The Holy Hole-less Doughnuts

A dear blogofriend Shira of shiradest.wordpress.com has been asking for a very special Chanukkah treat – sufganiyot. Here they are, with my heartfelt wishes for light in your lives, Beautiful People!

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.

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!

53 Comments Add yours

  1. The doughnuts look beautiful!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy (I didn’t make them!).

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I love this folk tale so much. The sufganiyot, in Germany called “Berliner” or here in Bavaria “Krapfen” are known as a traditional backery. Now they are also available filled with Egnog, and iced with different sorts of chocolate and syrup. Thank you for remembering and sharing. Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have heard about President Kennedy and the “Berliner”! Actually, I knew that from childhood. My great-grandmother was from Vienna, and she told me that our “ponciki” are called “berliners.”
      Have a wonderful day, Michael!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ShiraDest says:

        Yup, I heard that as a joke, too!
        Now I know what they look like!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you make them, you’ll also know what they taste like!
        Much love,
        D

        Liked by 2 people

      3. ShiraDest says:

        I had them in Israel, and have never had a good donut since! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Is there a kosher store nearby where you live?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. ShiraDest says:

        Not as far as I know: most people go up to LA for kosher prepared foods or meat.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. You are in San Diego, am I right?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. ShiraDest says:

        Hand fried by a friend who gave her life in Tzahal: Yael, Z’lB, I still miss her. She took me under a bridge in some part of Jerusalem, fed up with my wonder at being there, and pointed to some lines of grafiti, yelling that this was a city, like any other.
        As a Sabra, I guess she could see it that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Zichrona l’Bracha.
        In a way, Yerushalayim is a city like any other, but it is also unique. Muslims and Christians also feel the special holiness of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. ShiraDest says:

        That was my argument, but Yael (Z’lB) was very secular, while I was just beginning my first conversion attempt, so she seemed determined to show me all sides of the argument! Which I did appreciate, as well. She was a very fiery spirit, and well worthy of her name (which I took as my middle Hebrew name when I went before the Beit Din).

        Liked by 2 people

      10. I can understand that. I have met Israelis like that, and they have a right to their feelings.

        Liked by 2 people

      11. ShiraDest says:

        Yup, and boy did she express hers! 🙂 I never felt alive until I met her.

        Like

  3. Whoever and however the tradition began, it sounds so delicious and worth preserving.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have not had these since I was in high school! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Happy and Joyous Chanukah!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hag CHanukkah Sameah to you, dear Shira!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Doughnuts look yum 😍
    Wish you and your family a Happy Channukah…!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Priya!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, ladies!

      Like

  6. ShiraDest says:

    Chow package from Gan Eden?! Cool!
    You aren’t making them this year, Dolly?

    Sorry I took so long to get online today: it’s 7 here, so you may be in bed already: Laila Tov,
    Shira

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it was 7 PM your time, I was just finishing teaching, darling, and then spent a couple of hours communicating with students who are having anxiety attacks before the finals.
      I am not making them because I have been unable to figure out a way to make sugarless low-carb gluten free sufganiyot, not to mention deep-fried in oil. The Boss (that’s my husband) brought me one from a kosher store, and tonight he will take a tiny bite, just to Yotze, and I will have to suffer and eat the rest.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ShiraDest says:

        Happy suffering? 🙂
        Can I be yotze, too, on that, if I imagine I’m having a kazait’s worth? 🙂
        Air hugs!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sure, you yotze in spirit! LOL
        Love,
        D

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ShiraDest says:

        🙂
        Amen!!
        Todah Rabah! 🙂
        Love,
        s.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Laila Tov, darling!
        Much love,
        D

        Liked by 1 person

      5. ShiraDest says:

        Laila tov, and much love to you, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. CarolCooks2 says:

    A lovely share darling…Am popping over to check out the doughnuts…x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend!

      Like

  8. Ren says:

    What timing you have. I was just thinking about making donuts, but no-fry ones. The little girls here simply love to help make and bake.
    Thank you so much Dolly for taking time to share such wonderful info within all your posts. Hugz

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, dear Ren! I hope you enjoy your donuts, especially made in the company of little girls.
      Hugs right back to you!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. lifelessons says:

    They look sooooo good. Perhaps when my diet is over? If ever?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! And why do you think I am not making them? I can’t figure out how to make them sugarless, low carb, gluten free, and not fried in oil (the latter will defeat the purpose of Chanukkah treats).

      Like

      1. lifelessons says:

        I’ve lost 30 lbs as of today!! Whoopee.. Going to keep on going. It would be nice to be fighting weight again. Of course I’d have to find someone to fight with.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow – doing great! Weight is an excellent adversary to fight with!

        Like

  10. notamigrant says:

    my mum makes these in February (before the fast)- although she says the flour needs to be of certain kind – not sure what she means, but it must be the way they describe how fine the grains are in Slovakia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fascinating – a special kind of flour, I wonder…

      Like

  11. Interesting narrative of the origin of the ‘sufgania’ .
    Thank you Dolly.
    I came across two names Chanukah & Hanukkah .Are they both same?
    Because google search was not giving the result for Chanukah.
    The wording- Holy Hole-less’ is catchy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes there are the same because English does not have a letter equivalent to this Hebrew letter, so people are trying to imitate the sound of it in different ways.
      Google will cooperate if you spell it with two K: Chanukkah.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, dear Philo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Dolly for the explanation.
        Now my doubt is cleared.
        You have lots of patience.
        God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, dear Philo, and many blessings to you as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. YUM! Those look so good! Happy Hanukkah or Chanukah to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Jeanne!
      Best wishes for a very happy holiday season to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

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