Jelly Donuts

Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts), The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig, Photography by Evan Sung.

Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts), The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig, Photography by Evan Sung

Jewish cuisine exists all over the world. Shaped by the diaspora, Jewish food has inherently adapted and evolved to reflect the changing geographies and ingredients of its cooks, while also maintaining and honouring important customs and narratives.

Featuring over 400 dishes from Jewish communities around the world, The Jewish Cookbook is the most comprehensive collection of contemporary and traditional recipes for home cooks. Presenting food for everyday meals, celebrations, and special holidays, the book includes 11 chapters organized by occasion and dish.

Each featured recipe includes an introductory text highlighting the dish’s origin and context about its ingredients or the local community written by the book’s author, food writer Leah Koenig. A set of icons makes it easy for readers to navigate options for meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and with 5 ingredients or less, and accommodate dietary restrictions—gluten-free, vegetarian, and/or dairy-free. There are also more than 20 short essays that are interspersed throughout the book on topics from cooking techniques (e.g. Pickling and Preserving) to holiday habits (e.g. Desayuno: The Sephardi Brunch Tradition) and culinary histories (e.g. Jewish Dairy Restaurants).

Additionally, The Jewish Cookbook begins with a foreword by acclaimed cookbook author Julia Turshen and features special guest chef recipes from more than 20 of the world’s most admired and renowned chefs cooking Jewish food today. The contributors include Michael Solomonov (Zahav) in Philadelphia, Micah Wexler (Wexler’s Deli) in Los Angeles, Yotam Ottolenghi in London, Laurel Kratochvila (Fine Bagels) in Berlin, and many more.

The Jewish Cookbook represents a new generation of Jewish cuisine and is the ultimate compilation of traditional and contemporary recipes. Packaged in a beautiful blue cloth cover with silver and gold foil details, it is the ideal gift for home cooks interested in Jewish cuisine or anyone eager to learn more about global Jewish flavours and food traditions.

Leah Koenig’s writing and recipes have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Grub Street, Saveur, Epicurious, Food52, TASTE, Departures, and Tablet, among other publications. She is the author of 6 cookbooks including modern Jewish Cooking and The Little Book of Jewish Feasts. In addition to writing, Leah leads cooking demonstrations and classes all over the world. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two kids.

The Jewish Cookbook is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot)

In Israel, no Hanukkah celebration is complete without sufganiyot—puffy yeast doughnuts that are filled with jam. Originally brought to Israel by Polish Jews (who called them ponchik), bakeries across the country now overflow with the deep-fried pastries in the weeks leading up to the Festival of Lights. In recent years, sufganiyot have also become increasingly popular in America.

Makes: about 15 doughnuts
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus rising
Cooking time: 15 minutes

1 packet (1⁄4 oz/7 g) active dry yeast (21⁄4 teaspoons)
1⁄4 cup (50 g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) warm water (110°F/43°C)
2½ cups (350 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup (75 ml/21⁄2 fl oz) milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl and frying
Strawberry, raspberry, or apricot jam (not jelly), for filling
Powdered (icing) sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the warm water. Let sit until the mixture is bubbling and foaming, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

Add the remaining 1⁄4 cup (50 g) sugar, the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Scatter the butter pieces over the dough and knead, sprinkling with additional flour as necessary, until the butter is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 8 minutes. (The kneading can also be done in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, 5–7 minutes.) Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil.

Form the dough into a ball, place in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (cling film) or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½–2 hours.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit a wire cooling rack inside a large sheet pan.

Gently deflate the dough with the heel of your hand and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a ¼-inch (6 mm) thickness. Using a 3-inch (7.5 cm) round biscuit or cookie cutter, stamp out as many dough rounds as possible and place them on the lined baking sheet. Gather the scraps, reroll, and cut out more rounds. Cover the dough rounds loosely with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until puffed, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour 2 inches (5 cm) of oil into a Dutch oven (casserole) or large heavy-bottomed pot, set over medium heat, and bring to 365°F (185°C) on a deep-fry thermometer.

Working in batches of 4, gently add the dough rounds to the hot oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the wire rack in the sheet pan. Let cool slightly.

Use a small knife to puncture the side of each doughnut to form a pocket, then use a spoon or piping bag to fill with jam. Place the filled doughnuts back on the wire rack and dust tops with powdered (icing) sugar. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Phaidon.

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