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Sufganiyot (Jelly Doughnuts)

This recipe for the Israeli national Hanukkah treat is adapted from Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook. (Schocken Books 1979) For non-greasy fritters, watch the temperature of the oil. It should remain at 375 degrees. If it's not hot enough, the dough will absorb oil, and if it's too hot, the outside will brown before the inside is cooked. Sufganiyot are best served hot and fresh.

Makes 30 to 35

2 tablespoons dry yeast

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

Berry or plum preserves

Peanut oil for deep-frying

Granulated sugar for rolling the doughnuts

Dissolve the yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar in the milk.

Sift the flour. Place it on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, egg yolks, salt, cinnamon and remaining sugar. Knead well. Add the butter or margarine and knead until dough is elastic.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise 2 hours.

Sprinkle flour on board. Roll the dough out thin (1/2 to 1/8 inch). Cut out with a glass into rounds about 2 inches in diameter. Cover and let rise 15 minutes more.

Pour 2 inches of oil into a heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees.

Drop the doughnuts in the oil, 4 to 5 at a time, turning when brown. Drain on paper towels.

With a tiny spoon, take some jam and fill the sufganiyot. Insert the spoon in the top of the doughnut, revolve it inside the doughnut and remove from the same hole made on entering.

Roll in granulate sugar and serve. You can make the sufganiyot larger if you like.

Eat while hot.

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