Sfenj are the type of doughnuts Moroccans eat on Hanukkah, truthfully, they are a Moroccan doughnut you can eat any time of year. They are not filled like traditional sufganiyot, instead, they are made more rustic by taking a ball of dough, putting a hole in the middle and frying directly. Use our hack to make the shaping and frying easier, watch the video below.
These doughnuts are not as sweet as most, so they are usually coated in sugar before serving. Feel free to mix in cinnamon or Hawaij for Coffee in with the sugar for a unique twist.
The dough is quick and easy to make, but it does require 4 hours to rise. The good news is that you can prepare it the night before, and after it has risen you can keep it in fridge until frying time. Remove for 30 minutes before frying, shape and drop into oil and serve hot and fresh.
We used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour to make our Sfenj and we couldn't be happier.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm water, divided
- 4 cups Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil, for frying
- 1 cup sugar, for garnish
- Mix yeast, sugar and ¾ cup water in a small bowl. Allow yeast to activate by setting aside in a warm spot for fifteen minutes. Yeast is activated when small bubbles appear on the surface of the water-yeast mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl or standing mixer, stir together flour, salt, yeast mixture and remaining ¾ cup water. Knead for ten minutes using the dough hook attachment or by hand on a floured work surface.
- The mixture will be sticky. The more you knead the smoother the mixture will become. Do not add more flour to the mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 3 to 4 hours, until mixture triples in size.
- In a heavy bottom, deep pot or pan heat 2-inches evoo over medium-high heat to 350°F.
- Dip your hand in water and pull pieces of dough roughly 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 a bit to resemble a rustic bagel.
- 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.
- Dip warm sfenj into sugar and serve with coffee or Moroccan mint tea.