The idea of making doughnuts at home might seem intimidating. Hot oil can be dangerous, and it only takes a couple missteps to turn your doughnuts from light to leaden. But follow this recipe and you’ll have impressive and tasty sufganiyot for Hanukkah this year.
A cranberry-sauce filling gives these doughnuts a Thanksgivukkah touch. (The recipe below will make about 1 cup of sauce. But feel free to use leftover sauce of your own if you’re making this within a few days of Thanksgiving.) Choose your filling based on your tastes—whether you’re a fan of fruity jam, Nutella or chocolate—but make sure the filling is smooth, otherwise you won’t be able to pipe it. If you don’t have the tools to pipe the filling (you can also use a zipper-lock bag with the corner snipped off), serve the sauce on the side or drizzle it over the finished doughnuts.
Cranberry Sauce-Filled Sufganiyot
Makes about 20 doughnuts
1/3 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces frozen cranberries, washed and picked over
1/8 teaspoon orange zest, minced
3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra if needed
1 envelope (about 2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar (about 2½ ounces)
¾ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, room temperature
4 cups frying oil
1. FOR CRANBERRY SAUCE: In medium saucepan, bring water, sugar and salt to boil over medium heat. Add zest and cinnamon, and bring back to boil. Cook until most berries pop, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, puree until smooth, and set aside.
2. FOR SUFGANIYOT: In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour, the yeast, 6 tablespoons sugar and the salt. Set aside.
3. Place the milk and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until a ball of dough forms.
4. Add the softened butter one piece at a time, waiting about 15 seconds after each addition. Continue mixing for about 3 minutes longer, adding the remaining flour 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until the dough forms a soft ball.
5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 2 to 2½ hours. Place the dough onto a floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter, stamp out as many dough rounds as possible and place on a baking sheet about ½ inch apart. Gather the dough scraps into a ball and roll and stamp out again. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place until puffy and about ½-inch thick, about 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, line sheet pan with paper towels and heat oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. As oil heats, place cranberry sauce in piping bag fitted with round tip.
7. Place the rings and holes carefully into the hot fat four or five at a time. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. Using slotted spoon, remove doughnuts from hot oil and drain on paper towel–lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining doughnuts, adjusting temperature so it stays at 350 degrees. When doughnuts are cool enough to handle, use paring knife or chopstick to pierce pocket in side of each doughnut. Place tip of piping bag into pocket and pipe cranberry sauce inside. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.