After my success this year with baked Apple Cider Doughnuts, I knew that it was possible to replicate the achievement with baked doughnuts for Hanukkah. I know… I know… I know that the whole point of eating traditionally fried jelly doughnuts is that they celebrate the oil that lasted 8 nights. Unfortunately, the fried dough has a tendency to last much longer than 8 nights on my thighs.
When I was growing up, Hanukkah was a reason to have a family meal and a way to get some gelt. My parents never tried to compete with Christmas; that’s what Russian New Year’s was for! When the kids came into existence, we’ve decorated and gifted every year. For the past 6 years, we’ve celebrate Hanukkah in our small apartment with the entire family over our traditional chili dinner. While fried food has it’s gloriously delicious place in the world, this year it doesn’t have a place as our celebratory dessert!
|Measure out 1 1/3 cups of milk and warm slightly warmer than room temperature.|
|Add 1/3 cup of warm milk and stir the yeast. Let it stand for at least 5 minutes.|
|The yeast will become bubbly and foamy.
If it doesn’t, it was no longer active. Try again with another portion of yeast.
|Cream the sugar and the room temperature butter, then add the other liquid ingredients.|
|Add the dry ingredients, remove the paddle attachment and replace it with the dough hook.|
|Shape the dough into a ball and place into a well oiled bowl.
Let stand for 1 1/2 hours.
|The dough will double in size.|
|Roll out the dough to 1/2″ thickness.
Use a cookie cutter to make doughnuts.
|Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
|Bake for 8-10 minutes
(I baked for 8 minutes. You don’t want to over-bake or even brown these.
Under-baking would be preferred)
|Fill with Strawberry Jelly,
brush with melted butter and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work – haven’t tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments – if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don’t have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes – start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.
Makes 1 1/2 – 2 dozen medium doughnuts.
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!