and we’ve had a few conversations about life changes related to nutrition and fitness that have given me lots of food for thought. Dawn recently took a serious tumble off of her bike (the kind with broken bones), yet she is already back teaching water aerobics. I can’t imagine what it would take to hold her back from reaching her goals or encouraging others to reach theirs.
Usually I deliver a sweet face-to-face, but with the holidays in full force, it is sometimes hard to make a connection. Such was the case with the pink box of sufganiyot. I carefully tucked it behind a planter on Dawn’s porch and called her later in the day to tell her where I had left it. The phone call made me smile. When she spotted the box (one of my pink bakery boxes, reminiscent of some many West Coast donut shops), I asked her to open it. Her response is definitely one of my favorites of the year. She squealed. Really, she did…and then she said, “SUFGANIYOT! My kids will be so excited!”
I heard from both Dawn and Celeste the donuts were quickly devoured. Dawn’s British husband said they reminded him of a British donut so now I’m on the hunt for information about these and thinking about a field trip, which Dawn has already offered to guide. 52 Donuts might be going international…
I don’t have a picture of Dawn with one of these yummy donuts, but I do have a picture of her from a group bike ride we went on this Summer. I’m including it instead, with hopes that next Summer will provide many more opportunities for us to be on bikes together. I’ll bring the donuts!