Celebrate Chanukah with traditional sufganiyot doughnuts with a twist! These Potato Jelly Doughnuts are yeast-free and take only an hour from fryer to table!
Is your tree trimmed? House decorated? Presents purchased? Chinese restaurant picked out and movie tickets bought? Only a week until Christmas and Chanukah or as I cheerfully refer to this year as Chrismukkah and I’m looking forward to the relaxing break. Both of our families are away and it will be a peaceful two days at home full of food, movies, Doctor Who, couch naps and pug snuggling. Can you really ask for anything better during the holidays?
Since Chanukah and Christmas are falling together this year, there will be a mashup of traditional food to be enjoyed this year. We have a tradition of visiting the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn on Christmas Eve for gelato and picking up fresh fish and pasta for an Italian feast at home. Christmas Day has always been reserved for Dim Sum, although this year some latkes will have to be tossed into the mix.
Through our partnership with the Idaho Potato Commission we without a doubt have no shortage of latke recipes this season and have you ready to go latke crazy at home. Latkes aren’t the only traditional foods eaten during Chanukah though, you’ll also find sufganiyot or jelly doughnuts enjoyed for dessert.
Again, why the fried foods? We eat oily foods or foods fried in oil to celebrate the miracle of oil. It’s simple as that and delicious too.
Back to our doughnuts now – sufganiyot are not normally made with potatoes. Traditionally the doughnut is yeast raised with a rich, almost brioche like dough. I decided to change it a little a bit for a few reasons.
For starters, who has time to deal with yeast during the holidays? I have no qualms with working with yeast but you have the first and second rise to deal with and it can take quite awhile during a busy time of year.
Next, have you had a potato doughnut? If not, try them, it’ll change your thoughts on doughnuts forever! Potato doughnuts can be made in all different ways but I use riced baked potatoes in mine for a crisp exterior and a dense, moist and cake-like interior. These doughnuts manage to stray that fine line between being hefty and light at the same time. It’s almost difficult to describe unless you just eat one yourself.
Since we don’t use yeast in this recipe, you can have your doughnuts in your hot little hands in an hour. Worth it, isn’t it?
- The recipe calls for mashed potatoes, this does not mean your left over milk, cream and butter mashed potatoes from the night before. Go ahead and bake a few extra russet potatoes with dinner or bake them in the morning and set aside to cool. I suggest using a ricer for a light and fluffy texture but mashing them with a fork or potato masher works just as well.
- Since these doughnuts are so dense they take awhile to fry. They get very dark, they basically look like a baked potato when they come out of the fryer. Whatever you do, do not short the frying time. Which leads us to. . .
- Doughnut size. . . if your doughnuts are too large they will not fry all the way through and leave the center doughy. No one wants that. Keep them no larger than 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Plus the smaller they are the more you can gobble up!
- Once the doughnuts have cooled, use a pairing knife to cut a slit in the side or top and use a pastry bag to fill with smooth jam. If your jam has fruit pieces still inside it’s difficult to pipe.
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- ? 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ? ¾ cup cane sugar
- ? 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ? ½ cup whole milk
- ? ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ? 1 cup mashed or riced potato (no milk or butter - about 3 medium Idaho Burbank Russet Potatoes)
- ? 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading
- ? 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ? 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ? ½ teaspoon salt
- ? 1 cup smooth strawberry jelly
- ? vegetable oil for frying
- ? confectioners sugar to finish
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the milk and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and then mix in the mashed potato.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the flour on a low speed in two parts. The dough will be very wet and have a biscuit like texture.
- Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead about a ½ cup additional flour into the dough until it is no longer sticks to your hands or your work surface. Pat the dough out into a circle that’s about ½ inch in thickness and cut out the doughnuts with a 2 inch round cookie cutter or a smaller 1-inch cutter for doughnut holes and shape into rounds with your hands. Transfer the doughnuts to a parchment lined baking sheet to rest while you heat the oil.
- Fill a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot with at least 3 inches of oil that’s fitted with a thermometer and heat the oil to 365 ° F. When the oil is to temperature gently lower one doughnut at a time into the oil and fry 2 -3 minutes per side depending on the size of the doughnut. Fry about 2-3 doughnuts per time in order to prevent the temperature from lowering too much.
- The finished doughnut will be very dark brown, almost like a baked potato. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. Let the oil come back to temperature before proceeding with the remaining doughnuts.
- Once cool enough to handle fill a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch tip with the jelly and fill the doughnuts. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
- Doughnuts are best served the same day they are made.
Jelly doughnuts are my favorite!! I brought some for Christmas breakfast, but your recipe looks way better. I need to find another excuse for doughnuts. 😉