Sufganiyot (Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts)
Adapted from “Cooking Jewish” by Judy Bart Kancigor
3 packages dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
Scant 1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups oil
1/2 cups sugar
6 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
Canola or corn oil for frying
Jam (any flavor)
1. In a large (at least 6-quart) bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes until bubbly. Add scant cup warm water, salt, oil, sugar, and eggs. Add 3 cups of flour and mix. Knead in remaining flour gradually in the bowl until dough is spongy and elastic, but still feels a bit tacky (not stiff). Remove dough and oil sides of bowl (no need to wash it), coat dough with oil and return to bowl. Loosely cover with plastic wrap.
2. Preheat oven to 200°; turn oven off. Let dough rise in oven for 2 hours or until it nearly reaches top of bowl. Roll out on floured board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with 3-inch biscuit cutter (or glass) into rounds. Let rounds rise on cookie sheet 30 minutes.
3. Heat oil in electric fry pan to 365°. Dip fingers in flour. Lift each round of dough, hold with two hands, and with two middle fingers stretch the middle of the round quite thin. This will be the depression for the jam. Quickly drop each round into hot oil, depression side down, and cover until golden brown (not dark). Quickly turn them, cover and fry until other side is golden brown. Drain doughnuts on both sides on paper towels. Fill holes with jam; dust with powdered sugar. Best if eaten warm. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen