The Holy Hole-less Doughnuts

When Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden in a hurry, they hadn’t thought of packing a lunch box. Supposedly, He Who had kicked them out, sent them a comfort parcel with a dozen hole-less doughnuts filled with jam. Yum!

The Hebrew word for doughnut, sufgania, is here presented as an abbreviation of “The end of the Garden of G-d” (sof-gan-yud-hey). It’s a folk tale not supported by any evidence, but it shows how holy the hole-less doughnuts are considered in Israel. Forget latkes; in Israel sufganiya equals Chanukkah! The idea is the same: to commemorate the miracle of the oil (for explanation, please see But Hannah Did Not Have Potatoes!).  However, already in 12th century, Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef, Rambam’s father, wrote: “One must not make light of the custom of eating sofganim [fried fritters] on Chanukkah. It is a custom of the Kadmonim [the ancient ones].” I doubt that Rabbi Maimon’s fritters looked the same as modern sufganiyot, though, because the food historian Gil Marks definitively dates the first modern sufganiya to 1485, when a recipe was published in what was, perhaps, the very first cookbook printed on Johannes Gutenberg’s original printing press.

 

How did these German / Polish ponciki adapted by Jews for Chanukkah move to Israel? It is not certain, but in his book Eat and Be Satisfied: A Social History of Jewish Food, historian John Cooper makes an educated guess that the doughnut recipe was brought by the European (German, Polish, and Ukrainian)  Jews who arrived in Israel after fleeing Hitler’s Germany. (https://www.ou.org/)

I am not making sufganiyot this year, so I am turning this post over to a phenomenal blogger Simple to Wow who came up with a great recipe:

I like to stay close to the latest trends in cooking and design.  One trendy and helpful technique in preparing dough is to use a zipper bag for preparing and kneading the dough.  It is a great idea for most dough and really reduces the cleanup.  Best of all, since the zipper bag can be discarded after use, this simple dough technique virtually eliminates those nasty dough-covered utensils and sponges that are so difficult to clean.

The ziploc bag eliminates the dusty mess of flour and allows all the dough crumbles to remain in the disposable ziploc bags.  Since the sufganiot in this recipe are amorphous and just dropped into oil, the ziploc bag can even be used  to dispense the doughnuts right into the frying pan.

I have adapted my favorite sufganiot recipe to use the ziploc bag.  I have tried it and it is just perfect!

sufganiot-in-a-bag-in-oil

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dry active yeast

1 cup flour

1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
Olive oil, for frying

Powdered sugar (optional)

large zipper bag (1-2 gallon)

For instructions, please visit the original post.

Happy and joyous Chanukkah – enjoy!

 

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41 Comments Add yours

  1. I was going to do the same thing! I was thinking of you when I saw Tzippy’s post. Good things come to those who wait.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. [ Smiles ] I didn’t know that doughnuts came without holes.

    Most interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are Jewish doughnuts – they are bound to be different.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love how you mix history in with your posts! I feel like I’ve learned something from each one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting explanation about the name Sufganiya. I always thought it was came from “sforg” i.e. sponge, because of the texture.
    The recipe you have here is no doubt tasty, but in Israel we wouldn’t call it Sufganya – as they are the chubby, jam filled ones. By the way, the minister of health in Israel is trying his best to make people not eat them, in the name of healthy… It’s just not going to work! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I know about “sfog” and didn’t want to mention it for reason of brevity. As it is, it’s not my recipe, and I didn’t want to “steal Tzippy’s thunder” by taking too much space for linguistics. I agree, even though I’ve seen recipes for baked sufganiyot, people will go on frying! It’s Chanukkah!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, baked Sufganiyot are really ridiculous. The whole point is using oil, not serving some baked buns! We Jews can go very far with our lunacies! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      2. True! We are extremist in everything.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. susieshy45 says:

    I love this recipe and think it is great for any festival as we call celebrations. Thanks for sharing. I loved the use of the ziplock bag- I am wondering if the ziplock bag idea can be used to knead dough for rotis.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. I think it could be used for rotis, but I’ve never tried. If you try it, would you please let me know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. susieshy45 says:

        Rotis are made with a thicker dough- not so much water and the kneading is what makes it softer- to get more air into it.
        Traditionalists believe that the hand -work is essential to the soft roti.
        I will try and let you know- with a small ball at first and then maybe bigger. Of course, I will have to put my hand in to pull out dough bits to roll each one into rotis.
        Susie

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, dear Susie, I’d love to learn to make roti.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. susieshy45 says:

        Roti is unleavened bread and so very easy to make and there is no leavening time required, though if you leave the kneaded dough outside for about 20 minutes to rest, you do get softer rotis. Naan bread on the other hand, is fermented and is roasted on a tandoor.
        Susie

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you, dear Susie! I know what they are, and I’ve had both in Indian restaurants, and we love them. I want to learn how to make them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. randyjw says:

    Excellent article and great stories! Maybe I’ll try making some, with some variations, of course. I have some interesting ideas in mind. I know; if I do, let you know. Mostly I talk about making stuff and collect tons of recipes to try, but never do…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and most [people… Perfectly normal.

      Like

  7. Balvinder says:

    Oh boy! Count me in for a Chanukah feast!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly, dear Bal! Everybody is welcome in my kitchen!

      Like

  8. My experience in the UK is that nearly all donuts are stuffed rather than ring ones. Seedless jam is traditional but my favourite is apple. This recipe has brought back some childhood memories on donuts on a saturday. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I don’t even know who invented donuts with a hole, and since I don’t eat them, I never bothered to research. Apple filling sounds interesting!

      Like

  9. Dolly, I need to speak with you for a moment. What do you mean You aren’t ” making sufganiyot this year”???? How can you NOT make them??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very simple: my younger son is diabetic, so I am making a cake he could enjoy. I will buy a few sufganiyot for grandkids, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, okay. You are excused. Whew!! I’m glad! Happy Hannukah!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for excusing me! And thank you for a Happy Hanukkah wish!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Arohii says:

    So interesting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sumith says:

    Thanks for this great share. Learnt some thing new 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? I wonder what a professional like you can learn from me!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my gosh this makes me hungry! :0

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could send you something by e-mail…

      Like

      1. what do you need to send me?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That was a Joke, dear! I was offering to send you food by e-mail!

        Like

  13. OH! My email is Ewatt@shiningminds.com! (I didn’t realize you were just joking!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you hang around my blog, you’ll see that I joke all the time! Life is fun, dear Emma! 🙂

      Like

  14. I appreciate the simplicity of this recipe! One can never go wrong with donuts. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right – thank you!

      Like

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