Just say “Chanukah” and an echo with the word latkes boomerangs right back. The two words seem almost lost without each other and generally present as the holiday pair. You can have latkes plain or with applesauce or sour cream, latkes as a meal by themselves or latkes as an appetizer or a side dish. Regardless, it’s latkes all the way.
As a Jewish baker, I am delighted to tweak the Chanukah envelope, offering other recipes that should become part of your Chanukah traditions.My go-to recipe is sufganiyot. As a baker, this is not such a surprise – they are sweet, yeasty and delectable. What’s not to love? Without a doubt, the best holiday doughnuts are the homemade variety. They are tastier, made with better ingredients (like natural vanilla), and you can decide on their size and filling. (I find that kids prefer them unfilled.)
Now, before you exclaim, “Oh no! I don’t bake!” or “Yeasted things scare me!” or even “Frying in deep oil (as opposed to latkes in an electric skillet), is dangerous,” let me reassure you. Yeasted things are easy – especially with instant yeast. Yeasted dough can be made even easier in a bread machine or mixer. Essentially, if you can make challah, you can make Chanukah doughnuts. In fact, if you choose to, you can evenpurchase frozen challah dough and use it to make your doughnuts. Yeasted dough does not (asraw potato latke batter does) splatter in hot oil. And last, yeasted dough is somewhat lean and a quick fry ensures that they do not get oil (and fat) laced.
So go ahead, enjoy Chanukah knowing that you have a collection of holiday sweets that are not only sure to please the taste buds but that celebrate the holiday in a fine and appropriate style.
8 Doughnuts for 8 Nights – Here they are!
This article and its accompanying recipes were featured in Kosher Inspired Issue 1, November 2010. Kosher Inspired is a project of Mishpacha Magazine.