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Refresh your Chanukah dessert table

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Doughnut holes
Doughnut holes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that we can never get tired of sufganiyot. But there’s no harm in adding some culinary variety to this year’s Festival of Lights. Pastry chef Paula Shoyer offer an alternative recipe that is great for Chanukah and will satisfy any sweet tooth.

The recipe is courtesy of Shoyer’s The Holiday Kosher Baker.


VANILLA DOUGHNUT HOLES

Doughnuts and potato latkes are the most traditional Chanukah foods. Like latkes, doughnuts are best eaten the day they are made, but even on the second day you can get good results by reheating them. To make doughnuts look festive, roll them in coloured sugar.

o 1/4 oz. dry yeast

o 1/4 cup warm water

o 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided

o 1/2 cup soy milk

o 2 tbsp. margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes

o 1 large egg

o 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

o 1/4 tsp. salt

o 2¼–2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

o 1/2 cup plain or coloured sugar for dusting doughnuts

o Canola oil for frying

In a large bowl, place the yeast, warm water, and one teaspoon of the sugar and stir. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until thick.

Add the remaining sugar, soy milk, margarine, egg, vanilla, salt, and 1½ cups flour and mix – either with a wooden spoon or with a dough hook in a stand mixer – on low speed. Add 1/2 cup more flour and mix in. Add 1/4 cup flour and mix in. If the dough remains sticky, add more flour, a tbsp. at a time, until the dough becomes smooth.

Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let the dough rise for one hour in a warm place. I use a warming drawer on a low setting (about 200), or you can turn your oven on to its lowest setting, place the bowl in the oven, and then turn off the oven.

After one hour, punch down the dough by folding it over a few times and reshaping it into a ball. Re-cover the dough and let it rise for 10 minutes.

Dust a cookie sheet with flour. Sprinkle some flour on the counter or on parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it’s about 1/2-in. thick. Using a small round cookie cutter about 1 to 1½ in. in diameter, cut out small circles very close to each other, and place them on the cookie sheet. Reroll any scraps. Cover the doughnuts with the towel. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven (warm but turned off) or warming drawer. Let the doughnuts rise for 30 minutes.

Heat 1½ in. of oil in a medium saucepan for a few minutes and use a candy thermometer to see when the oil stays between 365 and 375; adjust the flame to keep the oil in that temperature range. Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top of the cookie sheet and set it near the stovetop.

When the oil is ready, add the doughnut holes to the oil one at a time, top-side down, putting an edge in first and then sliding in the rest of the doughnut; if you drop the doughnuts into the pan an inch or higher from the oil it can splatter and burn your fingers. You can fry up to eight doughnut holes at a time. Cook for 45-60 seconds. Use tongs or chopsticks to turn the doughnut holes over and cook them another 45-60 seconds, or until golden. Lift with a slotted spoon and place on the wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. 

Place the sugar in a shallow bowl and roll the doughnut holes in the sugar to coat. Store covered at room temperature for up to one day and reheat to serve. Servings: 50

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