Isn’t it exciting! We can’t help but be giddy as we are preparing for the miracle season of Hanukkah. At My Olive Tree we LOVE to celebrate the “Festival of Lights” with traditional recipes.
Hanukkah is centered around the miracle story of the Maccabean Jewish rebels who took back their Temple from the evil Antiochus IV—the Greek king who had brought much desecration into this very holy place. Upon his defeat, the Maccabees set out to cleanse the Temple and light the menorah, a seven branch candelabra that was to remain lit continuously. To their dismay, there was only one vat of purified oil, enough to last them one day. It would take eight days to produce more oil. However, to their delight, and by a miracle of God, the lamp stayed lit until new oil could be made. This story has been relayed over the centuries, to generation after generation, as a reminder that God will defend His people as they stand against the forces of darkness.
So, given the nature of the story, it makes since that most of the festivities are centered on finger foods that have been deep fried in olive oil. Two holiday favorites are the sufganiyah (jelly filled donut), and the latke (a potato hashbrown). Children, of ALL ages, look forward to making these delectable goodies as they await the arrival of family and friends for the evenings candle lighting ceremony.
So in honor of this special and joyous season, we’re sharing a delectable jelly donut recipe that will have your mouth watering before you even finish reading this post. Although we at My Olive Tree like to promote health conscious eating, a little treat once a year is absolutely acceptable!
3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope active dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons margarine or unsalted butter, room temperature
Oil, for frying, plus more for bowl
1/4 cup raspberry or strawberry jam or jelly
- In a large bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt; mix until well combined. Add egg yolks and remaining 1 3/4 cups flour. Mix until combined, then knead dough in bowl until all flour is incorporated. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead a few minutes until smooth. Knead in margarine until incorporated.
- Transfer dough to a well-oiled bowl, turning several times to coat entirely with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Bring dough to room temperature, about 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough into an 11-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter (or a glass), cut out about 24 (2-inch) rounds, dipping cutter in flour as needed to prevent sticking. Reroll scraps; cut out about 16 more rounds.
- Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg whites. Brush edge of a dough round with egg white, then mound 1/2 teaspoon jam in center. Top with another round; press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining rounds. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; let rise until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Heat a few inches of oil in a large, heavy pot until it reaches 360 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer or a scrap of dough sizzles upon contact. Working in batches of 4 or 5, carefully slip doughnuts into hot oil. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 1 minute (doughnuts will fry very quickly and puff up). Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain.
- Place remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl. While doughnuts are still hot, dip them in sugar, turning to coat. Serve immediately.
This year Hanukkah is celebrated December 24th – January 1st. We’re posting this recipe in advance to give you EXTRA time to prepare. When making traditional foods like the sufganiyot or the potato latke is a wonderful time to share the story of Hanukkah with friends and family. If you’ve never celebrated this Holiday before, this year is the perfect time to start!
If you would like to give this recipe a try, My Olive Tree provides an excellent cold pressed EVOO that is made in Israel near the Galilee. Purchase your oil today!
Don’t have a Hanukkiah to light the lights this year? Would you consider planting an olive tree in Israel instead? In exchange we will send you a beautiful, handcrafted in Israel, Hanukkiah as a personal thank you from all of us at My Olive Tree. Check out this year’s special Holiday Hanukkah Offer, and sow a seed in Israel that will feed needy families and do SO MUCH more!