Orange-Scented Jelly Doughnuts

  • Serves: Makes 12 Doughnuts
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Doughnuts and photo by Orange Piggy, Premium Member © Sarah
These deep-fried delicacies, also known as Sufganiyots, symbolize the miracle of the burning oil lamps in the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Fill with your favorite fruit jam. But, bakers are becoming more inventive; some are filling their Orange-Scented Jelly Doughnuts, with Caramel or Dulce de Leche or Fresh Lemon Curd, thus combining a tasteful twist on a Jewish holiday tradition. 


Always check the oil's temperature before frying every doughnut batch - it should be 375 degrees F, as measured with a Deep Fry Thermometer.

1/4 cup lukewarm water; 100 to 110 degrees F as measured with an Instant Read Thermometer
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons mild honey or 3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons sour cream or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, more as needed; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim

1/2 - 1 cup non-melting icing sugar or powdered sugar

1/2 cup thick raspberry or strawberry jam

2-inch round dough cutter
Deep heavy-bottomed saucepan that holds and maintains heat, filled halfway with fresh vegetable oil; canola oil is fine to use
Deep Fry Thermometer

Make doughnut dough:
1. Place warm water in small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water. Stir. Set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat egg and egg yolk with honey on low. Add sour cream, orange peel, vanilla extract, salt and yeast mixture, and mix well.

3. With the mixer running on low, gradually add flour. Mix until dough is soft, smooth and elastic, adding flour if dough seems very sticky, 3 to 5 minutes.
Do not add more than an additional 3 tablespoons flour; dough will be somewhat sticky, but will firm up in refrigerator.

4. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

3. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Use a biscuit or a cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch rounds, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll scraps and cut again.
Let rise in a warm place, about 30 minutes.

Fry doughnut dough:
Before you begin frying, have everything you need near the stove: the shaped doughnut dough, heatproof tongs or a slotted spoon, and paper towels, set on a large sheet pan, for draining.

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the vegetable oil, under medium-high heat, to 375 degrees F, as measured with a deep fry thermometer; when hot enough, a small piece of dough will brown on bottom in 30 seconds.
Keep on the stovetop with the burner on, adjusting as necessary to retain a constant temperature.
NOTE: If the oil isn't hot enough, you'll have heavy, greasy doughnuts. If it's too hot, they'll be dark on the outside and raw in the middle.

2. Working in batches, no more than 3 at a time, fry doughnuts turning once. Fry each one for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.

3. Drain on paper towels. Sift a layer of non-melting icing sugar or powdered sugar over doughnuts and holes.

1. If you have a pastry bag, fit with a small round tip and spoon jam into bag.

2. When doughnuts are cool enough to handle, use tip of bag (or pointed tip of a serrated knife) to make a hole in bottom of doughnut.
Squeeze or use a small spoon to nudge 1/2 teaspoon jam into hole.

3. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and serve immediately. Dust again with powdered sugar.

Fried foods, such as doughnuts, are best eaten right away, if not within an hour after they are made.
Store in the refrigerator if not eaten right away! Pastry cream is perishable!
Keeps for a few hours, at most, and then, the doughnuts get soggy from their fillings!

Adapted from Claudia Roden, NY Times, December 21, 2005

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