In previous Hanukkah celebrations, I’ve made a variety of different fried things, but rarely the traditional filled, jelly doughnut. This year, for our epic party of 60+ guests, I stuck with what people expect.
The recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen, publishers of our beloved Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Each batch is supposed to make a dozen 3” donuts, but I planned on using a 2.5” cutter to get a few more, and to quadruple the recipe, aiming for 60 doughnuts plus whatever the scraps would make.
To streamline making four batches of dough the night before, I started mixing the next one while the previous one was resting for the prescribed 20 minutes. I tried to fit all four batches into two giant bowls, separated by parchment, then juggled them around to continue kneading.
The next morning, at around 08:30, I took the doughs out of the fridge, to let them get up to room temperature and finishing proofing. Unfortunately, the dough stuck to the not-well-greased parchment. But it was very easy to roll it too thin, so be careful. We took all the leftover scraps and made dozens of little doughnut holes as well.
By 11:00, I was starting to fry in my big, orange Dutch oven filled with grapeseed oil. The remote probe thermometer I have from Polder is faulty: not only does it not maintain the set temperature, it beeps annoyingly at seemingly random times. Still, I was able to make batch after batch of evenly golden donuts.
As the batches cooled down, Dr. S and my daughter started to fill them. The night before, I made a double batch of 6 Minute Lemon Custard and also bought jars of raspberry jam. Pro-tip: make sure the fillings are cold so that they are not so runny when piping. I tossed the fried holes in a mix of granulated sugar and cinnamon.
These were a huge hit. Every single one of these doughnuts got eaten at the party. Since the dough is essentially brioche based, they were very tender and flavourful. I’m a little sad that I wasn’t able to sample a filled one, and only got to have a few of the holes. Highly recommended recipe!