Sfenj - Delicious Doughnuts for Hanukkah or Anytime

Make dough the night before...fry the next day

Sfenj, pronounced "sfinge," have burst onto the Jewish culinary scene for the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah.  Sfenj aren't just your typical Hanukkah doughnut; they're the Moroccan gems you'll want to savor all year round. Unlike the traditionally filled sufganiyot/doughnuts, Sfenj is more rustic, a ball of dough, a hole in the center, and a dip in hot, bubbling oil.

Creating the dough is a breeze. You can prepare it the night before and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours to rise, then remove and let rest for 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS (12 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 cup sugar (garnish)


1.    Mix yeast, 1 tbsp. sugar and ¾ cup water. Set aside in a warm spot for 15 minutes to allow yeast to activate - small bubbles will appear on the surface.

2.    Using a bowl or standing mixer, stir together flour, salt, yeast mixture and remaining ¾ cup water. Knead for 10 minutes using the dough hook attachment or by hand on a floured work surface.

3.    The mixture will be sticky. The more you knead the smoother the mixture. Do not add more flour.

4.    Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 3 to 4 hours - mixture triples in size.

5.    In a heavy bottom pot, heat 2-inches oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.

6.    Divide dough roughly into the size of a small peach. (Sfenj is not meant to be perfect.) Poke a hole in the center of the ball of dough and roll to resemble a rustic bagel.

7.    Fry for 3 minutes, flip and fry for 2 minutes more, until golden brown and puffed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

8.    Dip warm sfenj into sugar.

(2nd Column under photos and 2-line Caption)

Jamie Geller is an 8-time best-selling author and the Founder and CEO of Kosher Network international (KNi), the #1 Global Kosher Food Media Company, home to @jamiegeller and JamieGeller.com and the viral @jewlishbyjamie how-to videos.

These doughnuts are not overly sweet. Instead, they're coated with sugar. Add cinnamon or a sprinkle of coffee to the sugar. Whether it's Hanukkah or any ordinary day, you'll be ready to indulge in Sfenj, the Moroccan doughnuts that have found their way into the hearts of food enthusiasts everywhere. Enjoy the process of making them, sharing them, and savoring every bite!

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