These plain or jelly-filled doughnuts are a favorite treat in Israel and a sweet alternative to the traditional latkes. Few people say no to doughnuts and this variety fits any appetite. I generally make a double batch of dough, refrigerate it and pinch off portions as I need for fresh treats or for taking along to a Chanukah party.
- 1 1⁄4 cups slightly warm water or 1 1⁄4 cups slightly warm milk
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 1⁄2-4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose and half bread flour)
- fine sugar (for coating donuts) or sugar (for coating donuts)
- 1 1⁄2 cups raspberry jelly (optional) or 1 1⁄2 cups raspberry jam (optional) or 1 1⁄2 cups apricot jam (optional) or 1 1⁄2 cups apricot jam (optional)
- shortening (three parts oil and one part melted shortening for frying, to fill up a good two-thirds of fryer)
- Whisk together the yeast, water and sugar, salt, oil, egg yolks, egg, vanilla and lemon extract.
- Blend well and stir in most of the flour to form a soft dough.
- Knead by hand, machine or in bread machine (dough setting), adding flour as needed.
- The dough should have some body, not too slack, supple, smooth and elastic.
- Place in a greased plastic bag and refrigerate at least 2 to 4 hours or overnight.
- If you are in a hurry, allow dough to rest at least 20 minutes, then proceed.
- If dough has risen at all, punch or flatten down, then pinch off pieces and form into small balls, about the size of golf balls.
- Otherwise, roll dough out to about three-quarters of an inch.
- Using a two and half inch or three inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds.
- Cover and let sit 15 minutes while heating oil.
- In a deep fryer, or heavy dutch oven, heat about four inches of oil or a combination of oil and melted shortening.
- Add the doughnuts to the hot oil (temperature should be about 375 F.) and fry until the undersides are deep brown.
- Turn over once and finish frying the other side.
- Lift doughnuts out using a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
- To fill, make a small opening and spoon in jam or jelly, or just sprinkle lightly with regular or extra fine granulated sugar by shaking doughnuts in a paper bag.
- Test oil temperature: It's a good idea to try frying one doughnut to start with.
- Once the doughnut seems done, take it out and cut it open to see if the inside is cooked.