Cooking with Love

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Sephardic Douhnut - Sfenj

Hannuka, Hannuka - such a fun holiday. Such a fattening holiday, but then again....aren't all the jewish holidays? Judaism is all about food. Trust me. But I do love the "merging" of the different origins during the holidays - the Ashkenzi jews (European decscent) & the Sephardic jews (African descent) have integrated over the years and on a holiday table you can find the ashkenazi gefilte fish sitting by the sephardic "hraime" (spicy fish).
I grew up with a ashkenazi spoon in my mouth. Everything is sweet. Nothing very spicy. Definately hot peppers and spices were not a big part of the culinary ashkenazi life. My Safta Tova is a wonderful cook and baker - raising us on good polish recipes. Her Hannuka sufganiyot are the best in the world. The past few years she hasn't been able to cook nor bake. The years have taken their toll on this amazing woman who is into her 90's (tfo tfo tfo, touch wood, hamsa hamsa, hamsa). So this year I was the sufganiyot maker. She called to say that they were very good. Coming from her - that is the ultimate compliment. I need nothing more in life.
Now, back to the Ashkenaz and Sephardic jewish culinary. We have the sufganyot, which  I made last week (and will make again tonight for the office potluck tomorrow) and the Sephardic have the "sfenj" - which is quite like a beignet, only with no sugar in the dough, and usualy served with an aromatic syrup on the side.The Morrocans claim that sfinj is theirs. So do the Tunisians....the Liberians....and so on. Kind of like the Hummous war...but no getting into that! It doesn't really matter. And I don't really care. As long as there are Sfinj's in the world...does it matter?

And these are yummy - best served warm.

1 kg Flour, all purpose
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp sugar
1TBS. brandy
2 TBS yeast, fast acting
2-2 1/2 cups warm water

Oil, for frying

Place all ingredients in lage mixer bowl, with hook.
Knead slowly for about 5 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Knead again for 1 minute. Let rest for 10 minutes. One more time - 1 minute kneading. 10 minute resting.
Knead last time to let out air and make approx. 25 ping-pong size balls. Let stand approx. 15 minutes, covered. In the meantime heat deep frying oil on medium heat.
Don't let the oil heat too much, or else the sfinj's will burn.
Oil your hands, take a ball and with you fingers make a whole in the middle, like a sloppy doughnut....:-)
Place carefully in oil and fry 2 minutes per side.
Cover with sugar, powdered sugar, syrup or jam.
Serve warm.



Yasmeen said...

Happy Hanukkah! Those are delectable festive goodies :D

Milton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sabah said...

My best wishes for the new year for you and for all your family.

Charleen said...

I love when you show the cups and kilos. Makes it so easy to convert, but a conversion chart helps too.

This was a wonderful recipe. Happy Hanukkah and the best in the new year from a non-Jewish follower!

prettybaker said...

Thank you all!! Hope this year is a million times better than the past year! AMEN!!

Arlette said...

Hello Dorit

wishing you and your loved ones and Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year. Looking forward for lots of yummy recipes!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.