Ingredients for Sfenj Doughtnuts
For the Dough
- 7 cups + 2 tablespoons (1 kg) flour
- 1.8 ounces (50 grams) fresh yeast
- 3 1/3 cups (800 ml) water warm
- 2/3 cup (130 grams) Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Salt
For Deep Frying
- canola oil
For the Glaze
Preparing the Sfenj:
1. After sifting the flour, place it in a mixer fixed with a dough hook. Dissolve the yeast in a ½ cup of water. Add the yeast to the flour as well as the water and sugar.
2. Knead the ingredients until a dough forms and then add the salt. Continue kneading on a medium speed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and homogeneous. To make life easier for the mixer, the dough hook can be substituted with a flat beater. The dough will be more moist, but that's okay.
3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about an hour until it doubles in size. The dough should preferably rise in a warm place full of steam (for example, in an oven heated to 100F/ 40ºC with a pan of boiling water beneath it). Mix the dough to let the air out, cover, and allow to rise again so it doubles in size.
4. Heat the oil in a pot suitable for deep frying. With greased hands, take a handful of the dough, make a hole in the middle using your fingers, and then expand it a bit (to a diameter of roughly 1.5 inches/ 4cm). Repeat the process with all the remaining dough. Carefully place the first donut in the hot oil and continue filling the pot with additional donuts (re-grease your hands from time to time). Make sure that the donuts which are already in the pot do not burn.
5. Fry the donuts until they are golden brown (about 2 minutes on each side). Remove them from the pot and place them on a paper towel for about a minute. Immediately after that, dip both sides of the donuts in a pan filled with the sugar glaze.
Preparing the sugar glaze:
6. On a medium flame, heat 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar in a saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and bring to a boil on a higher flame. Continue cooking at a boil for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Immediately add 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice, let the syrup cool down and dip the hot donuts in it for a few seconds.
When making savory sfenj, like the ones my mother prefers, you eliminate the sugar altogether and double the quantity of the salt to 1 heaping tablespoon.
This recipe is credited to Hashulchan.