Sufganiyot: Classic Israeli Jelly Doughnuts

Sufganiyot: Classic Israeli Jelly Doughnuts

"The only doughnuts I had growing up in Israel were yeasted, filled with strawberry jam and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Perfectly plump specimens, they had an untanned line that ran around the middle of each one, visually separating deeply golden hemispheres. I saw that as a sign of being fried to perfection — something that eludes me at times when I try to replicate doughnuts with that same pale stripe at home." So below I am sharing a tweaked recipe for the classic Israeli Jelly Doughnut. 

"for those who are sentimental, it takes only one classic Israeli jelly doughnut to satisfy the soul."

So I was compelled to bring you a tweaked recipe of the "Sufganiyot; Classic Israeli Jelly Doughnuts" of my childhood. 

But before I do, don't forget to subscribe to "Beyond the Bagel," my new podcast on Apple Podcasts. A new and exciting Chanukah tips and tricks episode is coming out soon. I am sure you will love my next guest as much as I do. You can also subscribe via email (on the right-hand column) to be the first to receive updates on new posts and recipes, exciting new talks and cooking classes that are in the works, and an upcoming newsletter. 

Hang on to this recipe. I might demo "Sufganiyot; Classic Israeli Jelly Doughnuts" on IG LIVE just before Chanukah.

Please read the recipe, including the author's notes, below before proceeding.

Sufganiyot: Classic Israeli Jelly Doughnuts

makes about dozen (plus)


5 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
3 packets (3/4 ounces total) active dry yeast
1 stick (8 tablespoons) melted unsalted butter (or margarine or oil for parve), cooled down
3/4 cup sugar 
1 large egg
1 1/2  teaspoons salt
2 -3 inch canola or other vegetable oil for deep frying

For serving:

Strawberry jam for filling
Confectioner's sugar for dusting


Mix the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl with a hook attachment. Add in the melted butter and slowly add the lukewarm waterwheel kneading on low. Scrape dough from the sides of the bowl as needed. Knead the dough in a mixer for about 10 minutes until a dough is formed and smooth. Scoop the dough out of the mixer bowl and form into a smooth, soft ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm corner of the kitchen for an hour or until dough doubles in size.

Punch the air out of the risen dough and knead for a few seconds. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface, into 2cm/about .8 inches thickness.

Using 2 inch round cutters, form round doughnuts, and place on a lightly floured parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Cover dough rounds with a kitchen towel and let them rise for another 1/2 - 1 hour in a warm place in the kitchen.

Roll out the excess dough/dough scraps and repeat. 

Heat 2-3 inch deep vegetable oil to 350F - 375F in a deep frying pan. With a flat, heat resisting spatula, transfer several doughnuts to the hot oil. Don't overcrowd the frying pan. Fry on one side until golden, then flip (by slightly tapping the top of the doughnut, with the spatula, the doughnut should flip), and fry until golden brown on the reversed side. Remove from oil with a slotted flat spatula into a paper towel-lined dish. Adjust the heat/lower heat, if necessary, if the doughnuts golden from the outside too quickly, and don't cook inside. You can first test with a small piece of dough before proceeding to fry the doughnuts. Fry several doughnuts at a time, in batches, until all doughnuts are fried. 

Let the doughnuts cool down. Fill a piping bag, or syringe, with the jam and fill from the side or the top of the doughnut. Dust with powdered sugar and serve!!

Author's Notes:

Proofing yeast: I usually proof the yeast before adding it to the flour. I add 1/2 cup of the lukewarm milk (about 105F) from the 1 3/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon sugar from the 3/4 cup sugar in a medium/large (preferably glass) bowl. Add the yeast to the milk and sugar, stir and let it bubble for 10  - 20 minutes. Make sure the milk is not hot. Hot milk will kill the yeast. This method makes sure your yeast is alive and that the dough will rise. At times I skip this step and add the ingredients together as instructed in the directions above.

Proofing dough:

A. I find a heat resistant glass or ceramic bowl to work best for proofing dough. 
B. At times, I use clingy plastic to cover the bowl before proofing, but I am trying to shy away from plastic. 
C. If the kitchen is too cold, I heat the oven to 250F and place the bowl with the dough on the stovetop on top of the range to proof, if that's your oven/stovetop set-up. The stovetop burners are off. 


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