Sweet Potato Spiced Sufganiyot (Gluten-free)
These sufganiyot (jelly donuts) are very easy to make. Plus, using sweet potato not only adds great flavor, but replenishes some of the fiber that’s lost when using gluten-free flour.
- Place the butter in a 3-quart glass bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds until melted. Add the cooked sweet potato and whisk until the potatoes are smooth and the butter is completely incorporated.
- Combine the milk with the lemon juice or vinegar and let rest for 1 minute. Add this to the sweet potato mixture. Mix in the honey. Whisk to combine.
- In a 2-quart bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Add the flour/spice to the liquid ingredients, gently folding the mixture with a whisk until just combined. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Crumple paper towels, place them on a large plate or platter, and set aside.
- Place the jelly in a pastry bag fitted with a plain metal or plastic tip with a one eighth-inch opening (#0 is the size to buy from a store selling cake decorating supplies). Set aside.
- Transfer the cinnamon/sugar mixture to a soup bowl. Set aside.
- Add enough oil to fill a fryer, wok, or electric pan to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Heat at 375ºF or on medium high heat. Do not let the oil smoke.
- Using a 1-ounce food portion scoop or ice cream scoop with a release wire, gently scoop up a portion of the batter and place it into the hot oil. Quickly repeat with 5 more scoops of batter. Do not stir the batter as you proceed.
- When the doughnuts look golden on the underside (about 1-2 minutes), gently turn them over. Continue to fry them until golden brown and puffed up (about another 2 minutes). They shouldn’t be too light or too dark.
- Immediately place the doughnuts on the crumpled paper towels and allow them to drain while you cook another batch.
- In between frying, toss the slightly cooled but hot doughnuts in the sugar mixture (if desired) and set on a new plate.
- When all the doughnuts are done, fill each one with about 1 teaspoon of jelly by holding the doughnut in one hand and inserting the tip of the pastry bag 1⁄2 inch into the doughnut. Gently squeeze the bag until you begin to see the jelly show on the outside of the opening. Alternatively, you can make a 1-inch opening in the doughnut, use a spoon to place the jelly in the center, and then close the doughnut. However, this method is not as pretty or as easy as using a pastry bag and tip.
- Serve immediately or within 1–2 hours for the best consistency. Do not cover (or the doughnuts will become heavy and dry).
- If you use gluten-free flour, it should not change the flavor of your finished product, but can have a big effect on its consistency. Gluten provides the protein structure of a baked good, allowing it to stretch and rise when the leavening agent creates carbon dioxide; its absence can result in a dense, pasty product. For a good consistency, incorporate an additive such as xanthan gum or guar gum, both of which are now available to the home cook. Also, since gluten-free flours are generally light, medium, or heavy in texture, when substituting one flour for another, make sure its texture is the same weight/density. For more information and recipes, read Karina Allrich’s blog, “The Gluten-free Goddess,” or visit the Celiac Sprue Association's website. For Jewish recipes, including challah, mondel brod, and potato kugel, visit “Arnel's Originals: Good and Gluten Free,” the blog of Arnel McAtee of Temple Beth Torah, Ventura, California.
- It is extremely important to handle gluten-free dough as little as possible to preserve any layers of air trapped in the batter. Using a scoop and not scraping down the sides of the bowl creates a lighter baked good.
- The smaller the circumference of your pan, the less oil you will need to achieve a good depth for frying foods. If you don’t have a deep fryer, a wok or a 3-quart saucepan are good alternatives.