Each year, Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts, in one form or another, are prepared in households around the world to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Always a treat though, any time of year!
- 1/2 Cup warm water; (about 115 degrees)
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 envelopes plus 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/3 Cup granulated sugar plus 1 pinch; divided
- 1 Cup warm milk or water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 Cup vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening
- 5 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour; (to 5 Cups)
- vegetable oil; for frying
- 2 Cups jam or jelly; at room temperature
- In large mixing bowl, stir together 1/2 Cup warm water, yeast and pinch sugar. Let stand for several minutes. Stir in remaining 1/3 Cup sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of the flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead for 5 to 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook, adding more flour as needed to form a firmer dough that is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in greased bowl. Place bowl in plastic bag and seal. (If making dough a day in advance, refrigerate at this point.) Let rise for about 1 hour. Gently deflate. (If dough was refrigerated, let come to room temperature for about 40 minutes before proceeding).
- Pinch off pieces of dough and form into small balls, a little larger than a golf ball. Alternately, roll dough about 3/4 inch thick and cut into 2 1/2- or 3-inch rounds.
- Cover doughnuts with a clean tea towel; let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Heat about 4 inches oil in deep fryer or heavy Dutch oven to about 385 degrees.
- Fry a test doughnut; oil should bubble. Fry until underside is deep brown.
- Turn once; fry until other side is deep brown. Total frying time should be 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- Check middle of doughnut to make sure inside is cooked. If not, reduce heat of oil slightly. Fry remaining doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time.
- To fill, make a small opening in each doughnut; spoon in jam or jelly. (Instead of filling doughnuts, you can shake them in a paper bag with granulated or powdered sugar.)
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