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!

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44 Comments Add yours

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

    Liked by 2 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

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