We all love doughnuts, but oh, the work involved in making them: the (sometimes yeasted) dough, the rising, the shaping, and then the frying. For most of us it’s a once a year project prompted only by the family’s pleading and anticipation of these homemade treats.
Now, what if you could have the flavor and texture of a doughnut without the frying? That caught my attention – was it possible? This is actually a muffin that tastes like a doughnut! Aside from being much, much easier to make, these doughnut muffins are simply delicious. A creamed batter yields a light, cakey interior, while a dip in melted butter mimics the satisfying “fried-ness” of a doughnut.
For some of us though, nothing but the real thing will do, so I am including a recipe for traditional “Sufganiyot”. Either one is sure to be a winner!
A MUFFIN THAT TASTES LIKE A DOUGHNUT
This recipe originates from Fine Cooking Magazine and is dairy. I would make it that way, but if you want, you may make substitutions for a parve muffin.
For the Muffins
- 12 oz. unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature. (The butter should be somewhat firm but soft enough to easily poke a finger into.)
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 lb 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg (I personallydon’t care for nutmeg and would omit it)
- 1 2/3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup buttermilk*
- 8 oz. unsalted butter; more as needed
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffly. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, if using.
3. Combine the milk and buttermilk.
4. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don’t overmix.
5. Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup about 1/2 cup. (a #16 standard ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes.
Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. (If you want you can dip only the tops of the muffins.)
*to make your own buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Add enough milk or parve milk to make 1 cup. Use as much as needed.
Photo: Steve Hunter
SUFGANIYOT (Israeli Jelly Doughnuts)
- 1 (1/4 oz.) package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup milk or nondairy creamer
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
- 3 large egg yolks, or 2 large eggs
- 1-teaspoon table salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace (optional)
- About 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- About 5 cups vegetable oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, or vegetable shortening for deep-frying
- About 1 cup jelly (I use one specifically meant for jelly donuts and cookies. It is a beautiful color and just the right consistency)
- Confectioner’s or granulated sugar for dusting
1. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Stir in 1-teaspoon sugar and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Blend in the milk, remaining sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt, nutmeg if using, and 2 cups flour. Beat in enough of the remaining flour to make a smooth, soft dough. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Punch down the dough. Fold over and press together several times. Let stand for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2 -to 3 1/2-inch rounds. Place in a single layer on a lightly floured surface, cover, and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
3. Heat at least 2 inches of oil over medium heat to 375 degrees.
4. Using an oiled spatula, carefully lift the doughnuts and drop them topside down, into the oil. Fry 3 or 4 at a time without crowding the pan, turning once, until golden brown on all sides, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. The temperature of the oil should not drop below 350 degrees. Drain on a wire rack.
5. Place the jelly in a cookie press or a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch hole or nozzle tip, Pierce one end of each doughnut with the tip and squeeze the filling until the doughnut is full. Roll the doughnuts in sugar.
You may substitute whipped cream, pastry cream (custard), or pudding for the jelly.