Chanukah recipes to feast on
Chanukah means indulging in tempting sufganiyot and other delicacies. The SA Jewish Report asked two of our favourite food maestros to give us their favourite Chanukah recipes. Lauren Boolkin and Romi Rabinowitz went to town…
Doughnuts to drool over
We’ve come to the end of a gruelling year, and now it’s all about you! How are you going to eat your doughnut? You can inject, drizzle, or all three. If you’re like me, you can squirt straight into your mouth while deluding yourself that you are foregoing the carbs. I used disposable piping bags to fill my syringes. I heated the Nutella in a double boiler to soften it.
10g instant yeast
3½-3¾ cups flour (add the extra ¼ if the dough is too sticky … although it should be a bit sticky)
¼ cup of sugar
1½ cups of lukewarm water
4 Tbsp of unsalted butter melted (I tried with 45ml of oil for parev purposes. They were nice, but not as nice.)
1 jumbo egg
¼ tsp salt
Sunflower oil for frying
½ cup castor sugar to coat
Premeasure your flour and sugar in two separate bowls. Dissolve the yeast in the water together with a tablespoon of your premeasured flour and a tablespoon of your premeasured sugar. Set it aside for 10 minutes to froth.
Place the remaining flour in the bowl of your stand mixer. Make a deep well using the bottom of a teacup. In the well place your sugar, melted butter, lightly beaten egg, and salt. Give it a stir before adding your frothy yeast. With the dough hook, gently knead the mixture until a soft dough is formed. Cover with a dish cloth and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. It takes an hour to an hour and a half.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until it is about 1½cm thick. Using a 5/6cm cookie cutter cut out rounds. You should get 28. Press two rounds together and place on a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp dish cloth and allow to puff up for 45 minutes.
In a deep saucepan, heat your sunflower oil to 180 degrees Celsius using a thermometer. You don’t need a huge amount of oil – 6cm-7cm works if the oil covers the tip of the thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, place a small square of dough in the oil. If it sizzles and gently begins to brown, your oil is hot enough.)
Working in small batches (for me one at a time), fry the doughnuts until they are lightly golden. (About 2/3 minutes a side.)
Place on a cooling rack which is covered by paper towel until they are slightly cooler, and then roll them in castor sugar. Insert your prefilled syringes in the middle, and garnish to match your filling. They are best eaten warm.
Dulce De Leche
Dulce De Leche recipe
⅓ of a cup of sticky brown sugar
½ cup of cream
½ cup of condensed milk
Melt the brown sugar with the cream until it dissolves. Stir in the condensed milk.
Friksa or Frixa or Fricasee board
(Totally impossible to spell, but on trend.) These can be baked, but then it wouldn’t be a Chanukah recipe. The buns are crunchy on the outside, and soft and warm on the inside. They’re loaded with vegetables, eggs, and whatever sauce tickles your fancy. If you bake them, set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. (Makes 20.)
Ingredients for the bun
4 cups of flour
2 Tbsp instant yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
4 tbsp light olive oil (extra-virgin olive oil – took me ages to figure out what EVOO is).
2½ cups of lukewarm water
2 Tbsp vodka (this is optional, but supposedly it reduces greasiness)
Sunflower oil for frying
In the bowl of your Mixmaster, place the salt, flour, yeast, sugar, vodka, and water. Knead with your dough hook until the mixture forms a dough, and then gradually add your EVOO. Your dough should be sticky. Cover your bowl with glad wrap, but poke a pinhole in the glad wrap to allow the yeast to breathe.
Divide your dough into 90g balls, and place on a lightly oiled piece of baking paper. Roll each ball into ovals. I used the heel of my hand and found it yielded better results than the rolling pin. It also helped to roll the balls on a lightly oiled surface.
Brush the lower half of the oval with oil and fold in half. Return it to the baking paper leaving sufficient room between the ovals to cut out the square of paper. (I guess you could use pre-cut squares which are lightly oiled to start. The reason for this is it stops the soft dough from getting squashed out of shape when you place the buns in the oil.)
Leave the dough to rise again, uncovered for another hour.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat about 8cm of sunflower oil to 160 degrees Celsius using a thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop in a little of the dough and see if it sizzles. Fry for 2/3 minutes a side until golden. Place on a baking rack covered with roller towel to drain. Break open while warm and fill.
Tuna (tinned, seared and sliced)
Hard boiled eggs (These should be softish … like eight minutes)
Boiled and cubed potatoes
Charif (spicy sauce from your local Israeli deli)
Grilled eggplant or brinjal salad from the deli
Doughnuts to get us in the syrup of things
Just as we are recovering from the eating fest that was Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot, Chanukah rolls around and with it, an absolute doughnut frenzy!
I’ve selected and tested two delicious options that I hope your families will enjoy during the wonderful festival of lights.
Bimuelos are Sfardi speciality doughnuts that were eaten all over the Middle East during the festival of Chanukah. In Egypt, they are known as zalabia, and were sold in the streets during the chag.
2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
A pinch of salt
2 cups of warm water
360g flour (plus a little more)
Canola oil for deep frying
6 Tbsp honey
Cup of water
Mix the yeast, sugar, and salt with a cup of warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes until frothy. Add the remaining water and the flour, and beat with the whisk attachment for a few minutes until a soft dough is formed. You may need to add another half to three quarter cup of flour for the right consistency. It mustn’t be too runny. Cover the bowl with glad wrap and a dish cloth, place in a warm spot, and allow to rise for about 20 minutes.
Heat the oil (about 5cm high) in a pot. Drop heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil and fry for about two to three minutes per side until golden brown. (The dough doubles in size when dropped into the hot oil.) Place on a paper towel to drain the oil.
For the syrup, boil all the ingredients together until sticky, it takes quite a while, but don’t over boil as you don’t want it to become caramelised.
Drench the bimuelos in the syrup and serve immediately.
Absolutely decadent and delicious!
Beer batter doughnut holes
If you don’t have time to wait for yeast to rise, these are the perfect option. Literally mix and fry.
1¼ cups of flour
¼ cup of sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon
2 Tbsp milk (or if parev, soya milk, almond milk, or juice)
2 Tbsp oil
¼ cup of beer
Oil for deep frying
½ cup of sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the milk, egg, oil, and beer. Mix together with your hands to form a sticky dough.
Heat about 5cm of oil in a pot and with oiled hands, drop small balls of dough into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown (about two to three minutes). Move them around the pot so they are evenly fried.
Place the balls on a paper towel, and coat in cinnamon and sugar.
May the holiday of Chanukah bring light and love into the world. Chag sameach!