potato latkes and sufganiyot (israeli doughnuts)

A sufganiyah (סופגניה) is a ball-shaped doughnut that is first fried, pierced and injected with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar, similar to the german Berliner. The Hebrew word sufganiyah derives from the hebrew word for sponge.

i was very excited when hanukkah came. i am not religious, but i love holiday cooking, and hanukkah means two things for me, latkes and sufganiyot. its really easy to make these two dishes, and everyone seem to love them.

there are so many variations for latkes, it looks like you can make them with almost any ingredient, from regular potatoes to chickpeas, herbs, sweet potatoes and so on. use your imagination. i have decided to make regular potato latkes this year. i have been craving them months before the holiday. i was about to serve them as main dish with some salad, wanting to eat as much as possible, but at the end i did not make enough, and people were demanding for more and i did not have any to give them. beware, they are so delicious make double the amount your planning to make. making latkes is easy, but they take some preparations, from peeling the potatoes, to grating and then frying them in batches. i always pile the ones that are ready in a big oven proof dish in the oven on a low temperature to keep them warm till they are all ready and its time to eat.

after we were done with the latkes i served my doughnuts. they are best served warm but not straight from the fryer, so what i usually do is make them prior to the latkes and than set them aside till its time for dessert. doughnuts, to me, always seemed as a hard thing to do, but its really not. all you need is patience with the dough, and the rest is a breeze. when it was time for frying i got a bit nervous. i am not comfortable with big pots filled with oil, always worried it will burst into flames. i have put a thermometer in the pot and had everything under control. the doughnuts came out just right, i served them with warm nutella and strawberry preserve and everyone seemed to love it. at least i had enough of those.

potato latkes:
4 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
3 large beaten eggs
6 tbs fresh bread crumbs
salt and pepper
olive oil

finely grate potatoes by hand or in processor, with gratin disk.
transfer potatoes into a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover. let stand for 5 minutes.
drain potatoes. wrap in kitchen towel and twist ends to squeeze as much water as possible.
place potatoes in large bowl. mix in eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. working in batches drop potatoes to the skillet. cook till crisp and golden brown. about 4 minutes per side.

*can be served with apple sauce

*makes around 20 pieces
18oz all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3 tbs sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 tbs melted butter
2 bitten eggs
strawberry preserve
powdered sugar
About 2 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

Stir together yeast and warm milk in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
in a mixer bowl mix the dry ingredients, flour, sugar and salt. add the liquid ingredients; yeast mixture, milk, melted butter and eggs at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium and beat 3 minutes more till a smooth and not sticky dough is formed. if the dough is sticky add more flour as needed.
Scrape dough down side of bowl (all around) into center, then sprinkle lightly with flour. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and mix with your hands for few minutes.
transfer the dough into a greased bowl and cover with cling plastic wrap. place in room temperature for 2 hours.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and mix with your hands for few seconds. roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into 1/2 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as possible with 2 inch cutter and transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes
Heat 2 1/2 inches vegetable oil in a deep heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts turning occasionally until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350°F between batches.)
sprinkle doughnuts with powdered sugar, than make a hole on the side of each doughnut and fill with the strawberry preserve.


*makes around 12 pieces

1 comment:

brookiebod said...

yummy , the best latkes i ever ate in my whole life.