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.

Hanukkah
Symbols of jewish holiday hanukkah – menorah, donuts sufganiyot and dreidels

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!

70 Comments Add yours

  1. That was very interesting. Now I want some.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sorry, darling, as I said, I am not making them this year, so you’ll have to make your own! LOL
      Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m going to try! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good luck, and please let me know!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. portapatetcormagis says:

    In Germany we call them Berliner. They are delicious (and available in bakeries)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. portapatetcormagis says:

      Definitely worth the effort to make them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Certainly! I am simply too busy right now, as it coincides with the end of a semester, and I have final exam to administer and student papers to grade.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. portapatetcormagis says:

        Oh that’s a bummer.
        Do you eat your sufganiyot after Chanukka or are they very closely linked for you? Maybe you’ll have a chance to enjoy them after the final exams. They would make a great reward, that’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, I’ll enjoy them all right, darling, when I get them from a good bakery, and we happen to have one nearby. Sure, we can eat them any time, but I try to stay away from carbs, sweets, and cholesterol-loaded fried foods. Once a year is more than enough for me!

        Like

    2. Of course! I remember President Kennedy’s speech “Ich bin ein berliner.” Thank you for stopping by, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This recipe reminded me of my grandmothers’ Greek inspired loukoumades, or Lokmas, for short. It’s very tasty, though no one in Israel would call them Sufganiut.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know those, very close to our ponciki, which are deep fried oval Sufganiyot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sebby holmes says:

    What a great idea. We make shed loads of roti dough so unfortunately a zip bag would be too small. Fantastic for home cooking though! Thanks for the tip 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are very welcome, but the credit is not mine. I do use the idea, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sebby holmes says:

        You have spread the word. That counts! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, darling; you’re too kind!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. kutukamus says:

    A holy hole-less wholeness! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL thank you for stopping by and for a cute pun, darling!

      Like

  6. Donuts without the mess, i have to investigate this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL Investigate, and please let me know, darling!

      Like

  7. spearfruit says:

    Dolly, I so remember the jelly-filled holeless donuts shown in your first photo of your blog. These paczki (I think pronounced pontski) donuts where another fondly remembered traditional treat that my Babci (grandmother) used to make for us as kids. Another culinary tradition that she brought over to the U,S, when she immigrated as a young team from Poland. like your twist of the original recipe that you show in your post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, Gary; they are pronounced Ponchiki or Poncicki, whichever way you spell it. I am glad that you have those wonderful memories of your Babcia, as I have of my Babushka.

      Like

  8. randyjw says:

    Wow. I never would have realized that suggestion of the letters being as such. Hebrew never ceases to amaze in its richness of meaning. Always so multi-layered.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But you do know that the world was created with ten utterances, and that when Adam was charged with the responsibility of naming the animals, it gave him control over the animal world. Hebrew letters carry a lot of power!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. randyjw says:

        I mean the doughnut being s-g-etc. and named as such. Yup. Hebrew is amazing; most people don’t know how much so.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome. i might just have to make some of those real soon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good luck, and let me know how they come out, if you do. 😻

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. oldpoet56 says:

    I am not a cook yet I like this article, interesting ideas. I am going to bring this information to my Bride to see what she thinks. Also, thank you for the history lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, and I hope your lovely half likes it!

      Like

  10. oldpoet56 says:

    I forgot to mention a moment ago, being that I enjoyed the read I am going to reblog this article for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Donuts as a gift of God…now that’s a concept I can readily embrace. :)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and I both! Thank you very much, dear Anna!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Elizabeth says:

    They look just wonderful and now I just have to try making them. A little Christmas/Chanukah project for my daughter-in-law and me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go for it, but don’t overdo it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elizabeth says:

        I may turn this into a project I do with my older granddaughters and I can mostly direct.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love cooking and baking with grandkids – isn’t it fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Elizabeth says:

        It really is a lot of fun! It never is just cooking or baking. It always turns into dancing and serious discussions. In this house those discussions are mostly about boys. *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am getting there, I think. Although with my oldest, the Boston girl, we have always talked about serious stuff, rather than mundane (i.e. literature, music, philosophy, etc.), the younger ones here have grown into “boys topics” age, and, contrary to Alisia, who is my blood and genes, they are “girly” girls, which is completely alien to me. I used to cook with them when they were little, but now I only do it with the two little ones – that’s real fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Elizabeth says:

        I do not understand girls. I was and still am a tomboy. My older 10 year old granddaughter is like me. The 10 year old who is a month younger wouldn’t leave the house the other day without her purse. SMH
        Both of them are deep into reading so I can at least talk to them about books. The 13 and 16 year old girls are all about boys and makeup and clothes and boys. And boys.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I know what you mean! And boys…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling! Happy holiday season to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. John Kraft says:

    I’m going to drop by this little cafe nearby that makes the most marvelous things and see what they might be able to do.
    Yumilicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, John – enjoy your little cafe treats!
      Happy New Year!

      Like

  14. msw blog says:

    I had never heard that folklore thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My honor and pleasure, darling! Happy New Year to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great! It remembers me on our so called “Krapfen” (regional), or “Berliner” (all over Germany). 🙂 Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am aware of Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” phrase! And Krapfen are Bavarian, aren’t they? I saw them in Munich. Have a wonderful week, Michael!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Dolly! “Krapfen” are Bavarian, and it seems they are similar to the holeless doughnuts. Arent they?
        Wish you a wonderful week too, Dolly! Yours, Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, they are practically the same, but ours had been made quite a few centuries before theirs.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thats true, Dolly! Bavarians are best in copying, like Chinese. ***lol***

        Liked by 1 person

      4. LOL Romans copied from the Greeks, but today it is all part of the world culture, and we are enriched by it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. So true, Dolly! But its not allowed to tell it to the Romans/ Italians. ***lol***

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Today’s Italians are not Romans, but we still can’t tell them.

        Like

  16. Those hole-less donuts look exactly like our Krapfen, mostly eaten during carneval, here in Bavaria called Fasching. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, dear Kerin! yes, I’ve seen Krapfen in Munich, and they do look exactly like that.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s