It has been a very busy month. Halloween came and went, I silently launched a frozen dough line (more on that later), am still recovering from Thanksgiving ago and now, Hanukkah is around the corner. My kids talk about Hanukkah ALL year long. They start making their list early in the year, they give me a laundry list of who is going to come over to light the candles with us and in November the countdown begins.
I, too, love a good holiday. But, didn’t we just finish putting all the dishes and serving platters away from Thanksgiving? I need a few days to decompress and I am struggling to find that day, that hour, that moment. I am ready to steal a little quiet time for myself…yet, now is not the time.
Hanukkah is celebrated over eight nights. Each night we light the Menorah which represents the eight days that the olive oil burned, as it was only thought to burn for one. For my children, the eight days equates to eight gifts. In our house, Hanukkah isn’t so much about the gifts and “getting” as it is about family, friends and giving a little something back. This year, for one of the eight nights, rather than opening a present, we are going to make sandwiches and take them to a local shelter for abused women. My kids get all year long. I want them to know what it is to give and I feel that they will feel good about the act of giving.
We are also going to share our holiday with the kids friends who don’t celebrate Hanukkah. On those nights, the evening centers around the traditional holiday food, that tradition of lighting the menorah and playing the dreidel game. Hanukkah is all about “fried” foods (representing the oil that lasted for 8 days). This is my kind of holiday; this is my kind of food. Traditionally, I make latkes (potato pancakes), zucchini fritters, Sufganiyot (jelly filled doughnuts), apple hand pies, and countless other creations.
I recently read about this recipe in this months Saveur. What attracted me to these doughnuts is the “no yeast” ingredient. These were easy to make yet were not as light as I had hoped for. And if I must say so myself, I have made better (see here and here). The kids liked them. They were good, not too sweet, hence a little dense. With that said, fried dough, is fried dough. And fried dough is a good thing!
3 1/2 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. nutmeg
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg white
1 cup buttermilk
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
canola oil, for frying
• in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
• in another bowl, whisk together the egg and egg white until frothy. add the buttermilk and butter.
• add buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients to form a dough.
• transfer dough to a floured surface. gently roll to 1/2″ thickness.
• using a 3 1/4″ round doughnut cutter, cut out doughnuts and place on a parchment lined baking pan. repeat until all the dough is shaped.
• chill dough and doughnut holes for 30 minutes.
• meanwhile combine remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
• pour oil in a large dutch oven, about 2″ in depth and heat oil until a thermometer reads 325*. work in small batches and don’t over crowd the pot. fry until each doughnut is golden about 2-3 minutes per side.
• using tongs, transfer doughnuts to a wire rack to drain.
• shake doughnuts and holes in a paper bag filled with cinnamon-sugar.
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com