Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Hanuka!

Its Hanuka. I love this holiday. This holiday is the only time of the year when I feel like eating doughnuts with jam. Its funny what your mind and body remembers from your childhood and for us, as every kid in Israel, Hanuka it's the jam doughnuts holiday ;)
Ok, the holiday has a lot to it besides the doughnuts, I must admit.
Hanuka is the holiday of the oil miracle.
It was the year 138BC when the people of Israel (then called Maccabees or Makabim) won the battle over the Greeks. The second temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and while cleaning out the temple after the battle, the Makabim found that there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. It would take 8 days to get new oil to the temple and to light the eternal flame, and miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.
What a miracle. So, we celebrate the miracle of the oil and for how we traditionally make doughnuts and a few other dishes which are based in oil

Hanuka Jam Doughnuts

500g of Plain or bread flour
100g Sugar
1ts Salt
25g Fresh Yeast (or 12g dry yeast)
3-4 Eggs
120ml Milk or water (can use Soy milk)
2 Dessert spoons of Brandy (optional)
90g Butter / Margarine / Olive spread

Other Ingredients
Oil for frying
Icing Sugar for decorating
Jam for filling

How to
You can make the dough by hand or you can use a mixer if you have one
1) Combine the Flour, Sugar, Salt and Yeast
2) Add in the Water, Eggs and Brandy. Mix
3) After the dough is elastic, add the Butter/Margarine and continue to kneed the dough until it is softer, more elastic and shiny
4) Put the dough to rise in the fridge over night in a bowl covered with cling film
5) The next day, make balls of the dough, about the size of a ping pong balls, then set them aside to rise on an oiled tray somewhere warm and cover them with cling firm until the doughnuts double their size.
6)  Heat the oil to 160c (or you can know that the oil is hot if you put a wooden spoon into the oil and bubbles start to form around it)
7) Fry each doughnut, about 1 minute or less on each side and put aside on kitchen towels.
8) While the doughnuts are still warm, fill them with jam with a cake pipette
9) Once the doughnuts have cooled off, sprinkle icing sugar on them

Eat lots and enjoy! we only have Hanuka once a year!

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