Donuts are delicious any time of year. Especially at Hanukkah they are served as part of a holiday meal. I am giving you a recipe for Italian donuts that is super easy. However, I am also going to share an easy hacks with you.
I truly hope you will take the time to make these zeppole, but if you need a quick donut you can purchase ready made pizza dough. I pull of pieces and roll them in to balls. Then you can fry them up in oil or bake them. Once they are done, cut a little X in one end and fill with jam or filling of your choice. This also works with canned biscuit dough. The trick is to brush or spray with a tiny bit of neutral oil and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or confectioners sugar while still hot.
Here is an original recipe for zeppole. Let me know your favorite donut tricks!
A quick hack for donuts on Hanukkah.
Servings: 3 3 donuts per person
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 4 large eggs
- oil for frying
- FIllings of your choice
In a heavy saucepan combine the sugar, butter, salt and water. Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and gradually add flour.
Put pan over a low heat and stir until it forms a ball. This really varies in time, but typically about 3 minutes.
Transfer dough to a medium bowl and then using a hand mixer, beat in eggs one at a time. Be sure to completely incorporate each egg, before adding the next.
Beat until batter it is thick and smooth.
At this point you can fry immediately or cover and refrigerate, overnight.
Pour enough oil into a large pan, I used a dutch oven, to give you a depth of about 2 inches. This is a lot of oil. You can save the oil for another cooking purpose. I'm going to use mine to fry latkes.
Bring oil to a temp of 375°, using a candy or fry thermometer. It is REALLY important to maintain the 375° temperature. Your donuts will be brown on the outside and doughy on the inside if not.
I use a small ice cream scoop but you can use tablespooons to form balls and then drop carefully into oil.
Using a "spider" strainer, turn them once or twice so they cook evenly. They should cook in about 5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar or a cinnamon/sugar mix, while they are still hot. This will make the sugar stick.
You can serve as is or you serve with dipping sauces like chocolate or caramel.
If you want to fill them, make an X with a small knife that goes almost all the way through. Using a round tip and pastry bag, slightly fill each donut, once they are cool. I used Nutella and strawberry jam.