Friday, February 18, 2022




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing sufganiyot; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:
  1. Measure and combine ingredients.
  2. Use a deep fat thermometer.
  3. Safely drop batter into hot oil.
  4. Fry the sufganiyot to the proper stage and flip them over.
  5. Remove and drain them from the oil onto absorbent paper towels.
  6. Handle carefully to coat with cinnamon sugar.
B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of the background of sufganiyot by completing the final Sample Test.


  1. Preparing the batter takes very little time and can be done in class. No advance preparation is necessary.
  2. Begin heating the oil as soon as the class arrives. It is essential that you use a thermometer to meter the temperature and begin dropping in the batter before it becomes overheated and not before it is ready. Overheated oil can catch fire, so if you are easily distracted, immediately assign a reliable student to do nothing but watch the thermometer and let you know when the correct temperature has been reached. If the batter is not ready, remove the heat source until it is and then reapply heat until the correct temperature is reached.
  3. Give the donuts a little time to drain off and cool down before dipping in the cinnamon sugar.
  1. Sometimes the batter becomes slightly thickened on standing. Stir in a little milk if the batter is not coming down properly out of the donut maker.
  2. Make sure to add a little at a time until the correct consistency is reached. It is difficult to correct if you add too much.
  3. The most important aspect of this lesson is to make sure a responsible person is watching the oil and the individual student making the donut at all times to avoid accidents. If that person is you, the teacher, you will have to ignore practically everything else going on in the room.
  4. If you have two donut makers, one can be refilled while the other is being used.
  5. Let the donuts drain back into the hot oil before putting on paper towels so as not to waste the oil or the paper towels and to remove as much oil as possible so that the donuts will not be greasy.
  6. Separate newly removed donuts from ones that have been resting so that a student dipping them into cinnamon sugar does not burn themselves reaching for one that has just come out of the hot oil.

A. Additional points that can be discussed with the students are:

1. Why are sufganiyot traditional in Israel whereas in the United States we associate latkes with Hanukkah?

Answer: Latkes, and specifically potato latkes are common in the Askenazic or Eastern European tradition because in the cold weather climate of Eastern Europe prevalent when the 25th of Kislev arrives, potatoes were one of the few foodstuffs available cheaply and in abundance for the Jews to fry. It was more common to fry them in chicken or goose fat because oil was very scarce and expensive at the time.

2. How is the celebration of Hanukkah different in Israel?

Answer: The emphasis is not so much on gift-giving, but on the celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple. It is the first true celebration of religious freedom in history.

B. In what ways does the circumstance of Christmas and Hanukkah falling at the same time of year in this country affect our perception of the holiday and the celebration of the holiday here. Does the fact that Jews are in the minority here and in the majority in Israel affect the quality and nature of the celebration?

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • oil for deep-fat frying
  • more granulated sugar for coating donuts
  • cinnamon
  • large mixing bowl
  • small mixing bowl
  • large wooden spoon
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • large mixing spoons
  • slotted spoons or spider spoons for removing donuts from oil
  • silicone spatula
  • absorbent paper towels
  • baking trays
  • large frying pans, skillets, or woks
  • drop donut maker gadgets
  • deep-fat thermometer



The holiday of Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev and is celebrated for eight days. The event in Jewish history that it commemorates is the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after it had been desecrated for three years by the Syrian army under the rule of King Antiochus. Antiochus was tyrannical in his insistence that the Jews give up their religion and customs and accept a Hellenistic lifestyle that included bowing down to idols. This practice, which goes against the very nature of Judaism, was so distasteful to many families that they fled into the hills surrounding Judea and formed a small army led by Judah the Hasmonean. Judah later became known as Judah the Maccabee (the hammer) because of his persistence in battling the overwhelmingly larger Syrian army. Because Judah was such a brilliant strategist, he eventually succeeded in routing the Syrians from Judea, considered a miraculous feat. 

When the Jews succeeded in liberating the Temple, they cleaned and purified everything, but could only find enough undefiled oil to light the Ner Tamid (eternal light) for one day. Because they had been prevented from celebrating the holiday of Sukkot, they belatedly began this celebration. It is said that the oil lasted for the entire eight days of the Sukkot celebration until more purified oil could be obtained. Although the original liberators of the Temple were belatedly celebrating Sukkot, we now celebrate this victory over religious oppression by celebrating the re-dedication of the Temple. The word Hanukkah means dedication. It also can be broken into two portions. The part “Hanu” means “they rested” and the last two letters—kaf and hey equal twenty five (kaf equals twenty and hey equals five). The rabbis drew an inference from this that they rested on the 25th day from the fighting for and the cleaning of the Temple.

Oil plays a very important part in the celebration of this holiday because over the years a legend grew about the miracle of the oil. Oil was also used to light the menorah in the Temple, and, in recent times, to commemorate the eight-day celebration, a candle or oil lamp is lit in progression for each night of the holiday until eight candles or lamps are burning. Foods fried in oil have therefore
become the tradition during this holiday. 

In Israel, sufganiyot are as traditional for Hanukkah as potato latkes are for Ashkenazic Jews in the United States because they are fried in oil. There are many variations and recipes in Israel for yeast batters, jelly or cream-filled doughnuts, baking soda batters, rolled out doughnuts, and dropped doughnuts. All of these, however, are fried in oil. In schools in Israel, the circumstances surrounding the story are enacted in plays. The students enjoy dressing up in costumes and the most coveted role is that of Judah the Maccabee. After these plays, a Hanukiah (special menorah for Hanukkah) is lighted and students enjoy all kinds of delicacies that are fried. In addition to sufganiyot are fruit fritters, cottage cheese latkes, potato latkes, and batter-dipped vegetables, to name a few.

Dairy dishes that are fried are particularly traditional because of the story of Judith. Judith was a widow who entertained an enemy general of the Syrian army. She induced him to drink too much by feeding him quantities of cheese which made him thirsty. When he fell into a drunken sleep, she beheaded him. When his soldiers found out what had happened to their general, they fled. The battle was won and the town where she lived was saved.

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • oil for deep-fat frying (peanut oil works well for high-temperature frying)
  • sugar and cinnamon for coating

  1. In large bowl, place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and stir to mix.
  2. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add 1/4 c. oil, milk, sour cream and egg.
  3. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
  4. Pour frying oil about 2-inches deep in the skillet and heat to 375-degrees on a deep fat thermometer.
  5. Fill donut-makers with batter and drop mixture in rings into the hot oil so that they do not touch each other. (Do not crowd the pan.)
  6. Fry until golden brown (3-4 minutes on each side).
  7. Drain on paper towels.
  8. Dip each side in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon combined.
  9. Recipe makes about 25 doughnuts. 

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