by Bracha Shor
I’ve made a colossal claim in my title. Are you really about to learn the recipe for the best doughnuts ever? Well, I’m not sure, but this recipe is amazing. You see, I’ve made sufganiyot (doughnuts) for years – and they never come out right! I don’t know why. I’ve gotten recipes from lots of doughnut makers whose doughnuts are delicious. I say, “Can I have your recipe,” and they generously share them. Then I try it and still get flat, fried dough. It’s very disappointing – almost like Charlie Brown and the football. Every year I try again, and every year that football is snatched away – although, truth be told, you can’t really fail with doughnuts, because we’re still dealing with fried dough with sugar, if you know what I mean.
This time it was different. Shira Perlman (of Delightfully Sweet fame) gave me a trick that is fool-proof (or, at least, Bracha-proof). I am now part of that elite group that gets fluffy doughnuts every time. Hooray! And, dear reader, you, too, can now be part of this group. Read on.
Her trick (drum roll, please…) is dinner rolls. The kind where you say, “Pass the butter, please”? Yes, those kind of dinner rolls. You buy them frozen in any grocery store. (She recommends Rhodes White dinner rolls, 36 to a package.) These are small rolls, great if you are trying to reduce doughnut intake for little people (or yourself!). And, these doughnuts are not overly sweet – before the fillings and toppings, that is. I actually felt – as I was eating my fifth, sixth, and seventh ones – that I was eating a healthy treat. Maybe they’re even better for me than vegetables! Who needs dinner? What? Did you say you want sprinkles? I can’t hear you, I’m too busy sprinkling and eating….
Actually, this year I really did decide to make dinner out of doughnuts.
You see, the fillings need not be sweet but can be savory. (In that case, do not roll in sugar, although you certainly can.)
For all the recipes below, follow these initial steps: Defrost rolls on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Rolls should be an inch apart to allow dough to rise. Spray rolls with cooking spray. This stops them from drying out and doesn’t require you to cover them. It takes 3 to 5 hours for the rolls to defrost and start rising. So take them out at least 4 hours before you want to fry them. (You can speed this process by defrosting the frozen rolls in a warm (not hot and not on) oven of 150 degrees or less).
For all the recipes below, after filling, follow these steps for frying: Let the dough to rise for another 30 minutes (in the warm oven will rise faster). Preheat your deep fryer to 350°. If you do not have a deep fryer, pour 2 to 3 inches of oil in a frying pan and heat the oil until the dough bubbles upon contact. Fry doughnuts until golden brown. If the rolls do not flip over by themselves, flip them so that both sides are golden. Transfer doughnuts to a cooling rack lined with paper towels.
1 package frozen dinner rolls
1/4 c. custard (can be bought readymade)
1/4 c. jelly (Trader Joe’s has amazing jams and jellies)
1/4 c. melted chocolate
1/4 c. sprinkles
5 peanut butter cups
5 Brownie Bites
5 Lindt chocolate balls
30 milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet chips do not result in as yummy a doughnut)
5 pieces of graham cracker that will fit in the dough
5 T. crushed peanuts
When the rolls are defrosted, add the fillings (the peanut butter cups, Smirks, Brownies, Lindt balls). Pull the dough around the filling and make sure it is completely closed. For the “s’mores” doughnut, insert 3 mini-marshmallows,
5 chocolate chips, and 1 piece of graham cracker, and pull completely closed. (No, Bracha, you can’t possibly put a marshmallow into something that will get cooked. As we all know marshmallows dissolve in heat. Well, dear reader, it turns out the dough actually protects the marshmallows so that they do not dissolve when fried, rather turn into a marshmallow gooey deliciousness.)
Fry as directed above. When cool, for those doughnuts not yet filled, use a piping bag with a tip ready-filled with your favorite jelly or custard.* Pierce the doughnut and pipe some filling in the middle. When the filling oozes out, it’s full. Each doughnut takes approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling.
