Eating fried foods is one of the distinct pleasures of Hanukkah, and the tradition behind it is well-known. According to legend, after the temple was ransacked by Antiochus' troops, a small vial of undefiled oil miraculously lasted for 8 days, until more oil could be found.
Share these fritters with family and friends. While they can be served at room temperature a few hours after serving, they're best fresh from the fryer, drizzled with orange-scented honey.
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
- juice of 1 large orange, strained of pulp (about 1/3 cup), divid
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 3 1/2 cups all‑purpose flour
Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in a large bowl. Reserve. Pour 1/2 cup water into a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar and yeast over water and wait until mixture become foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour mixture, remaining water, 3 tablespoons orange juice, orange zest, and 2 tablespoons oil to yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine, about 30 seconds.
Using your hands, knead dough in bowl until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon of additional flour at a time to reduce stickiness, for about 1-2 minutes. Remove dough and place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest until dough has doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Heat about 4 inches of oil in a large, tall pot to about 350-360F (very hot but not smoking, or when a pea-sized piece of dough turns brown immediately when dropped into oil). Lightly oil hands, form dough into walnut-sized balls, and drop into oil in batches. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes total. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Place honey and remaining orange juice in a small saucepan and simmer 3-4 minutes until warm. Drizzle honey over doughnuts and serve.
Adapted from The World of Jewish Desserts by Gil Marks, 2000 Simon & Schuster.
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