Sufganiyot are a special kind of doughnut served during Hanukkah celebrations. These doughnuts are deep-fried and are particularly eaten to celebrate Hanukkah since fried foods are part of the tradition; oil having played a huge part in the history of Hanukkah.
Sufganiyot, sufganiya in singular form, usually come in regular doughnut sizes but over time, there have been variations to both the size and recipes for these Jewish doughnuts.
Sufganiyot sizes in the regular doughnut dimensions are about one-fourth inch thick and three to four inches in diameter for the dough. The thickness usually doubles in size once it is fried.
But as mentioned, nowadays there are already variations in size for these doughnuts. There are smaller sufganiyot, usually bite size and there are also bigger ones, a few centimeters thicker and larger in diameter than the usual doughnut sizes.
You can easily find all types of flavors and sizes of sufganiyot in specialty bakeshops especially during the Festival of Lights.
Traditionally, sufganiya is shaped like a ball and fried in hot oil. Once the doughnut has cooled down a little, jelly is used to fill the center of the doughnut with the use of a pastry injector.
Confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar is then sprinkled on top of the sufganiya. This adds texture to the doughnut.
While it does defeat the purpose of the celebration since oil, as mentioned, played a huge part in the history of Hanukkah; this baked version is nevertheless ideal for those who want to celebrate the spirit of Hanukkah without worrying about their cholesterol or breaking their diet regime.
On the other hand, variations also include different fillings for the doughnut. While jelly and custard are the traditional fillings, others use chocolate or any other flavored filling of their choice.
While powdered sugar was the traditional sprinklers on sufganiyot, today people also top these with pastry icing, flavored fondant and other sprinklers.
To make your own sufganiyot, there are sites on the internet that offer recipes for both the traditional sufganiya as well as its variations.
You may also check out recipes for diet-friendly versions plus recipes for different types of fillings.
Whatever type of sufganiya you wish to go with, this traditional fried Jewish delicacy is a staple food during Hanukkah celebrations and you can serve this to your friends and family for your 8-day Hanukkah observance.