By Senaya Savir
Nutrition students beware: Hanukkah is coming up and with it the Jewish tradition of eating greasy foods. The custom to eat foods like potato latkes and sufganiyot, jelly doughnuts, is to honor the miracle of the menorah oil burning for eight days instead of the one day the Maccabees expected it to last.
While the salty and crispy potato latkes serve as a holiday favorite among many, no fried food will ever surpass sufganiyot. Those plump jelly-filled doughnuts covered in powdered sugar are irresistible and impossible to avoid, and Maryland students who cannot wait until Hanukkah starts on Dec. 16 can get their doughnut-fix at Hillel at the Israel-cultural group Terpim’s sufganiyot-decorating event Dec. 10. or at Hillel’s Winterfest celebration Dec. 11.
Terpim’s Vice President of Outreach Michael Samuels, suggested students “come out and create your own delicious sufganiya and enjoy the winter time atmosphere that Terpim will provide.”
The Mitzpeh wanted to find out what the doughnut deal is this Hanukkah, so we went to the Kemp Mill neighborhood in Silver Spring to purvey local bakeries’ offerings.
The Kosher Pastry Oven
Aside from the typical raspberry-filled doughnuts, The Kosher Pastry Oven is spicing it up this holiday, offering a broad selection of different fillings including a creamy caramel and a rich chocolate custard sufganiya.
The pastries, which the couple make from scratch, are made from dairy-free dough. They have become a staple among Washington- and Maryland-area Jews. Publications such as The Washington Post, The Gazette, and the Washington Jewish Week have all reported on the bakery’s high demand for these jelly-filled pastries.
Shula Eloul, who owns the bakery with her husband Ari, says, “we sell one of the best sufganiyot you’ll find, no question about it.”
Shalom’s Kosher Market
For those people who are trying to cut down a little bit this holiday season, but don’t want to give up sufganiyot altogether, Shalom’s Kosher Market offers their sufganiyot in mini sizes, as well as regular. Shalom’s is known to sell over 10,000 doughnuts during the Hanukkah season, offering an array of flavors like caramel, chocolate, creme and Boston creme.
Justin Dekelbaum, the son of the owner and employee of the store, said students should come to Shalom’s for their sufganiyot because “we have the best product for the best price.”
Everything from the dough to the jelly is made from scratch and directly on the spot, according to Dekelbaum. And any leftovers? “Those come home to us, which is why we all happily put on the weight during the holiday season,” Dekelbaum said.
Make Your Own!
Students have pulled together to make their own homemade sufganiyot. Last year, seniors Josh Forgosh and Miriam Tarshish hosted a sufganiyot baking party in Forgosh’s Commons 1 apartment. Tarshish said that she and Forgosh publicized the event on Facebook and more than 20 people came. They made the dough beforehand and when people came they would deep-fry them and inject the sufganiyot with a jelly of their choice.
Tarshish encourages students to put together something similar.
“This was an awesome event that brought together about 20 Jews of all different flavors, some of whom I had never met before and am still in touch with to this day,” she said.
Tarshish shared the recipe she used for sufganyot for those interested and eager to make puffy pastries of their own. It can be found at http://www.food.com/recipe/sufganiyot-jelly-doughnuts-200352.
1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and let stand five minutes or until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and two cups flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed.
3. Beat in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about five minutes or until smooth and elastic.
4. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour or a bit longer.
5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into circles. Let rise again until doubled in bulk.
6. Heat 4 cups of oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350. Carefully slide doughnuts into hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn the doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Doughnuts are ready when both sides are golden brown.
- Fill with 1 T jelly using a pastry injector, or by cutting a small slit in the side of the doughnut and inserting the jelly with a baby spoon. Close tightly; roll in confectioners’ sugar.