An old-fashioned recipe for soft, deep-fried yeast doughnuts filled with jam and topped with powdered sugar. These tender doughnuts will have you going back for seconds and thirds!
Anyone who celebrates Hanukkah knows that, aside from lighting a Menorah each night, the only thing there really is to do is eat doughnuts, and I’m perfectly fine with that!
While in the past you could only find these doughnuts just before the start of the holiday, these days, bakeries in Israel start selling them a month beforehand. It’s nearly impossible to walk down the street and smell the fresh dough without buying one. Or two. Or six. I mean, a package of six is cheaper, so it makes more sense to buy, right?
While old-fashioned doughnuts are filled with jam, and are still the most popular type of sufganiyot, the amount of fillings and toppings available these days is astounding. Anything from chocolate spreads and flavored pastry creams to toppings like chocolate and caramel glazes, sprinkles, and chocolate curls is up for grabs. The options are endless, and so are the calories that go along with them (but since it’s a holiday, it doesn’t really count).
How to make jelly doughnuts
- Make the dough. These jelly doughnuts are made with an enriched yeasted dough, meaning there is egg and butter added. If you want to use instant or rapid yeast instead of active dry yeast, you can skip sprinkling the yeast over the milk (simply mix it with the flour and sugar, then add the milk later along with the other ingredients). Mix all the ingredients together and knead until a soft, elastic dough forms. The total kneading time should take around 8-10 minutes on low or medium-low speed in a standing mixer.
- Let the dough rise. Form the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow it rise until it’s doubled in size.
- Shape into doughnuts. After the dough has doubled, it’s time to shape your doughnuts. This recipe makes about 24 doughnuts, give or take. You can simply eyeball each portion size, using a knife or bench scraper to cut pieces of dough. Another method to divide your dough into even-sized portions is to cut your dough in half and form each half into a log. Then, slice each log into 12 pieces. However you do it, the next step is to shape each dough ball into a round, and let them rise again on a table or counter, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until they double in size (about 45 minutes-1 hour).
- Fry them up. Pour oil into a large skillet, filling it about 2-inch deep. Heat the oil to 300°F and fry each side until golden brown. The frying time for each doughnut depends on the heat; it can take anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 minutes on each side. It’s ready when the donut color is golden brown.
- Cool and fill. Once you’ve fried the doughnuts, place them on a paper towel to cool and soak up any excess oil. To fill them, put jam into a piping bag, cutting a hole at the end. Place the tip inside each doughnut and fill until a bit of jam peaks out of the cut hole. Sift powdered sugar generously over the tops.These jelly doughnuts are best served on the same day they’re made.
Tips for making perfect jelly doughnuts
- When allowing the dough to rise, place it in a warm area – this helps the yeast feed on the sugars in the flour, resulting in a quicker rise.
- If you don’t have a thermometer to test the oil temperature, place the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil. If it lightly bubbles as soon as you do, the oil is hot enough. If it bubbles extremely, most likely the oil is too hot.
- Wait for the doughnuts to be completely cooled before filling them so the filling does not absorb and the doughnuts don’t become soggy.
- While sufganiyot are traditionally filled with jam, you can use any filling you like; Nutella, chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, pastry cream (crème patissiere), lemon curd, and more!’
More doughnut recipes I love
- Sugar Doughnuts: Old fashioned-style doughnuts tossed in sugar.
- Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts: Made with concentrated apple cider and coated in a cinnamon-sugar spice mix, these are a perfect fall treat.
- Baked Chocolate Doughnuts: Moist, tender, and rich, these chocolate doughnuts topped with smooth chocolate ganache are amazing.
- Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Holes: Mini doughnuts are the perfect pairing next to your cup of morning coffee.
Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)
- 1 tablespoon (9g) active dry yeast
- ¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, lukewarm
- 3 ¼ cups (450g) all-purpose flour, plus up to ¼ cup more as necessary
- ⅓ cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest , optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brandy or rum , optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Jam of your choice (my favorite is strawberry), for filling
- ½ cup powdered sugar , for dusting
- Canola or vegetable oil , for frying (about 4 cups/1 liter)
Making the dough: Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until slightly foamy.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix flour and sugar. Fit mixer with dough hook and add egg, butter, zest, vanilla extract, brandy, and milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until a soft ball of dough starts to form, 2-3 minutes. If the dough is too sticky or soft and doesn’t come together, add more flour as necessary, one tablespoon at a time. Add in salt. Keep mixing until dough is soft and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen to twice its original size, gently punch it to remove air. Afterward, divide it into 24 pieces (or as many pieces as you like, depending on your preferred size). The best way to do this is to divide the dough into two halves, shape each half into a log, and cut each log into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest to rise for about 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Frying: In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 in./5 cm of oil until a thermometer inserted into the oil reaches 300F/150C. If you don’t have a thermometer to test, insert a wooden spoon into the oil; it’s ready for frying when bubbles appear around the stick. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s too hot. Carefully add doughnuts, a few at a time, depending on how large the saucepan is. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain doughnuts and move to paper towel-lined plate.
Filling with jam: Once doughnuts have cooled, place jam in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round tip opening. Press tip halfway into doughnuts and squeeze until jam begins to dollop out. Top doughnuts with powdered sugar.
Doughnuts are best the same day they are made.