Today, we had a cold and rainy morning - far too wet to take our usual walk - so the girls and I spent a couple of cozy hours in the kitchen, making sufganiyot, a traditional Hanukkah treat - basically little fried buns, usually filled with jam, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and such like (I used apricot jam). Since those involve deep frying, I make them literally once a year, and even then usually after my husband requests them several times. :o)
Here is the recipe I used:
4 cups flour
1 tbsp. dry yeast
2 eggs (I used our home-grown eggs)
a pinch of salt
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sweet wine - I've heard alcohol prevents the buns from absorbing too much oil during frying, don't know if it's true but I decided to give it a try. You can't taste the wine in the finished product. It's also possible to use other alcohol, such as brandy/cognac, although I imagine the taste will be more pronounced.
1 tbsp. lemon zest
approx. 1.5 cups warm water - you have to knead the dough while gradually adding the water, until you reach desired consistency. I always mix all ingredients before I begin adding water. Dough should be soft and pliable and readily workable.
After you knead, let the dough rise until it doubles in size. Now we get to the interesting part... usually the buns are filled by puncturing them after they are ready, and sort of "pumping in" the filling. It's a messy process, so I was delighted to discover a new idea for filling, which I tried out today, with great results:
When the dough has risen, roll it out on your working surface - not too thinly. Cut out circles with a cup. Take the filling and place some in the middle of every second circle. Cover those circles with the others, which have no filling, and press the edges firmly. Drop into hot oil and fry on both sides until you get a nice golden-brown color. This way, most of my sufganiyot were beautiful and round, and no filling leaked out.
These are often sprinkled with powdered sugar on top, but I decided to dispense with that, as powdered sugar has a tendency to get everywhere. They were delicious without. :o)
Enjoy, and do let me know if you happen to try them out!