It’s been some time.. ok years, since I have blogged. Life has been crazy. Moving 2 times with 3 kids in tow, opening new stores, starting new business ideas. All in the span of 10 months. I’m seriously ready to relax a bit. Our new home is a blessing. We are close to the business, we live in a quite calm neighborhood, kids love their new school. The balance of life is coming back to us all. What way to kick it off and celebrate then with Hanukkah and donuts? About 12 years ago when I was visiting Israel I was introduced to Sfenj.
Definition: Moroccan doughnuts made by deep frying a sticky, unsweetened yeast dough. They can be purchased from street vendors, who use skewers to remove the freshly made sjenj from the oil. Sfenj should be eaten warm, either plain or dusted with sugar, for breakfast or tea time.
I took the recipe down, from a friends Safta (Grandmother). She didn’t speak English but all I needed was to observe her technique and jot down the ingredients. 12 years later, Trial and error … I think I make some pretty yummy Sfenj.
Lets do it!
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- vegetable oil, for frying
- sugar, for garnish (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside.
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and yeast mixture, and stir vigorously with your hand or a spoon until smooth. The dough should be too sticky to knead or shape, almost like a batter.
Cover the bowl, and leave the dough to rise for three to four hours, until double or triple in bulk.
In a wide pot, heat an inch or more of Canola oil until hot. Dip your hands in water, and pull off a piece of dough about the size of a small plum. Use your fingers to make a hole in the ball of dough, stretch the hole wide to make a ring, and place the dough in the hot oil. You will need a good amount of water for each sfenj to prevent it from sticking to your hands.
Repeat with the remaining dough, wetting your hands as necessary to keep the dough from sticking as you work with it.
Fry the sfenj until golden brown, turning once or twice. Remove the cooked sfenj to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Serve the sfenj hot. If desired, dip the sfenj in sugar to sweeten them.
Serve right away with honey, Nutella, Maple Syrup, Jam & a big pot of Nana Tea! (Mint Tea)
Bon Appetit & Happy Holidays!