Now, in the interest of full journalistic integrity, this is my first Hanukkah making sufganiyot... and I love it! Well, I don't love the smell of oil lingering in my hair. But I love making them! They're such fun little pockets of sugary, oily deliciousness.
I did a little research (both in person and online) about brachot for sufganiyot. Apparently, there is some argument in the Talmud that any thick dough (not runny) should have hamotzi even if it is fried rather than baked. It is a bit weird to my rational side to say mezonot on a yeasty sufganiyah when the dough was actually really, really close to challah dough. I'd love anyone's thoughts on this :) Anyway, here's the recipe already; I've yacked enough...
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast or .6 ounces (1/3 cake) fresh yeast (I used fresh)
1/4 c warm water
1 1/2 c orange juice (take out of the fridge a little early, like while the yeast is proofing)
3/4 c sugar plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp margarine (softened in the microwave)
5 c all-purpose flour
oil for frying (I used canola because it's what I had)
Mix together the water and the yeast with a pinch of sugar. Let proof until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the eggs. Add a little of the flour and the orange juice and margarine (I add the flour to prevent any curdling and buy some time). Add the rest of the flour, salt, and sugar. Mix by hand or with a stand mixer until a ball forms. It will be a little tackier than challah but should not be sticky.
Let rest until doubled close to bulk (I didn't let mine completely double) in an oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap.
Roll out the dough to a little less than a 1/2 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or (if you're like me) a sturdy edged disposable cup you filched from
Heat 2-3 inches of oil in stock pot. This is the hardest part for me, and maybe you should read some other instructions before listening to me. I ALWAYS put the little buggers in too early. Be patient. Take your ugliest circle first to test the oil. When the oil is truly hot but not spitting, fry until golden brown on both sides.
After dropping in your next batch, sugar those puppies with a bit more sugar (some people use powdered).
I've read that you can actually fill sufganiyot before frying, but I didn't try that. I used a hair coloring solution bottle (a new one!) to fill mine, but a (new!) medicine syringe or special pastry tool would probably work better. I was being resourceful.
A happy, healthy, and bright Hanukkah to you from our bayit to yours!