Put the melted chocolate into a bowl and dip the doughnut into it, twisting so the whole top gets covered. You can also use powdered sugar or a glaze (recipe below) and then add sprinkles. For the already-filled doughnuts, place something on top that shows the eater what’s inside. For the peanut butter cups, put crushed peanuts on top of the melted chocolate. For the s’mores doughnut, put chocolate, crushed graham crackers and, if you are so inclined roasted marshmallows on top. (Then invite me over – seriously.)
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. melted margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch salt: just a smidgen
2 tsp. water, milk, or lemon juice
Mix together the first 4 ingredients, then add liquid, half a teaspoon at a time until the consistency is what you like. The glaze should easily coat a spoon.
You will notice both milchig and fleishig ingredients below. Obviously, they are not used together! Instead, choose either the cheese or the meat for one of the following savory doughnut versions.
1 package frozen dinner rolls
5 T. grated cheese (dairy or parve)
2 T. spaghetti sauce
5 T. brisket
2 T. BBQ sauce
5 T. caramelized onions
5 T. shredded chicken or turkey
3 tsp. cranberry sauce
Defrost rolls as per the directions above. Then proceed with one of the following fillings.
What? Pizza in a doughnut? That’s crazy. Well, we can’t live on doughnuts alone. (Oh, wait, maybe we can, you know, for at least eight days). With this savory doughnut option, you get all of the wonderfulness of a fried doughnut along with something that some might consider healthy on the inside.
Pull the defrosted rolls slightly and place ½ teaspoon of spaghetti sauce, then top with 1 teaspoon grated cheese, and half a teaspoon caramelized onions. Close the dough completely. Then fry according to the directions above. (My husband scoffed at these – he is a pizza purist – but after they he ate them, he said he wanted more!)
Stretch the dough slightly so it is easier to add the filling. Place half a teaspon of BBQ sauce then 1 teaspoon of pulled brisket, and half a teaspoon of caramelized onions. Or, substitute shredded chicken/turkey, caramelized onions, and cranberry sauce. Pull the dough around the filling until it is completely closed, then fry according to the directions above.
3 T. cream cheese
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. diced jalapeno pepper
Mix the cream cheese and sugar together, then add the jalapeno pepper. Insert 1 teaspoon of the mixture to each doughnut. Fry according to the directions above.
Do not fill your doughnuts. Fry them as directed above, then cut in half (or almost in half) to make the slices of a sandwich. Fill your sandwich with strawberries and cream, taco fillings, or anything you like.
Can you have vegetable latkes w
ithout a grater? Why yes. Look no further than the beautiful spaghetti squash, which comes pre-grated! What, I’ve seen those big yellow squashes at the market, and they don’t look grated. Well, throw it in the oven (if you insist, you can cut it in half, take out the seeds, and bake the squash hole side down) and let it bake at 400° for 35 minutes (or until a fork easily pierces the squash), preferably while you’re baking something else (to save energy). If your oven temperature is 350°, give it another 10 minutes. Remove squash from the oven, let it cool, and use a fork to scrape – or “rake” – out the flesh. It will separate into strands that look like spaghetti.
3 c. raked spaghetti squash
1/4 c. sauteed onions
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 c. flour (could substitute GF flour)
Pat the squash strands dry. Mix all ingredients together. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a pan until hot, then lower flame to medium. Drop the batter by the big tablespoonful. Fry each side until golden, about 3 minutes. Enjoy!
Sweet and Good Catering can be found on Facebook. Stop by the page and say hello, and you will be entered into our next contest. Leave a comment on our FB page and say you read our doughnut article. For extra entries, send me a picture of your favorite doughnut creation. Winner will get a dozen latkes.
* If you do not have tip, make your own. Cover a lower corner of a ziplock bag and stick 6 pieces of scotch tape on both front and back. The tape stiffens the bag so it can pierce the doughnut. Make a small diagonal cut over the tape across the corner of the bag. Fill the bag with your chosen filling and pipe it into the doughnut.
~Bracha is the founder and owner of Sweet & Good Catering. After getting a master’s in linguistics and traveling the world, she loves incorporating different flavors and techniques to her dishes! She’s honed her skills over the past 18 years and believes that kosher food can be delicious, gorgeous and exciting! Bracha not only writes articles, but is a sought-after speaker and enjoys learning new things. Feel free to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org